Kathy Ireland

KathyIrelandKathy passed away on 3rd November 2005 at the age of 55.

Kathy, the second of five children of Muriel and Bill Ireland, grew up near Ottawa where fall, with all its colours, was her favourite season. She was a wonderful person in all her roles – mother to Ali, sister, friend, printer and team-mate. Kathy’s wake was attended by mothers with whom she had been friends since their children were born; by friends who she met at their daughters’ volleyball games; by printers she trained under and even one she taught; there were neighbours, members of her mandolin group, dragon boat team-mates, and so many more who will miss her deeply.

Kathy was a special and determined person who took her membership in AIAB seriously –
learning to steer when there was a desperate shortage of steers people, helping Kathy Jervis with the Boat to Nowhere, working out weekly at Douglas Park with some of the women on her crew and, for the last two years, training at the False Creek Community Centre with Sally, Susan and Jo-ann; the post-workout suppers and glasses of wine turned into a most enjoyable tradition! One of Kathy’s great gifts was being a wonderful non-judgmental listener who was able to add very appropriate comments or new information to a discussion. The workout group, which now includes Kathy’s good friend Maria, feels her free spirit with us whenever we meet.

At Thanksgiving, a month and three days before she died, Midge Oke (who taught her to steer) accompanied Kathy to Ottawa so she could be with her sisters, brother and parents at a cottage in the hills and see the brilliant fall colours one last time. The following year, in our memorial garden, her parents arranged to have a Japanese cutleaf maple planted so that we too can see the red fall foliage and think of Kathy.

Maria Hindmarch, Sally Haugen, Jo-ann Hilton, Susan Doyle