(Betty) June Webb
1921 - 2019
Sad notice of passage, June Webb in her 98th year. A true inspiration, June will be most sadly missed by her daughter Sue (Ted), son Norman (Clare), her 3 grandchildren, Taryn (Michael), Kevan, and Eric, her great grandchild Lily Rose and the many relatives, friends and acquaintances who have been touched by her gentle nature and moved by her artistic skill.
Friends will be received at the Ward Funeral Home 2035 Weston Road (north of Lawrence Ave) Weston, on Friday February 15th, 2019 from 2-4, 7-9 pm
A service will be held in the Ward Chapel on Saturday February 16th at 11:30 am,
Interment to follow at St. Philip Church Yard.
As an expression of sympathy, donations to West Park Long Term Care would be appreciated.
Eulogies and Tributes
(Betty) June Webb
We are here today to honour and celebrate the life of a truly remarkable and loving woman.
What is a mother? What is a Grandmother? Quite simply, a woman who loves her family unconditionally.
Herein lies the goodness, sweetness and steadfast love of my mother, June Webb. She was a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, loyal friend, and a superb artist.
She was an inspiration to many, certainly to her family but also to her many friends, including the tight circle of friends and colleagues with which she shared her passion for painting during her 30 years post retirement. That passion re-emerged with a gusto only following the child rearing days when due to the untimely passing of her loving husband Jim, she became a single mother, solely devoting every moment to motherhood. The Mom who could be counted upon at any moment, willingly giving of her time and love. She will also be greatly missed by her Franklin Carmichael family. She enjoyed many years painting with her Brush and Pallet Group and let us not forget the great honour of her crowning achievement to have been welcomed in to the Toronto Watercolour Society.
She was the Grandmother who was a second mother to my children, for years driving her little white Hyundai during the week to babysit and finally coming to live with us in our new home, benefiting from that synergy that occurs when extended family live together under one roof.
She was the grandmother who in her 80’s was still going on family outings with us, traversing the open spiral staircase at Casa Loma, hitting baseballs at home plate while her grandsons ran the bases for her, annual trips to the hockey hall of fame which she eagerly embraced being a huge Toronto Maple Leaf fan. Nothing was too daunting to take on for this Grandmother.
She drove a car in Toronto from the age of 16 right through to 94 years of age, a driving career spanning 78 years, that in itself remarkable. She drove a car right up to the day 3 years ago, when she had a devastating fall which changed the path of her long and for the most part healthy life. She entered in to the world of what I call her “confusion”, a diagnosis of dementia.
To demonstrate her tenacity and strong will to live fully we’d like to share that moment in her life when the doctor had to report her to the Ministry and her license was taken away. She had been given one more opportunity by the doctor of taking a rather expensive and extensive driving test set by the ministry with a cognitive piece and an actual test where she went out in a car equipped with two steering wheels, one for her and one for the evaluator. After no more than 10 minutes she returned from the driving portion and I asked, “How did that go then Mom?” to which she replied: “Oh I think it went pretty well dear”. Her license was immediately lifted that day. Undaunted a few days later as I was helping her pack a bag to go to Mount Forest for a visit with her good friend Ev, I found the Drivers manual in her bag. “Why are you taking this Mom”? I asked. With that stubborn set of chin she replied “I’m going to take the test again in Mount Forest, they can’t just take my license away”.
For the past decade, while when out of love and necessity I had been looking after Mom, and right through to her subsequent time of “confusion”, I had been struck by how she always retained her sweet and kind character, her dignity and that she never lost her sense of humour.
Lying in her hospital bed the very week before she passed, she kept asking over and over “Where am I? Why am I here again”? to which I patiently told her again and again, “You’re in hospital and we are waiting for the doctor to help us”. Finally I was a bit worn down by the waiting and waiting, our third trip to hospital in 3 weeks and so when next asked, this time I replied, “We are waiting for the doctor and quite frankly Mom I’m a bit confused myself”. She turned to me and said ever so lucidly “Oh Great”, (and anyone who knew my Mom, knew that tone) as if to say if I was confused too, then we were really in trouble. Always that underlying sense of humour.
