CUMBERFORD, Elizabeth (nee Perkins)
Passed away suddenly but peacefully on September 10, 2012 in her ninety third year. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, John Lauder Cumberford; her siblings Doug and Dick Perkins; her children John (Judy), Patti, Debby (John Ramsden); and her much beloved grandchildren, Sarah and Tyler Cumberford, Wendy and Mandi Higenbottam; and Katy, Laura and Emma Ramsden. Elizabeth was also fortunate to have welcomed her first great grandchild, Jackson John Mills, born in July 2012. Elizabeth was born in Willowbunch, SK and grew up in the prairie towns of Nacomis and Melfort. After successfully completing one year of medical school, Elizabeth enrolled in the Toronto General Hospital School of Nursing and graduated in 1943. She worked as a nursing sister at the Colonel Belcher Veterans Hospital in Calgary, where she met John after his return from the war. They were married in 1946. From there, she embarked on the nomadic life of John's military career. In the first 25 years of their marriage, they moved twenty times to various postings, including Montreal, Rivers and Shilo MB, Vancouver, Soest Germany, Boston, MA and Cobourg, ON. Elizabeth navigated these relocations with apparent effortlessness, transforming almost overnight empty and often desolate houses into the inviting and comfortable havens which came to be her signature. And what a lovely haven and sense of refuge she provided to her family throughout her life, both in times of tumult and times of calm. Elizabeth was an exemplar of graciousness; in John's words, she was his mightiest asset and the best thing that ever happened to him. She was a supportive partner, and in more recent years, when the difficulties accompanying their advancing years took their toll, a most compassionate and understanding one. Elizabeth resumed her nursing career in Cobourg as an inspector of nursing homes for the Ontario government. She continued in this line of work after their final move to Vancouver. She was ever mindful of the vulnerability of the elderly and was a fierce advocate of their right to be treated with dignity and compassion. Perhaps the fine hand of her influence was evident in the quality of care she received at George Derby during the last year of her life. A service in honour of Elizabeth's life will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, October 19 at Buchanan Lodge, 409 Blair Avenue, New Westminster, BC. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Elizabeth to Covenant House, Vancouver. Godspeed Mum. Godspeed Perky. How much we shall miss you. But you have kept your promises; you have earned your sleep.
Saturday September 22, 2012
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