Wannetta Marguerite Wilkins
Service Date July 5, 2019
September 30, 1959 – June 11, 2019
Suddenly, at St. Boniface Hospital, with her team leader Kim at her side, our dear Wannetta peacefully passed away. Left to mourn Wannetta’s unexpected passing are her parents, Fred and Rita Wilkins, sisters Roxane Anderson and Kathy Kalushka, brother-in-law Tim Kalushka, niece Melanie Kalushka, nephew Justin Kalushka, uncle Barrie Haigh (Myrt), and aunt Vi MacKay (Al). Greatly mourning her loss is her support team: Kimberley, Melanie, Shaylene, Kayla and Susan. Also missing Wannetta is Lynda Anderson-Simko, who was like a sister, numerous friends, former caregivers, and her advocates at Innovative LIFE Options.
Wannetta was predeceased by her uncles, Frank Wilkins and Robert Haigh, and more recently by her brother-in-law John Anderson. Also, her beloved calico cat companion of 18 years, Lizzie.
Wannetta was born in Winnipeg and attended Kinsman School and later Kirkfield Park School for Exceptional Children in St. James. In 1970, the family moved to Camp Shilo, then moved again the following year to St. Andrews, north of Selkirk. Wannetta attended Old Happy Thought School in East Selkirk and Daerwood School in Selkirk. Following school, she went to work for ARC Industries until she chose to go into early retirement. During her retirement years she dedicated many hours to volunteering for organizations such as Oak Hammock Marsh and Betel Home.
Since October 1997, Wannetta enjoyed living independently in self-managed care through the support of Innovative LIFE Options. Throughout the years, with Wannetta in the lead, her support network, team leader, support workers and extended family all worked together to ensure this independence. In May 2017, she happily moved into a 55+ suite overlooking the Red River, where her accessibility needs were met.
Wannetta was a gifted communicator. She often understood other people better than they understood her! She could read peoples’ moods from the expression on their faces. When someone was feeling angry, unhappy or sad, she helped them through it with a compassionate look, soothing words and heartful hugs. She truly cared for others’ well-being and remembered them in her prayers. When people around her became sick or felt down, she made cards to brighten their day. Wannetta understood pain and could empathize with others. She also liked to tease and enjoyed returned teasing antics from her team and family. Wannetta’s sense of humour, smiles and laughs were infectious.
Wannetta always had a home office and was a master at building Lego. She also worked at jigsaw puzzles, colouring and artwork. She enjoyed boat rides and fishing. Purple was her favorite colour. She was looking forward to another summer on her balcony watching her tomato plants and flower garden grow and listening to the songbirds. She admired butterflies and the deer that grazed on the ground below.
She had a great interest in space and robots, especially the Star Wars movies and characters. Her favorite TV channel was TLC. Wannetta enjoyed airplane travel and experienced several vacations across Canada including Edmonton, Toronto, Niagara Falls and Kamloops. She loved dolphins and whales. She was an avid bowler and enjoyed walking on paths. She could take a joke and make a joke and especially enjoyed all the humorous things that life threw at her. For those who were close to Wannetta, they will never forget her special way of hugging herself and how she often instructed others to “calm down”.
Wannetta was a beacon of light to all who met her. Right up to the very moment when her huge heart, that forever brimmed with love, gave out. She was an exemplary example to anyone looking to live the good life. She was a loving daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and just the very best boss. She enriched all of our lives. The family thanks Wannetta’s team who provided exceptional support. Special thanks to Innovative LIFE Options for their advocacy work and professional advice. Special thanks also to Wannetta’s compassionate doctor, Dr. Marilyn Singer, at Rivergrove Medical Clinic, to the health care aides and nurses who cared for her during her short stay in the Selkirk Regional Health Centre, and to the cardiac surgical team at St. Boniface Hospital.
Cremation has taken place. Private interment in the Wilkins’ Family Plot in Manson, Manitoba.
Service to be held Friday, July 5, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., Gilbart Funeral Chapel, with Rev. Anthon Bouw, Knox Presbyterian Church, officiating.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to Pawed Pals or Innovative LIFE Options in Wannetta’s memory is encouraged.
To our dear Netta, may you be free to swim with the dolphins, till we meet again.
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