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Obituary

TERESA LOUISE COLES (published on September 27, 2008)



TERESA LOUISE COLES 1953 - 2008 Terry left this world on September 20, 2008, with as much gusto and grace as she lived her life. After the initial diagnosis of cancer four months ago, Terry didn't spend her time fighting a disease she spent her time being even more fully present to family, friends, co-workers and four-legged creatures. Connections continued to deepen, fabulous dinner parties were held, new recipes were tested and tasted weekly, bargains were shopped for, home improvements were made and a garden was planted. Throughout her final illness, Terry maintained her passionate interest in the world around her, continuing to read books of science and history, and following her favourite sporting events, particularly the Tour de France and Formula One racing. Born on June 29, 1953 in Vancouver to Frank and Elizabeth Coles, Terry lived not one but many lives in her 55 years. She and Frank spent several years on their own after Elizabeth's early illness and death at age 52. After completing her graduate work, Terry moved to Manitoba in 1980 with her young son Tim and taught anthropology at the University of Winnipeg. In the mid 1980s, she left teaching and took a job with the National Film Board as a publicist. Her interest in film then took her to the Winnipeg Film Group, where she became the distribution coordinator. She also joined the board of Prairie Public Television, on which she served for a number of years. From there, Terry started her own film distribution company, Maple Lake Releasing, which grew to represent filmmakers from all over the world. While still devoting time to her business, in 1998 she began a new career with Child and Family Services, in the Child Protection Branch. Even as this new work took up more of her time, she still gave a lot of energy, support and encouragement to a number of local filmmakers. Terry had an unofficial parallel career building a remarkable network of diverse friends, which she nurtured over the years, forming unexpected connections among people who would otherwise never have met one another. Terry shared everything she had, and this included her dad, Frank, who regularly visited Winnipeg from BC and became an honourary dad for many of her friends. She also introduced us to her passion for bargain-hunting on what she referred to as the trapline , which extended not only to various discount stores in Winnipeg, but also to the annual Presidents' Day Sale trip to Fargo with the girls . Building community was essential to everything Terry did and is one of the most important gifts she gave to her family, friends and co-workers. Honoured to celebrate and cherish her life are her dad, Frank Coles, stepmother Joyce, stepsisters Bernadette and Brenda and stepbrother Rod, son Tim, and cat Mousewiggle. There is also the chosen family she created: Bev Ann and Richard, Leslie, Ellen, Anna-Marie, Marianne, Glenda, Ray, Brian, Margaret and Scott, Brenda and Duncan, John, Kevin, Janine, George, and Eileen, as well as the many friends, relatives and co-workers who knew and loved Terry. Thank you to the staff of the Grace Hospital and everyone who supported Terry over the past few weeks. A celebratory service will be held on Monday, September 29 at Augustine United Church, 444 River Avenue, at 2:00 p.m. Carpooling is recommended as available parking is limited. Although Terry loved flowers, if you would like to honour her memory, please make a donation to either Greenpeace or the David Suzuki Foundation.


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