So Mom…Gram… no more worries, no more confusion, no more suffering, just be surrounded by all our love. Be at peace Gram and please, now is the time to let go and rest with the angels and Grampa Jim. This is your reward for a long and much cherished life. Nighty night Gram. Nighty night Mom.
One of the most important takeaways you can get from this miracle of life is the concept of love. It’s something that we can blow out of proportion, or be completely absent of it; one that can fortify bonds but also can wrench our hearts into disfiguration. But if there’s one thing I know for certain, love was present and abundant in every waking moment I remembered in my grandmother, and I know without a doubt whether she was your friend, co-worker, your painting pal, your in-law, your mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, or cousin, you’d come to the exact same conclusion.
You could see the sights she loves in her artwork portfolio throughout the years, the photographs she took, that beaming smile that literally never went away (and I’m sure somewhere it’s still on that sweet little face). It resembled her love for life every waking moment, even when times were rocky. I’m a firm believer that actions speak far louder than words. Though there’s no doubt her words resembled her actions, I can’t help but get out of my mind those times she’d be at the bottom of her stairs “You need a ride?” “Are you sure dear?” “I really don’t mind, you know.” It was an inside joke among our family at the time we exclaimed “I’M FINE GRAM!” Realistically when I looked back on it, it showed her persistence in caring to get us to our destination more seamlessly, and to take burden out of our lives, even if it adds something on her shoulders. The sacrifices she made for her children, even not having her supportive husband beside her for over the last 50+ years of her life (R.I.P Grandpa) shows such strong courage and strength in her love for her children. She was even beaten down for approximately a whole year, but she got back up on her feet and her terminology, she “motored on”. That never changed as she essentially survived 3 strokes, pneumonia, a stopping heart this infamous plague of GOUT (did I mention this all happened with a few weeks span?). If that doesn’t resemble love for life, then I’m baffled at what does.
One of my co-workers in the midst of my grieving had a very powerful quote that resonated strongly within me because this screamed my grandmother. “Take the love you have for her and spread it around you”. In the midst of my grandpa Jim’s tragic death, and the grieving period that followed, this subliminally resonated with her and that’s why she powered forward (when she was essentially helpless at that time) and raised two kids under her wing. She spread her love to her kids, to her neighbourhood, to her church community, to her coworkers, her painting community, her in-laws, and to everyone who had the pleasure of seeing that dear smile and likely one of the wisest people I’ve ever had the privilege to have known for 23 years. Quite frankly, she had zero care to what others thought about where she directed her love, the passions that found her, and her strong moral values and intentions on this planet.
Although she may not have been aware of it (though somewhere subliminally I feel like she was aware of it) these past two years have been the most transformational years of my life with so many internal lessons I’ve cherished, with some of those coming from my witty, lively grandmother. So here’s my call to actions from my Grandma’s orders, as she loved to give orders to those she so dearly loved! Spread the love she gave to you, and that you gave to her and don’t let it seep through the seams of negative emotion. Spread it around to my grandma’s values and intentions in this world by loving those who matter most to you and that you’re willing to act on that love, regardless of the circumstance. Enjoy each moment, even if it includes being content with boredom (my grandma did master this skill, with her beaming smile always present). Find humour and light in each situation and don’t lose track of doing your role in making society flourish, regardless on the size on one’s impact. She resonated with me the smallest actions have such powerful impacts and positive changes on an individual. How she proved this to me was her relentless positivity and her beaming smile, no matter how crummy my day was going.
So Grandma, thank you for being my Guardian Angel while you had your time on Earth and for helping me have a clear windshield looking forward, even if the road is filled with potholes on this next journey forward. Thank you for making me eternally grateful for life’s true values and for finding eternal happiness in whatever life throws at me. Love you Gram.