Laurie Jean Irwin passed away peacefully in the morning hours of Tuesday, March 30, 2021 where she wanted to be - in her own home – with her family by her side. For all of us who loved her – and that list is a long one - this news is bittersweet. We had all hoped and prayed for more time with the woman who has shaped, nurtured, supported, and loved us all. However, we also know how tirelessly Laurie fought against the relentless pain and suffering that cancer seemed intent on imparting on her. Ultimately, it was the same powerful spirit and inner strength that Laurie was able to draw upon in her final days – making the purposeful decision to return home to be with her cherished family and friends rather than pursue further treatment.
Everyone will agree that Laurie was devoted to her family and her friends. For any of us lucky enough to be a part of her village, we always knew that Laurie would go to the ends of the earth to help anyone in need. No one loved without question or obligation more than Laurie. She has left a legacy of love too extensive to list everyone individually. However, we want to acknowledge that her dear, loyal, and beloved husband of 50 years, Lyndon, was with her every step of the way. Her daughters, Corrie and Lyndsey, worked hard to be with Laurie as often and as much as possible. Whether it was medical interpretation (Corrie) or continuous humor (Lyndsey), Laurie’s girls were never far away. The family who sat together to discuss the cancer diagnosis and treatment options were the same family who sat together to make the difficult decision to return home. Laurie had recently said goodbye to her brother, Don, after his journey with cancer, and what she wanted was a similar and dignified end of life path to travel.
Born in Kindersley, Saskatchewan in September of 1952, Laurie made an impression on the world no matter where she went and no matter what she did. Her parents Cory and Margaret Veldhoen always expected that their daughter was going to make a positive impression on the world – and she did so with a career that extended beyond 40 years in nursing. A lifetime LPN, Laurie recently noted that at one point in her career she had contemplated returning to school to complete her RN designation, and she wondered if that would be a ‘regret’ on her bucket list for not completing the training. However, during her many hospitalizations over the last 5 years, she observed the changes in the profession over the years and remarked she was so grateful for her LPN licence as it inevitably kept here where she wanted to always be; providing hands-on care to the patients.
Besides her career as a nurse, Laurie also was instrumental in supporting the lives of her daughters and their children. Laurie was an incredible grandmother (Gramma Laurie /Grams) and all 10 of her grandchildren loved her as fiercely as she did them. When asked about what she was most proud of in her life – she did not skip a beat in reporting “my Family”.
Laurie also was a tireless supporter and advocate for those less fortunate. Beyond the countless charities and organizations that considered Laurie as a reliable and consistent benefactor. Laurie always kept a close eye on the needs in her own backyard, and her kitchen table always had room for the ‘plus one’ who inevitably showed up, unannounced but seemingly always expected and always accepted. We suspect some of you reading this have been that ‘plus one’ at some time of another. The ‘little yellow house on the corner’ was a safe, loving and welcoming meeting place. This was Laurie’s influence. This was who Laurie was – through and through.
A Celebration of Life for Laurie – and what a life it was to celebrate – will be planned when COVID restrictions allow. However, we know that many of you would like to acknowledge this amazing woman who made a lasting impression on your life. To that end, we invite you to donate in Laurie’s name to one of the organizations below that were near and dear to Laurie’s heart:
The Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter;
500 – 1509 Centre Street SW, Calgary, AB T2G 2E6
Canadian Cancer Society;
200, 325 Manning Road NE, Calgary AB T2E 2P5
Laurie’s passing has created a hole in our hearts that feels so incredibly empty and leaves us questioning why such a beautiful and selfless soul would depart this lifetime so early. It is a testament to her grace, caring and considerate nature that we know that it is only possible to believe that her genuine altruistic demeanor will live on around us and in us.
Mother Teresa was noted to have said: ‘Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love’. Laurie lived and breathed by this principle. For that we are eternally filled with gratitude and love and we wish for each of you the same comfort and reassurance that we have.
Lyn, Corrie and Lyndsay, I am sorry for your loss as we all lost a truly wonderful person who made space for all her cousins no matter the age difference or space between visits. A smiling face who will be missed at all gatherings big and small. Courageous woman who chose her own terms. Rest easy Laurie you will be missed, Donna
Lyn my heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family. I will surly miss Laura’s friendship. Her wonderful and gentle soul, the truly remarkable lovable and kind person she was will remain in my heart forever❤️
To Lyndon, Corrie, & Lyndsey & their families, My condolences to all of you & to let you know that Laurie meant so much to me. She was so positive, so kind, so sincere and honest and more. I had never met anyone quite like her. We had some great holidays and many, many talks and I am going to miss her more than I can tell you. The next picnic I go on with her friends, we will bring a chair for her as I know she will always be with us. I loved her and will miss her always.
