Diana Whaley

Memorial Reception

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Erb & Good Family Funeral Home Fireside Rception Room
171 King Street South
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Obituary of Diana Sunley Whaley

A Legacy of Love Diana passed away Sunday, February 9, 2020 at the Grand River Hospital, Kitchener following emergency surgery at age 86. Devoted wife of Dr. William John Whaley, loving mother to Jim (Diana), Rob (Michelle), Pete and Margaret (Mark) and adoring grandmother and great-grandmother to Jill, Sadie, Kieryn, Cole, Sam, Annabelle and Oliver. Also lovingly remembered by her sister Sunley Russell and brother Geoff Smith and wife Carole. Mom (Grammè) will always be remembered for her boundless love and generosity of spirit. Her smile brightened people’s lives, even those she didn’t know. As Dad likes to say, “Her smile could light up a room”. Mom began life as a ‘preemie’ on April 11, 1933 to parents Norman and Helen ‘Babe’ Smith. This challenging start to life was a major contributor to her wonderful feistiness throughout her life. She liked to reminisce about growing up in Montreal on Grosvenor Avenue with childhood friends, Ann, Daphne, Lesley and Dorraine. She spent summers at her other family home in River John, Nova Scotia, with lots of stories about her cousins Marion, Murray, Janice, Jim and Andrew and the family matriarch, Mama Murray. She also fondly remembered her other grandmother, Grammie Smith from England, who stayed with the family during WW2. Mom trained as a nurse at the Catherine Booth School of Nursing in Montreal specializing in maternity care. During her training, she met her future husband, John Whaley, who was then interning at the Montreal General Hospital and doing his first maternity rotation at the Catherine Booth. Mom always liked to say how she was pleased to be able to further young Dr. Whaley’s medical education by showing him how to deliver babies! Motherhood was Mom’s true calling and her love and support of her four children was both tender and powerful. There are countless family memories with Mom from the early days on Glasgow Street in Kitchener, the ski chalet at Devil’s Glen and the Valhalla summer cottage on Lake Muskoka. She was active in the community including delivering Meals on Wheels for many years with her best friend, Sally White. She was famous for her gift-giving prowess among her wide network of friends and family. We will all treasure her many cards and letters received over the years. We also have fond memories of Mom and Dad’s long time participation and support of the K-W Symphony and the Stratford Festival. We will hold dear the memory of Mom and Dad’s 60th wedding anniversary; a picnic in the park alongside the Avon River in Stratford. More recently, Mom found solace through her regular walks in Victoria Park with Dad at her side. Mom persevered many health challenges in her later years but to no one’s surprise, her heart was strong to the very end. The family would like to thank the following organizations who supported Mom during her dementia journey: Kelly Sproule and the staff of the Sunnyside Community Alzheimer Program, Mary-Kay Chomitz and the staff of the Trinity Village Adult Day Program, the Minds in Motion program provided by the Waterloo Wellington Alzheimer Society and all the staff at Chartwell Terrace on the Square. A special thank-you to Dr. Natalie Needham-Nethercott and the entire ICU team at Grand River Hospital for their compassionate care of Mom during her final days. Cremation has taken place. There will be a reception at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King Street South, Waterloo on Sunday, February 16, 2020 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. A Celebration of Life is also being planned for the spring. Online condolences can be provided at https://erbgood.com/ Mom and Dad were lifetime patrons of the arts and, so in lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to the Stratford Festival. Memorial donations may be made to The Stratford Festival by email: Cathy Kemp ckemp@stratfordfestival.ca, or by phone: 519.271.0055 x 5617. We’ll give the final word to Mom’s father who was fond of saying: “Your kindness is only exceeded by your beauty which nature has so lavishly bestowed upon you”.
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