Sheila Sutherland

Sheila Catherine Sutherland (Drury)

Saturday, December 3rd, 1927 - Wednesday, November 18th, 2020
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Sheila Catherine Sutherland (nee Drury) December 2nd and 3rd 1927 - November 18 2020
Born in Montreal in 1927, passed away peacefully at the Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre on November 18, 2020 in her 93rd year. She was predeceased by her loving husband Ronald, and her siblings Bob and John Drury, Audrey Pare and Peggy Lafave. Beloved mother to and will be greatly missed by Peter Sutherland (Pauline), Ken Sutherland (Maribeth), Ann Sutherland (Tom Little) and Michael Sutherland (Emanuela). She will be missed by her grandchildren Jennifer, Jessica, Joey, Hannah, Darby, Dawson, Samantha and Sarah, and great grandchild Ben.

As a child, Sheila’s fondest memory was going to the Wizard of Oz at the movie theatre in Montreal. She was so amazed by the story, the colours, the music that she stayed in the theatre and watched the next one and the next one and the next one and the next one. Granny Drury did not know where Sheila was and so the police were dispatched to find her. Later on, Sheila wandered home only to her find her mother very angry with her and the police relieved. She was still keenly satisfied about her chance to have seen that marvelous movie to her contentment.

And so began Sheila’s journey on her Yellow Brick Road. Her Munchkin land was her wonderful family. Her father was James Drury, the famous owner of Drury’s Restaurant, where the well-heeled dined across from the Windsor Station. And her mother Eileen was a lovely fun lady who was a wiz at poker. Sheila had 2 sisters Peggy Lafave and Audrey Pare and 2 brothers, Bob and John Drury. The sisters enjoyed dancing at the Ritz or the Chateau Laurier to the Benny Goodman Band many times; all dressed up in gorgeous gowns, they knew how to have a good time! Sheila was schooled by nuns but still pooled funds for cigarettes with her classmates…and lost a few smokes to Granny who found them and said nothing. The siblings remained very close well into their senior years, with family reunions, travel to Europe and time spent together in Florida. Two weeks shy of her 93rd birthday, Sheila has outlived all of her siblings.

Sheila met her husband Ron while they were in their mid 20s. Ron graduated from Loyola College and was the quarterback of its football team. In preparation for their wedding, Sheila discovered on her birth certificate that her birthday was not Dec 2nd as she had always thought but rather December 3rd. From then on, she would celebrate both days, mostly because she couldn’t remember which one was her real birthday or at least that is what she told us. Sheila and Ron had 4 children: Peter, Ken, Ann and Michael.

Then true munchkins started to pop up everywhere starting with Jennifer (Peter and Linda’s), Jessica, Joey and Hannah (Ken and Maribeth’s), Darby and Dawson (Ann and Tom’s), Samantha and Sarah (Michael and Manny’s). Recent weddings in the clan include Peter and Pauline, and Jessica and Phil. The latter gave birth this year to Sheila’s first Lollipop Kid, Ben! Sheila loved every single minute with her grandkids and the grandkids loved her and her brownies! She would tell them the story of the Wizard of Oz on long car rides, and have the kids mesmerized.

Sunday night dinners were always so delicious. You could smell them as you walked in the door and Sheila would always say that the aroma was the first course. Gin and tonic was at 5pm sharp and we were always taught to say “would you like a drink” not “would you like another”. She whistled all day long a happy tune of no particular origin, but distinctly hers. She declared that she could “not sew a button” and so would not attempt to. She once tried to knit a sweater for Peter and finished it for Ann, 9 years later.

Sheila’s Emerald City was filled with golf at the Hylands and thousands of bridge games with many, many wonderful lifelong friends (Betty, Liz, Silvia and many more!). And still reunited with her high school friends too. She was a dedicated volunteer with the Maycourt in Ottawa and wore her pink smock with pride.

Sheila was an adventurous traveler, having lived in Quebec for a year, England for a total of 7 years with a young family (where she met the Queen), and Brussels for 4 years in the twilight years of Ron’s career. Imagine leaving the quiet streets of Ottawa to take on the congested roads and aggressive drivers of Europe at the age of 65. That was no issue for Sheila and we should pity the drivers who challenged her for those rare parking spaces.

During their time in Europe, Ron and Sheila became antique aficionados and returned with skills to parley this into an antique business upon their return. They both would enjoy finding valuables at flea markets to flip into the open market…. if they could bear to let anything go!

Having lost her leg to an infection a few years ago and living with Alzheimer’s, Sheila still had a good sense of humour and a twinkle in her eye. At the Perley Rideau residence, she would win the Halloween costume contest dressed as Dorothy (of course), with wigs and a checkered blue dress, Toto in a basket and one ruby slipper.

On the evening that she passed, Ken looked up at the song playing on the TV and said it was “Benny Goodman, playing in Brussels and the song is called Goodbye” …and that is when she took her last breath.

There is no place like home and Sheila made ours full of love. We will miss her dearly. But she is now with Ron and her departed friends…. somewhere over the rainbow.

A memorial mass will be celebrated at Resurrection of our Lord Parish, 1940 Saunderson Drive on Thursday, November 26th at 11am. Covid protocols will be observed, please visit (bottom of the obituary page) to RSVP and confirm your attendance. Those wishing may livestream the service by clicking the following link

The family wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated caregivers she had the pleasure to know through the years and to the Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre staff for their unwavering dedication to her care and to others during these unprecedented times. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre or the Alzheimer Society is welcomed.

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Service Details

  • Funeral Mass

    November 26, 2020 | 11:00am
    November 26, 2020 11:00am
    Resurrection of Our Lord Roman Catholic Church
    1940 Saunderson Drive
    OTTAWA, ON K1G 2C9
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence

Jane Richards

Posted at 12:11pm
A lovely farewell service for Sheila. Thank you for sharing the Mass. I must say, Ann, I got all dressed up for Sheila with Audrey's pearls and red lipstick in Sheila and Audrey's honour. Sheila was such a joy to be with and we were all lucky to have known her. Was with you in spirit and sending all of you virtual hugs! Janie Pare' Richards

Mary Muir

Posted at 05:57pm
Dear annie, I hope this tree sees many rainbows. I am thinking of you and your family and sending my warmest hug to everyone.
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