Sherry Lynn Loney
1957 - 2010
TRIBUTE TO SHERRY LONEY
I am honoured to be able to present a tribute to a very special friend, Sherry Loney, who will be missed by all. For those of you who are not aware- I first met Sherry in 1971 when we became fast friends and stayed that way until she passed away.
When I was married in 1978, Sherry was my bridesmaid and then a year later I was privileged to be her bridesmaid at her wedding. Sherry touched our lives in many ways. The Psalmist writes in the 37th chapter, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord...." Truly, Sherry was a good friend.
I too have a long history with Sherry. We became close friends when our girls were born in 1981. Robin and Kristi are 5 weeks apart in age and Jeff and Tyler are 8 days apart. We raised our children together, with Brett and Cody bringing up the rear a few months later. We spent many hours watching sporting events, sharing cups of coffee and growing in our faith. Sherry's absence leaves me with a huge void.
Sherry was born March 27th 1957 in the Providence Hospital here in Fort St John. She was officially the 1st baby born in the Village of Aennofield. She was a very special baby to her mom and dad and her 3 older siblings who spoiled her rotten. When she was young she loved spending time in the playhouse in their back yard, telling us that she planned to raise 10 children, while living in that little house. A husband was not in the plan at that time!
Lorna says that she remembers that when they went on holidays they were both given the same amount of money to spend, and if she remembers right, Sherry usually came home with more money than when she left. This was partly because they both ended up sharing Lorna’s money. When their mom would tell this story, we would always have a good laugh. Although Sherry was quite frugal at that time, we all know how generous she became later on, in every way.
When Sherry was 9 years old she accepted Christ into her life at the Cecil Lake Bible Camp. Every night while she was there, she would pray and ask God into her life again. She was glad when she realized that asking God into her heart one time was all she needed to do. Nights were bad; she would get very homesick, and would want to walk home from camp, but then in the morning was glad that she stayed, because she truly enjoyed it there.
In her teen years, she was actively involved with a large Youth Group at this church. She continued to grow spiritually and made a number of lifelong friends there. She also followed the example of her mom and taught Sunday School to the younger children.
She became involved in candy-striping during high school which confirmed her desire to begin a nursing career. In September of her graduation year, she started her training at the Misercordia Hospital Nursing School in Edmonton. She graduated from there when she was 21 years old and 2 months later started her career at the Fort St John Hospital where she worked in the Maternity Ward for most of the next 30 years.Claire Harwood, Mrs. Oneill, and Mrs Godberson were three of the first nurses she worked with. They were her very respected mentors who took her under their wing and became like family. She assisted in too many deliveries to count and on special occasions, when the babies didn’t want to wait for the doctor, she was able to deliver them herself. This was always an exciting event for her. She made a point of getting to know the moms, always showing interest in their other children, and often kept track of them as they grew older. She taught moms the best way to keep a baby happy was to wrap them up snugly and hated seeing babies without a blanket. Sherry was a calm, caring and professional nurse who remained so even in high pressure situations. She was known & loved throughout the entire hospital by not only the nurses but other staff members who were the often the recipients of her acts of kindness.
Sherry and Tim met in 1977, and got married in 1979. Their romance started while Sherry was helping to build David and Val's new house. David’s young friend Tim showed up to visit David and pretty soon he was “helping” on a regular basis. They knew it was getting serious when Sherry hid her big ugly gumboots that she’d been wearing. Pretty soon David lost both his helpers and Tim and Sherry drove away in his yellow Jeep. Sherry had now joined the Loney family, and was happy to have Sharon, Judy, and Grandpa and Grandma Loney in her life. Grandma Loney's orange jello salad became a family favorite. They all loved Sherry very much.
As mentioned Sherry always wanted a family, and she was blessed with 3 beautiful children, Robin, Tyler and Brett. She was a proud mom. The children were very active in sports, as we all know. Whether it was taking Robin to a Volleyball Game, or Tyler and Brett to Hockey or baseball, she was always there for them. She never missed a game when she wasn't working, and all the fellow players on the team knew that she was there because they could hear her cheering from the bleachers. Although she could sometimes get a little worked up during the games, when the kids came home they quite often sat down and discussed the results, putting things in perspective by hearing “it’s not the end of the world”.
