Noreen Bailey

Obituary of Noreen Bailey

Noreen Gail Bailey passed away peacefully at the Assiniboine Centre, in Brandon, Manitoba, on Sunday, September 4, 2022 at the age of 78. She was surrounded by family and died with dignity. Noreen was predeceased by her parents, Ralph and Bessie (Moir) Bailey and her special aunt, Florence Eckberg. She is survived by her sister Beverley Wolfe, brother Tom (Carol) Bailey, her children Nevin (Laurie) Ostash, Natashia (Kent) Vandenberghe and Melanie Hawkes, her grandchildren Harlee and Liam Ostash, Owen and Cole Vandenberghe, Jonnathan and Alexander Derksen, Brandy (Aaron) Wade and her great grandchildren Jared and Mikah Wade. Noreen will be lovingly remembered by her spouse, Bruce McEwing and their beautifully blended family.

Noreen was born on March 14, 1944 in Portage la Prairie and grew up on the family farm north of Mcdonald. She attended Manitoba Teacher’s College and moved to northern Manitoba to teach junior high. She married Nick Ostash and their time in Lynn Lake and Flin Flon was spent outdoors where she fell in love with trees, rocks and water.

When they moved to Winnipeg, it was the start of Noreen’s journey with her sobriety and she created lifelong friendships in AA. After Nevin and Natashia were born, they moved to Lac du Bonnet and she loved the country life, her vegetable garden and cooking from scratch. Always learning, Noreen studied remotely and received her Bachelor of Arts. She won several awards for her work as a Newspaper Reporter for the Lac du Bonnet Leader.

Noreen’s door was always open and her home was filled with visitors and laughter. Her compassion and desire to help people led her to work as the Coordinator of the Head Start program at the Brandon Friendship Centre. During this time, she reconnected with her daughter Melanie, who she had given up for adoption as an infant, and her grandchildren.

Her life changed again when she met and fell in love with Bruce. They enjoyed camping and the social life of a seasonal spot. She graduated with her Masters of Education at the age of 62 and started a new career as an Addiction’s Councillor at the Salvation Army in Winnipeg. With Nevin’s family close by, she was able to have grandma time.

Noreen retired and enjoyed being at home on their acreage outside of Rivers, watching the birds in the yard. She cherished the time spent with her friends and being close to Natashia’s family. She looked forward to celebrating birthdays, holidays and eating a delicious meal.

When Bruce retired, a new phase of their life began. They spent winters in Osoyoos and their love of flying took them to the Northwest Territories and Churchill. She had a close circle of friends and loved her family fiercely and died knowing she was surrounded by love.

A private funeral and a celebration of life will be held for family and friends. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in Noreen’s memory to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or the Alzheimer’s Society.

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