Marie Rita Elizabeth
Sturney-Philipps nee Moerl
Rita passed away peacefully May 20, 2008, at Wrinch Memorial Hospital, Hazelton, B.C., at the age of 96 years.
She was born in Cache Bay, Ontario, on Oct. 15, 1911, and was the last surviving member of a family of 15 children. She was predeceased by her first husband, Ray Sturney, in 1959 and by her second husband, Gilbert Philipps, in 1976; her granddaughter Cathy Sommerfeld Roach in 2003, and granddaughter Barbara Lynne Sproule in 2006.
She is survived by all six of her children: Barbara (Reg) Jackson, Bob (Fay) Sturney, Richard (Daphne) Sturney, Sharon (Randy) Rawluk, Ray (Maureen) Sturney, and Lyle Sturney, 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
Rita graduated as a registered nurse from Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Sudbury, Ontario, in 1932. In 1936 she married Ray Sturney. They lived in Sudbury and then Timmins, Ontario.
Ray moved to New Hazelton for work opportunities in 1948. Rita joined him, travelling by CNR for five days with five young children. They arrived on October 30, 1949, to a bitterly cold winter. The family quickly came to love this area. Their last child, Lyle, was born in 1950.
Rita was a long-time PTA member, as well as a founding member of the local CWL. She could be found at any sporting event cheering on her kids. All sports events, bridge tournaments and later bingo games found her actively involved.
Rita always had a special place in her heart for nurses and the nursing profession. She enjoyed a long retirement, family get-togethers were the highlight of any year. She stayed active well into her nineties.
Special thanks to the staff at Wrinch Memorial Hospital and the Upper Skeena Hospice society for the wonderful care Rita received during her illness.
In lieu of flowers, donation to the Upper Skeena Hospice, c/o Wrinch Memorial Hospital, Bag 100, Hazelton, B.C., V0J 1Y0, would be appreciated.
A funeral mass was celebrated on Saturday, May 24, 2008, in St. Mary’s Church with Fr. Rectorino Togentino officiating and Orlando Wiebe was the organist. Cremation followed.
Oh Mother, though you have gone away
You walk beside me every day.
No longer in my life to share
But in my heart you’re always there.
All arrangements were entrusted to the R.A. Schrader Funeral Home, Smithers, B.C. 1-250-847-2441
“Service with Dignity”