Sandra Paterson (nee Vezina), passed suddenly and very unexpectedly in hospital Sunday, March 28. Loving and much loved wife of the late David Paterson; cherished mother of Alyssa and Duncan; and, most PROUD and much beloved Nana to Noa and Stella. Following the swift loss of her “Babes” (August 2019) after more than 46 years of incredible marriage, Sandy did her very best to find the joys of life on her own, but with only intermittent success… Her passing marks her first true moment of relief since David’s passing; they are together again now.
Predeceased by mother Linda Vezina, Sandy also leaves behind devoted siblings Bernadette Lambros (Frank) and Robert Vezina (Joan).
Also left to mourn, an INCREDIBLE collection of friends; friends who became more precious still in the wake of David’s passing. Though Sandy made friends easily and absolutely everywhere she went, her closest network spans friends dating back to school days; dear friendships made during many wonderful years spent in Winnipeg, as strong today as they ever were; Faraday/neighbourhood friends who grew into, and remain, family to this day; and, many many friendships born of the move to the condo and became a lifeline of support during the more challenging times since David’s passing --- just to name a few! In addition to friends left behind, Sandy’s passing reunites her with some of her longest standing and most precious friends predeceasing her.
Sandy has gone to be with David; finding her first moments of peace since his passing 19 months ago to the DAY (28th) and MINUTE (11:02am) exactly. She has no doubt busied herself already keeping a watchful eye on us from above; loving and caring for us as she always has.
Adjusting to a world without Nana/Mom/Momsy/Tutts/Sandy will be a long and arduous journey. We convey our great thanks to all those who have supported and loved Sandy so sincerely through the good and the more difficult times of late. A private celebration of life will be held at a later date. In place of flowers, donations in Sandy’s honour can be made to The Canadian Cancer Society or The Royal Foundation (mental health care and research).
Though predeceased by her Babes, David, by 19 months to the day and the very moment in time, Sandy’s passing reunites the couple so in love still after 46 years, one month and one week of marriage . They had a love admired by many, which called them back together much sooner than those of us left behind were prepared for. Remaining as great comfort: 73 years of stories and memories left behind by Sandy’s very full life and unshakable spirit.
In her early career, Sandy spent time in Montreal, then Winnipeg; the latter a source of many of her dearest memories and friendships --- many which live on to this very day. In the early 70s, a highly regarded Sandy toppled barriers and surpassed expectations pioneering as the first woman to hold the position of manager of an investment department at (then known as) Royal Trust; an accomplishment widely celebrated and recognized including via publication in the newspaper. Though Sandy later left her career upon moving from Winnipeg to Ottawa to focus on starting and cultivating a family, this was an achievement she remained very proud of (though without boast).
Once the Alyssa and Duncan were in school full days, Sandy divided her time between volunteering/participating in all kinds of school activities and what she called “joblets” giving her an added social outlet as the; her favorite The Preschool Store once located in Westboro where she was well-known and loved.
Though the move to Ottawa in the late 1970s left behind a very active social life of dinner parties and gatherings with friends, as well as many of her dearest friendships that live on to this very day, the life Sandy and David built in Ottawa was equally blessed with wonderful lifelong friends and opportunity. Sandy played bridge regularly and volleyball Monday evenings for many years at Elmdale. When the kids were young, Sandy could often be seen pulling a wagon full of picnic food and pool supplies to Hampton Park or Westboro beach. When they were old enough, she learned to skate to enjoy the canal. She baked after-school cookies and put on epic sleepovers with soda floats and movies until late. She served chicken soup to comfort sick kids, learned to decorate cakes to throw the most amazing themed birthday parties year-over-year and somehow found time to sew clothing not only for special occasions, but for everyday as well – for both she and the kids! A fashion plate known for “loud” outfits and BIG jewelry, Sandy never left the house without perfume and lipstick.
An eternally devoted friend, Sandy was known to be everything to everyone. Always the first to bring a casserole after a death, a gift welcoming a new baby, and to send a card with whatever message the recipient needed most, Sandy’s love and her spirit will be dearly missed by many. Often teased admiringly as the “hostess with the moistest”, Sandy held multi-course dinner parties regularly, Christmas parties to go down in history and a Faraday street party before they were trendy just to name a few.
When faced with cancer, Sandy fought heroically ultimately conquering a cancer not expected to be survivable; that only one instance of her often unhuman-like strength of mind, body and spirit. She had not only a love, but a special intuition for the teeniest babies and kids melted into her hugs – a joy that kept she and David on Faraday long after their own children were grown. Their move to the condo though an adjustment at first was met with a whole new group of friends, bi-weekly bridge, dinner club, monthly drinks and appetizers, water aerobics and pool time with the grandbabies whenever possible. Through all stages in life, Sandy loved to get gussied up for dinner/movie dates with David and in retirement they took great pleasure in transforming regular everyday happenings such as a trip to the grocery store or a quick breakfast out into a “romantic encounter”. They held hands, kissed as often as teenagers and kept a sparkle in their eye for each other their whole lives.
In later years, her greatest pride, joy and focus was her granddaughters Noa (13) and Stella (8). Outfits sewn with a miniature matching set for their baby doll, outings to the theatre, swim dates and sleepovers, chats by phone and always finding a way to shower the girls in her adoration. So blessed and better for the great deal of time spent with their Nana, the girls will carry her love and their memories of her close their whole lives.
In August 2019, David’s passing stole from Sandy not only her cruising partner, but her partner in everyday life. Nineteen months later - to the DAY and MINUTE - Sandy’s passing gives them back to each other; a comfort to all of us left behind to mourn her.