Sherry was fiercely protective of her children, her grandchildren, her nieces and nephews and her friends’ children. You didn't dare say a bad thing about any of them when she was around. You always knew when she meant business with her own children because she would use their middle names...isn’t that right Robin Marie, Tyler David and Brett Michael? and she made it perfectly clear what was expected of them.
Sherry's love of her life were her grandchildren. She was very blessed to be there for the delivery of all her grandchildren with pictures to prove it! She spent many hours and days with them, making sure they each received their own special time together. Taking the kids to her sister Lorna's was a special time and she loved watching them run around the farm and playing with the animals.
It was hard to know where Sherry’s family ended and her extended family began as she treated them all like they were “hers”. Reservations would have to be made early in the season to get enough camping sites for the whole clan to fit in. She loved spending time camping by the river with everyone around. She said she loved the sound of the river but honestly don’t know how she heard it when everyone was together having so much fun.
Sherry loved life. She had a very competitive heart; it could be in the game of Yahtzee, which if she won, the scream of ”YAHTZEE” could be heard for some distance. It could be Robin’s volleyball games, or the boy’s hockey or baseball games. You would always know when the score was close if you saw Sherry pacing. If it was really close, she would be pacing outside! She did everything with gusto, from toboganning to Cross stitch, to playing games.
Spring was Sherry's favourite season. She enjoyed the newness of spring as it reminded her again of God’s awesome creation. It meant the world to her to see the new growth as it started to blossom but heaven forbid a weed show its face in her yard! Everything that Sherry did was neat and precise, well done, and her life continued this way. One thing that she always will be remembered for is her beautiful garden and her yard. She was worried about someone taking care of her yard when she is gone. It was her desire to start a community garden on the church property by the college. The plan was to start the garden this coming summer, and we are hoping to carry out that plan.
Sherry was an avid photographer, which we all know. Everyone at the Wholesale Store Photo Department knew her by name and her family by sight. Business there will drop off dramatically and we hope they don’t have to lay someone off. Not only did she develop her own pictures but always got extra copies to give away.
She loved music. She took piano lessons for years and with mom’s “encouragement” practiced many hours to become a proficient pianist. She also performed special music in church with a group of friends and it was always a treat to listen to them. She enjoyed listening to contemporary Christian music and had it playing often when she was at home by herself.
Animals were a negative passion. This past Christmas, Lorna excitedly told Sherry that she had been given a horse. Of course, Sherry sighed rather heavily, but then Lorna told her quickly the she had also received a fridge and a stove and that made a whole lot more sense to her. She had special names for certain pets, especially Marilyn’s cat.
The most meaningful recent holiday trip in Sherry and Tim's life was their trip to Watson Lake and Muncho Lake in 2008. They enjoyed the beautiful scenery and Sherry was so happy that Tim stopped the truck whenever she wanted to take a picture.....Tims says that they stopped A LOT.
One thing that will be remembered in everyone’s minds will be Sherry's bone crushing hugs. They were like none other and just when you thought the hug was done, she’d give another squeeze. She taught our kids how to give proper hugs and wouldn’t accept a half-hearted attempt. Lorna wants us to know that even the last time she visited Sherry, she was able to give those bear hugs.
Many cancer patients enjoyed her hugs as well. Sherry was cancer free for 9 yrs and during that time she participated in Cancer Walks, Canvassing and Gift Wrapping. She worked diligently and personally with many cancer patients and helped them with their journey.
Sherry was a shining example of God, through every aspect of her life...the good times and the bad. When the cancer returned, she was naturally upset and shaken. She would say, “I’m ok, I’m ok, God knows what he’s doing and he’s in control”. We all found it hard to believe it was “ok”, but her positive attitude and strong faith led us by example to be at peace with the situation. It was her desire that God be glorified, no matter what the outcome. When she was able to be home, she enjoyed watching 100 Huntley Street in the mornings, and spent many hours in prayer and reading her Bible.
Tim was beside her and supported her in every way. He has so much love for her, and did everything he could to keep her at home during her illness. He was the love of her life, an all giving husband and father.
Sherry, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your fine example of a Christ-like attitude. Yes we will miss you, but we will take good care of Tim, and the family. We will miss you deeply.....with love...
Expressions of sympathy may be made in memory of Sherry to either the 'Fort St. John Hospital Foundation, '100 Huntley Street' or 'World Vision'.