It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother.
Virginia will be missed by her four children: Linda (Maarten Gerritsen) Eric (Claudine Latuilippe) Keith (Evelyn) and Mark (Colleen); 11 grandchildren, Cheryl Thorassie, Vaughn Anderson, Justin Helgeson, Ayla Anderson, Lenea Fortin, Emily Fortin, Tommy Fortin, Hannah Fortin, Mark Fortin, Jacob Fortin and Grace Fortin and five Great Grandchildren, Cashton, Evelyn, Ashlyn, Michelle and Amaira. She will also be missed by her sister Colleen Watkins and brother Grant (Bonnie) MacTavish as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Mom was predeceased by her parents, George (1975) and Judy (1990) MacTavish and her sister Lorraine Kateryniuk in 2005.
Mom was born in Winnipeg and lived there until the age of 14 when her family moved to Churchill.
When she was nine, she made the most important decision of her life, she asked Jesus into her heart! Faith was important to her.
In 1956 Mom attended Success Business College then she moved back to Churchill and was hired by the Department of National Defense working in Engineering Services.
On December 27th, 1960, 11 months after meeting our dad, mom married Tom Fortin. Mom had saved $6,000.00 and paid for their first house that dad built in 1963. In 1964 they were able to buy dad’s first plane.
In 1969, our family moved to Thompson. Mark was born in 1971, and my parents planted a tree in the front yard for him! We attended the Thompson Bible Chapel under Continental Mission. My mom was an excellent homemaker, besides taking care of the children, she made homemade meals, baked cakes, bread, cinnamon buns but pies were her specialty! She was the queen of pie making and made excellent crusts!
In 1975, our family moved to South Indian Lake. Mom took courses learning how to run the water and sewage treatment plants. She continued her faithfulness to the Lord, cared for her home, worked, baked, loved us!
In 1981 mom moved back to Thompson and got a job with the School District of Mystery Lake as an Attendance Officer. She helped many families whose children were missing or late to school. Sometimes the simplest solution was purchasing them an alarm clock out of her own pocket or taking a child for breakfast before taking them to school. Others were more difficult and meant getting a court order for a drinking family member to not come home. A school board decision in 1992 chose to pass the responsibilities from an Attendance Officer, to the school principals. Mom then transitioned into the classroom as an Educational Assistant.
At this same time, mom became a KTC house parent. Over the years she had many young people in her home. She endeavoured to live Christ and share Him, in hopes that it would make an eternal impression on them and they would also want to have Christ in their lives.
When I had my plane crash mom was very blessed to have an understanding boss like Clayton Tompkins and so was I as mom was able to be in Winnipeg with me.
Mom enjoyed travelling! She visited the United States, The Netherlands several times, France, and Belgium.
Mom worked for Home Care for ten years retiring at the age of 76! She loved those she worked with and felt useful!
When mom finally “retired” she kept busy. She loved to go sit in the mall selling Christian books and giving away Indian Life magazine. She would go to coffee shops with friends and give out Christian tracts to those who might be open to hearing the gospel.
Mom had a difficult life, she had many struggles, as we all do but she handled them with grace as a true Christian. If you want to get a picture of my mother, please read Proverbs 31:10-31.
Midway Bible Camp was an important and integral part of our lives during the summers growing up. My first time going to camp, I was three. Mom went to help in the kitchen. The importance of those summers to my Christian Life and foundation are something I will always cherish.
Because of our long history with Continental Mission and Midway Bible Camp, I am asking that In lieu of flowers, donations be made in her memory to Midway Bible Camp: 151 Deerwood Drive Thompson, MB R8N 1E4
Thank you to Dr. El Sebaie, her GP to Drs’. Anid, Wong, Abarra, Mahmoud, and Dr. Abou-khamis. Thank you to the nurses and staff at the Thompson General for caring for mom in her last week of life. A special “Thank you” to Amelia the Footcare nurse who cared so much for mom and squeezed her in before restrictions took over. Thank you to Angela, Cherish, Jane and Marcia at Home Care.
Cremation has taken place and a Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, September 5th, 2020 at the Thompson Pentecostal Assembly, 126 Goldeye Crescent, at 2:00pm