With sadness, we announce the passing of Deidre on September 26, 2019 at the age of 68. Loving wife for 38 years to her husband Wayne and cherished mother of Jordan, David and John and stepmother to Michelle. Proud grandmother of 6, she will be remembered fondly by her sister Vivian and her nieces. Friends and relatives are welcomed to the Bernardo Funeral Home (2960 Dufferin St., south of Lawrence Ave. W.) on Thursday and Friday evenings from 6-9 p.m. A funeral service will be held in the funeral home on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Private cremation to follow. If desired, donations can be made to the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation.
Eulogy that were read out during Deidre's Service
From her husband:
Good Morning and thank you for coming. You know I've often heard it said that you don't really know a person until after you marry them and I can say that is true. Deidre really didn't know what she was in for when she married me. I was not a very quick forgiving person, and after arguing over something I would often give her the cold shoulder for days. Eventually she would break down and cry and I would too, and we would make up. Also I was not the best communicator about feelings as well as other things. And I'm sure that my first wife would probably agree with that. She is here today and I honour her and thank her for coming.
Dee taught me a lot about loving and forgiveness over the years. I know I am now a better person because of her. We also had a third person in our marriage, our loving heavenly father. We did have our issues but there was nothing that was so big it would interfere with our love for one another. Along with Dee came my step son Jordan. I believe God used the ending of Dee's first marriage to draw her to Himself. She would tell me how her brother David told her about Jesus one evening when she was very depressed. He told her the prayer she could say to invite Jesus into her heart. She asked the Lord "If you are there, forgive my sins and come into my heart". God honoured her prayer inspite of her doubts. He came into her heart and the bible came alive for her.
Deidre grew up in a middle class home. She lived within walking distance of Northern Secondary School, on Mount Pleasant Rd. Her father was an art teacher at Northern, and he also built their family home on Fairfield Rd. Her mother was a homemaker, she enjoyed baking and reading bed time stories to her children.
After obtaining her degree Dee became a primary school teacher. She started attending church and went to a couple of different churches before ending up at A Christian Church on a Hill.
A Christian Church on a Hill was a wonderful church. The pastor, Jim McAllister, presented God as a loving father, who still loves us even when we fail him miserably. We felt so surrounded by God's love and acceptance that it was a joy to go to church. It was a very creative congregation. Most of the songs we sang were written by people there. We did people dances, they were like Israeli folk dances. The church was always filled with singing and dancing. Dee loved to dance. Dee was often picked by the church dancers to participate. Dee also loved the times when we sent out missionairies, singing and dancing at the airport as the congregation sent them on their way. We did many outreaches in the downtown core and also many other places.
This is the place we met in the fall of 1978. With both of us being single parents, me part-time, we began taking my daughter, Michelle, Dee's son Jordan and my two nieces Rishca and Teddi on many fun outings. Eventually we married. I don't really remember the the official proposal date. The way I remember it, it went like this: Dee must have been feeling down and and she said "nobody would ever marry me" and I piped up "I would". And I believe that was the proposal. A short time later we started to prepare for our wedding. We weren't much on formality or materialism. We went and bought our rings at a pawn shop downtown.
We had a wonderful wedding on March 21, 1981. The service was at Manor Road United Church, her childhood church, and the reception was at the Holiday Inn. Dee who was always was the family trip planner found a nice honeymoon spot. It was called the Birchwoods, in the Pocono Mountains. Lots of things to do, we had a wonderful time. It was here that we became good friends with David and Sarah Sherwood. They took us back to their home in New York and showed us the Statue of Liberty and a many other sites. This was the beginning of many adventurous travels we did together over the years.
For many years Dee worked as a substitute teacher. With Dee's parents help, we were able to buy our house near Dufferin and St. Clair. Dee's Dad was very generous to us, he told us he enjoyed the wedding so much he gave us back the money we had paid for it.
Dee stopped working when our son David was born in 1982 and went back well after the birth of our son John in 1985. She first worked at Regal Road in a pre-school program. After leaving that job she began volunteering at a soup kitchen on St. Clair Ave. which later turned into a 3 day a week job. On her days off she was very involved in family prayer groups. Later she joined Women Aglo and also began prison ministry work.
Dee had told me that after she became a Christian, God had given her a burden for Native people. This happened after an encounter with a native woman in a doughnut shop. She was in distress and Dee could feel her pain. This lead Dee to begin a ministry to the First Nations Peoples.
A few years later Dee went with Women Aglo to Kashechewan in Northern Ontario. She went back by herself a number of times to show her love for the community. This minstry has remained over the years, forming many meaningful relationships.This past summer I was fortunate enough to travel with Dee to Kashechewan. We had a wonderful time meeting with her friends and staying with a native family.
Dee had a great sense of humour. When she turned 65, she made the announcement to me that she was retiring from cooking. She had done all the cooking up until that point and now it was my turn. It was a turning point in my life. I now had to pull my weight.
After retiring Dee slowed down because she was not feeling that well. She thought she had arthritis in her neck and shoulders. She was taking a lot of Tylenol for pain.
On Sunday morning September 1 she told me she was not well enough to go to Church. In the middle of that night I woke up to find her unresponsive. I called an ambulance and they took us to Toronto Western Hospital. After many days of tests it was concluded by the doctors that meningitis had caused permanent brain damage. They could do no more and advised that we let her go.
The love of my life, my best friend has now gone to be with her Lord.
We will forever miss you Dee.
Just a few personal remarks.
Yes, I know the KISS principle. Keep it simple stupid.
I've been retired for about a year now. Dee and I were so close we could finish each others sentences, and we often would know what the other was thinking. We had 38 plus wonderful years together, of which I'm truly thankful. Yes, we still had our fights, usually it was about how many cats I would allow her to rescue from the neighbourhood. To me life is a road, sometimes you get to plan and choose the path , sometimes not. Today is not the road I would have chosen, I thought we had many more wonderful years left. I believe death is a road we all must travel. Please use your Bible to make plans to go to the place of love. I'm almost finished. I thank God for Canada. The medical bills for Dee's care I never gave a second thought to. In some countries they're devistating. Also I want to thank the Bernardo family and staff for all there help and care, they have been wonderful!
~ Wayne Boutilier
From her sister:
Hello and Welcome. For those who dont know me my name is Vivian, Deidre's yonger and only sister.
Today, I say goodbye to my big sister Deidre.
First some background information. As a family we were so blessed to be able to spend many magical summers at our cottage in Haliburton.
It was during those times that I got to know so much about Dee.
My sister was many things to me:
I was so fortunate. I grew up with a scientist: I was sure she knew everything.
Dee knew the names of every insect, bird and animal that we encountered everywhere.
Dee was also my teacher: instructing me on how to make Lily pad soup, mud pies and how to properly blow Milkweed fluff and seeds into the wind to guarantee my wish came true.
The family's Veterinarian: That's Dee
I can't really remember any family outing when my sister didn't return with a bird or animal in distress. It would be a bird who flew ino our cottage window, or puppies who had been discarded at the county dump. Her patience and persistence in nursing them back to health was just part of her natural caring ability.
My second Mother: of course, Dee took on this role.
From my earliest memories and photos, my sister always had her hands around my neck. I found it a bit odd. I was never quite sure if that was because our parents had told her to always support the baby's head, or if she had some ulterior motive.
Well today, with great sadness; I say goodbye to the kindest person I know.
I believe the legacy my sister leaves would be at the very least three things:
To reach out to the lonely and disenfranchised.
Spread god's love.
And Be Kind to everyone.
Thank you, Vivian