Reta H Andrews

August 8, 1942 - May 28, 2021

                                                                                                                         RETA HELEN ANDREWS

     On Friday, May 28th Reta passed away at the St Boniface Hospital at age 78, after a sudden illness.

     Left to mourn her are her daughters Lisa and Treasure Waddell; family Jennifer, Jason, Philip, Marvin; cousins Roy and Brian, Michael and Pettitt family; Andrews family; Waddell family through her previous marriage and many friends.

     Reta was predeceased by her beloved parents William and Helen Andrews and sister Betty Munro-Smith, Uncle Harry and Aunt Vera Pettitt, cousins Sandra Schultz and Jack Pettitt and Aunt Norma and Uncle Art Horton.

     Reta grew up in Russell, Manitoba.  Following her nursing training at St. Boniface Hospital she settled in Winnipeg where her daughters were born.  Reta worked at Grace Hospital, Deer Lodge Hospital and for MB Correctional Service, retiring from the Portage Women’s Correctional facility.   Making life-long friends along the way.

     Reta was a staunch supporter of nurses and was grateful for the care and compassion she received from the nurses and doctors at Grace Hospital and Concordia Hospital.  Thank you to the nurses and doctors at St. Boniface Hospital who cared for Reta during her last week.

     Reta expressed her creativity and love by sewing, canning preserves, baking, gardening, crocheting, quilting, and cooking. She was generous and enjoyed making things for others, infusing her gifts with love.  Gifting meals, baking or marmalade, beets and other preserves to friends and family, homemade nurses’ caps and masks to Grace Hospital and Birchwood Animal Hospital, homemade bibs and quilts to friends and family, cat beds to Winnipeg Humane Society. Holidays were always marked by thoughtful gifts from Reta.

     Reta loved to read and would keep an ongoing list of books she’d read.  Each year trying to beat her previous record of number of books read. An avid sports fan, Reta was a season ticket holder to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Winnipeg Goldeyes.  She also loved figure skating, curling and Olympic sports.  A sporting highlight for Reta was her pilgrimage to Yankee stadium.

  Reta loved spending time in nature and travelling both near and far.  She loved Manitoba’s Prairie landscape and enjoyed numerous road trips exploring our province.  Family history and the rural history of Manitoba was always of great interest to her.  She recently implemented ‘Throwback Thursdays’ to her online posting to share old photos of family and friends.  Reta’s online social media ramblings allowed her to remain in contact with friends and family far and wide, especially during recent times.

     Reta was a swimmer, and she was looking forward to getting back to the pool soon.  Aquacise followed by coffee with the ‘mermaids’ was a highlight of her week.  She volunteered many years at Prairie Theatre Exchange and was a dedicated supporter of dance, theatre, music, and the arts in Winnipeg. It was following one of her PTE Volunteer shifts in 2018 that she rescued a street cat, Prairie.  Prairie turned out to be pregnant and it was Reta’s great joy to foster and find homes for all 8 kittens.  Keeping Prairie and kitten Blaze as her own to join Digby and BooBoo, her other adopted cats. Reta adored her cats and proudly posted weekly ‘Furry Friday’ pictures online.  She loved all animals and enjoyed feeding her blue jays, squirrels, and growing rabbit warren in the backyard.

     Reta welcomed everyone with open arms, a sense of humor, a tender heart and picked up many more ‘children’ along her way.  Anyone in need of a mom found that in Reta.  We have not mentioned all of you by name but know that she loved and cherished her family and friends and was fiercely proud of all of you.  Her strength, kindness and generosity were and always will be an inspiration.

     A celebration of Reta’s life will be held at a time when we are able to gather. Should anyone wish to make a donation in Reta’s memory please make to the Winnipeg Humane Society.

“And when great souls die,

after a period, peace blooms,

slowly and always

irregularly. Spaces fill

with a kind of

soothing electric vibration.

Our senses, restored, never

to be the same, whisper to us.

They existed. They existed.

We can be. Be and be

better. For they existed.”

– Maya Angelou