It is with profound sadness and broken hearts that we announce the passing of Carol Joyce Clifford on Friday, March 29, 2019 at the Rainy River Health Centre, with her loving family by her side.
Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer two short months ago. She fought a courageous battle and always said, “I am okay.”
Mom was born March 12, 1945 in Rainy River to Fred and Vivian Hartnell. She was the eldest of 10 children. Mom grew up in Blue Township in the summers and Harris Hill in the winters until mom was in Grade 5 when her family stayed year round in Blue.
Mom attended the Blue 3 School and the Harris Hill School and then the Rainy River High School. After graduating from high school, mom taught at the Harris Hill School as a permit teacher for one year.
Mom met dad while working at Helliar's in Nestor Falls in the summer of '64. They were married Feb. 20, 1965 in Kenora, Ont. and moved to Rivers, Man. when mom finished her teaching year.
Mom and dad moved a few times while dad was working in the Air Force for five years, but settled back in Rainy River when dad hired on the CN. In March, 1979, mom and dad moved to the dairy farm, where they milked cows for 20 years.
Mom was a hard worker, who never complained. She always put others before herself and loved her family and friends unconditionally.
After selling the dairy cows and quota, mom went to work winters for two years at Marvin's Windows, until she was hired on at the Rainy River Health Centre working in the kitchen and housecleaning.
The hospital staff became mom's second family. She loved every one of them dearly. Mom was loved by her fellow co-workers, patients and long-term care residents.
The staff always knew when mom was working because there would be a plate of delicious food waiting for them, no matter what time they got their break. The staff always commented on how good mom's meals were and how they looked forward to when she was working.
Mom was a hard and dedicated worker. Mom loved her job at the Rainy River Health Centre so much that she worked there for 19 years, holding off retirement until she was 71 years old.
Mom was known for her delicious homemade meals that she could whip up in minutes and for her delicious baking. Mom made the best pie crust, brownies and multiple other goodies. We all looked forward to her delicious cherry cheesecake that she made for every family gathering.
Mom always taught us to “cook with love.” She said if you do that, the food will always be good. That is exactly what mom did whenever she cooked a meal or baked us a goodie. Mom had a special bond with her children, grandchildren and great-granddaughter, Olivia. Mom taught her granddaughters how to make the flakiest pie crusts and how to make delicious buns and bread.
After mom retired from the hospital in 2016, she spent her summers seasonal camping at Assabaska Park. She loved her new camper and she made many new friends at the park. Mom also loved spending time with her sisters at the park.
She enjoyed playing Skip-Bo with them daily and riding her bike. Mom was hoping to have one last summer at the park, but unfortunately that wasn't meant to be.
Mom loved travelling and spent winter vacations in Jamaica, Mexico and Dominican Republic with her family. She also travelled to B.C. to visit her childhood friend Kathy.
Mom was very active in her community. She was a member of the Rainy River Legion, the Rainy River Hospital Auxiliary, the Forest Women's Institute and a former member of the Eastern Star. She also taught 4-H years ago.
Mom volunteered her time at the Rainy River Long Term Care Facility to assist with parties and activities requiring extra hands. She loved doing that.
Mom was always busy, and would have to check her schedule when asked if she wanted to go somewhere with her daughters because she may already be “booked” to do something. Mom played cards on Fridays at the RR Senior's Centre and on Saturdays at the Rainy River Legion. Mom and Kristal delivered meals on wheels together on Tuesdays, which mom looked forward to each week. Afterwards, they always enjoyed lunch together. Mom also enjoyed lunch with her friend, Irene Gerula, on Fridays before playing cards in the afternoon.
Mom is survived by her husband, Hugh, of 54 years; her son, Kirk; and daughters, Kristal (Tom) Vandenbrand and Tiffany (Wayne) Smith; as well as grandchildren, Mark (Stefanie) Clifford, Luke (Samantha) Clifford, Samantha Pachel, Kathryn (Jonathon) Nussbaumer, Victoria (Danial) Clifford, Adrian Vandenbrand, Brock (Taylor) Vandenbrand, Calli Vandenbrand, Jace Smith, and great-granddaughter, Olivia Clifford.
She is also survived by her siblings, Eleanor (Archie) Wiersema, Emily Duggan, Phyllis (Ralph) Angus, Everett (Laurie) Hartnell, Doug (Sandy) Hartnell, Jamie (Dorothy) Hartnell and Donna (Paul) Heyens; and brothers-in-law Wilmer Caul, Calvin Adams, Guy Setterland, Terry (Elaine) Clifford and John (Joanne) Clifford; along with many nieces and nephews.
Mom was predeceased by her parents, Fred and Vivian Hartnell; her sisters, Mary Caul and Cindy Mowe; her sisters-in-law, Fern Setterland and Shirley Clifford; her grandparents, aunts, uncles, mother-in-law and father-in-law.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 2 p.m. at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Rainy River. Family friend and Pastor Pat White will officiate. Interment to take place at a later date.
The pallbearers will be her four grandsons, Mark, Luke, Adrian and Brock. The honorary pallbearers will be her granddaughters, Kathryn, Victoria, Samantha and Calli; grandson, Jace, and great-granddaughter, Olivia.
In memoriam, donations can be made to the Rainy River Health Centre or the Thunder Bay Regional Cancer Care Centre.
Mom told us she was “surrounded by hearts.” She definitely was on earth and now in heaven. We love you mom, we miss you greatly and we will never forget you.