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SHEILA RAFFEY (published on July 31, 2009)

SHEILA RAFFEY With deep sadness, we announce the death of Sheila Raffey on July 26, 2009. She died with courage and grace, with family present, at St. Boniface General Hospital. Sheila was born March 31, 1954 in Winnipeg, the eldest daughter of June and Peter Westbury. She attended Ashland, Lord Roberts and Churchill High schools, and was invited to enroll in the Professional School of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, but chose to attend the University of Manitoba, graduating with a BA in History. She began her career in accounting and joined the Manitoba Association of School Trustees in 1981, where she was the Manager of Finance and Administration until her death. Sheila lived every day with honour and quiet dignity, and she loved her life. In particular, she was devoted to her two sons, Matthew and Timothy, of whom she was so proud, and to her partner of 20 years, Edward Matlashewski. Sheila loved our entire family through triumph and trouble, never faltering as our devoted mother, partner, daughter, sister and aunt. Her gentle strength was ever present in our lives. She always saw and encouraged the best in each of us. She taught us to be compassionate and patient, confident that right would win out. She lived every day with these values, and setting the example for all of us to follow. Utterly unique, Sheila had the strength of character to live her life true to herself, comfortably allowing her diverse interests and passions to be reflected in her life. She saw and created beauty everywhere, especially in her home and her gardens, which gave everyone who saw them pleasure. Her curiosity about all things produced a constant variety of interests in life. Her quiet sense of humour was reflected in her lovely smile and the gentle jokes she loved to share. Sheila's lucid and quick mind always meant she was several steps ahead of everyone else, and we relied on her insights and opinions. One of Sheila's great pleasures was the family cottage at Victoria Beach, where she and Ed were quick to find new projects to complete together. They enjoyed many happy days there in the past few years, and she was looking forward to many more. In addition to Edward Matlashewski, and her sons Matthew and Timothy Raffey, Sheila is survived by her sisters and their families: Pamela Westbury, Michael Manko, and Parrish, Michael and Gabrielle Danwich and Celeste Manko, and Jennifer Westbury, Michael Hawryluk and Meredith Hawryluk. Also surviving her, are her uncle and cousins in New Zealand, John Murray, Susan and Gifford Linder, Ian Murray, and Diana and Richard Rax and their families. She is also remembered by the Matlashewski family. She cherished her friendships with longtime friends, neighbours and co-workers. Thinking of her, too, is the Raffey family. Sheila's strength was what drove her through the last months of her life, battling each day to take on challenges of the disease and treatment she faced. She endured unrelenting pain and difficult treatments to fight back the course of cancer in her. Daily, she still found things to take pleasure in, ways to show her love for us, and reasons to smile. Her courageous and loving example gives us the strength to find hope. The family wishes to thank all those who supported Sheila during her battle with cancer, including for their kind treatment of Sheila, those at CancerCare Manitoba and, at the end, the St. Boniface General Hospital Emergency Department. Cremation has taken place. There will be a funeral service to celebrate Sheila's life at St. George's Crescentwood Anglican Church, Wilton and Grosvenor at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 4, the Rt. Rev. James D. Njegovan, Bishop of the Diocese of Brandon, presiding. To those who share our loss, in lieu of flowers, please help find ways to improve early detection of lung cancer by considering donations to either Lung Cancer Canada, a Difference, 1896A Avenue Road, Toronto ON M5M 3Z8, or the Lung Association, Manitoba,, 629 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3A 1P6. Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality. Emily Dickenson The Coutu family in care of arrangements: E. J. COUTU CO. FUNERAL DIRECTORS 680 Archibald St. 253-5086

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