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With grief and love, we announce the passing of Norma Rudy (nee Erb) on May 25, 2022 at Sunnyside Home, at the age of 92.
Norma was the wife of David Rudy for 65 years, father of Duane Rudy, Lynne Martin, and Gayle (Andrew) Lounsbury; grandmother of Jessica Lounsbury, Laura (Jake) MacTavish, Erin (Tyler) Babury, Ryan Martin, Sarah Martin, Amelia Leon-Rudy, Nathaniel Leon-Rudy; and sister-in-law to Dorothy Erb and Gwen Rudy.
Norma was predeceased by her loving husband, her parents Daniel and Nancy (Albrecht) Erb, her brother Delmar Erb, her in-laws Bob Rudy and Joan (Clare) Scheerer.
Norma was born September 8, 1929, on the family farm in Millbank, Ontario. She was an enthusiastic student at her one-room schoolhouse, winning first prize for artwork and public speaking at the local fair. She loved working in her family’s sugar bush and accompanied her parents to sell goods at the Kitchener Market.
In 1949, Norma attended youth camp at Chesley Lake, where she met David Rudy. He stayed part of her world through her time at Rockway Mennonite School and Teacher’s College in Stratford. She then worked as a teacher at King George School in Brantford and received her BA from the University of Western (in 1983).
After teacher’s college, Norma married David and accepted a job at Westmount school in Kitchener. She resigned after 3 years per the rule for married teachers, and in 1960 joined David working at Fairview Mennonite Home. She delivered mail with baby Duane in tow, and from her visits with the residents got the idea to create programs to continue enriching their lives. From this idea grew arts and crafts programs, as well as the Fairview Newsletter, where she published interviews with the residents.
Subsequently she was asked to write and edit the Quarterly for the Ontario Association of Homes for the Aged, which she did for 13 years. This led to her receiving an award from the Association, as well as a citation from the ministry recognizing her contributions to human interest reporting. Additional writing projects included a History of Homes for the Aged in Ontario; a manual for providing support services to seniors; a memoir about Sister St. Michael; the History of Chesley Lake; many Christmas pageants; and a dramatic adaptation of “The Trail of the Conestoga”.
In 1961, David built a cottage at Chesley Lake Camp. It was situated on a wood lot with trees, ferns and wildflowers and became a beloved retreat for the family. Norma was heavily involved in the camp’s Bible School, and in revitalizing and maintaining a nature reserve on camp property.
Norma also enjoyed traveling, and took the family to both Canadian coasts, Venezuela, as well as an extended trip through the mid- and south-west United States, and many trips to Florida. These experiences were important shared experiences for the family. International travel with David included Japan, Hawaii, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Everywhere they went they struck up lasting friendships, and they loved sharing slideshows of their experiences.
It was important for her to make meaningful contributions to the lives of others. In her post-retirement years this included being very active in creating and maintaining the Stroke Recovery association. She never stopped advocating for stroke survivors and their families and creating a community to support them.
Her seriousness was leavened by her quirky sense of humour. Even at the end she would often surprise her PSWs with a wisecrack and laughter. She delighted in good food, the company of friends, and keeping up with her extended family. The depth of her care was evident in all she did. We’ll miss her greatly.
The family would like to thank the staff at Sunnyside Home and Parkwood Seniors Community for their caring support.
Visitation will be held at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King St. S., Waterloo on Monday, May 30 from 6 – 8 p.m. The service will be held in the chapel of the funeral home on Tuesday, May 31 at 11:00 a.m., with a reception to follow. Interment will take place at First Mennonite Church Cemetery, Kitchener. As per family’s request, masks are mandatory. The service will be livestreamed, and the link will be available on Norma’s tribute page on www.erbgood.com.
Condolences for the family and donations to Sunnyside Foundation or Cambridge Stroke Recovery Association may be arranged by contacting the funeral home at www.erbgood.com or 519-745-8445.