I had the great pleasure of working with Laurie as part of the Foothills night crew. She was a smart, hard-working nurse who always had a smile on her face. Our chats over coffee were always about her family. She fought her battle so valiantly and will be missed by those who knew her. My sincerest condolences.
Hi Lyn, I only met Laurie a few times at the ball diamond and she was always smiling and generous with her cheering of one of the best players in the league. I understand your pain since my wife passed away almost a year ago. I pray that your heart will be filled with the love of God so that the years of love to her will make the pain easy to bear. I love you and hope to see you at the diamond. Damien
Lyn, so sorry to hear of Laurie’s passing. Her beautiful smile while cheering our team on was always a joy to all of us. Take care, I look forward to seeing you back on the ball field when the time is right. Garth Jones
Lyn, I was so sorry to hear about Laurie. I can only imagine your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I can still hear her at the ball diamond, "Run honey". Until I see you again, take care and stay safe. Clayton (from ball).
Lyn, I was so saddened to hear of your loss. Laurie was such a happy and caring person and always had time for a chat at Triwood or one of the many ball tournaments we met at over the years. I am going to miss her cheers and encouragement for her #1 player. My sincere condolences.
I am saddened to hear of Laurie's passing. My condolences to Lyn and family. I will miss the chats with her at the ball tournaments.
Our deepest condolences to Lyn and family. May your memories of Laurie bring you comfort now and in the future. Her smiling face will be surely missed around the ball diamond.
Beautifully written and portrays her perfectly. She will be missed so much but her legacy will live on with every act of kindness and caring. She was one in a million.
To the Irwin Family, Please accept my sincere condolences as Laurie will be truly missed. May the love of family and friends comfort you during these difficult days. I was part of the "Night crew" with Laurie at Foothills, and have many fond memories of her. May God bring you peace and continued love as we celebrate Laurie's life.
I am really grateful to have met Laurie back in the 70’s at the Foothills hospital and have worked with her in a few different places, the last time at the Bowness surgical center. You will always be in my heart. Rest In Peace my friend, Kathy
I was so sad to hear about the passing of Laurie. She will be missed by so many people. My deepest condolences.
Lyn I was saddened to hear Laurie passed away. I was comforted to read how Laurie and you battled through these past days. I am sorry it ended this way. May God comfort you and your family as grieve the loss of Laurie. Hope to see you out on the diamond when the time is right. Duane97htp
So sorry to hear of Laurie’s passing. I am very grateful to have known this beautiful woman and soul. May she now Rest In Peace.
Lyn, Corrie, Lindsey and families. We were so sorry to hear of Laurie's passing. Laurie was such a great lady and was always so welcoming. Keep the wonderful memories alive. Take care. Thinking of you all. Gary, Brennan, Ashley and Brittney McDougall
Dear Lyn, Corrie and Lyndsey, Thank you for the phone call. It was shocking but appreciated. Laurie was the best and your obituary certainly highlighted that. She will be missed, but your memories are forever. With sympathy and love, Carolyn
Lyn, Corrie and Lindsey, What a beautiful tribute to an even more beautiful woman. We are still unable to process that Laurie won't be that person everyone looked forward to seeing at every Veldhoen family function. You just knew it would always be much more fun once she arrived. The world is missing one of the best now. Our hearts are hurting with you. Bob and Amy
Lyndsey and family we are so sadden by the passing of Laurie. She truly was an amazing lady and our thoughts and prayers are with you. If you need anything please do not hesitate to call on us. Love Vanessa Kelly Brenden and Ella
I worked with Laurie at a few private surgical clinics where I knew her as a very dedicated, exceptionally smart, hard working & very caring nurse. After work we enjoyed many dinners with staff where Laurie displayed all of the values & caring of family as I read in this wonderful obituary. So sorry to hear of her terrible diagnosis. Eternal peace & love to all her loved ones Nancy Mawhinney
I met Laurie when I started my nursing career and had the honor to work with her again at the clinic. Laurie was always smiling, so willing to teach and help. I can’t think of a time Laurie complained but she was always willing to listen to others.She was a kind and gentle lady who I will miss.
I am so sorry that you, the Irwin family, & the world has lost such a gentle, loving & caring person--I'm so sorry we were never able to get together since the pandemic but Laurie will always be with me
Corey your Mom sounds pretty amazing. I am so sorry for your loss. It was a lovely obituary.Sounds like you really captured her true essence . I am sure you have many wonderful memories. We are thinking of you at this time. Dave and Carolyn
Laurie you will be missed by so many that knew you and the many people you took care of in your career as a nurse. I am deeply saddened by the news! Rest In Peace Laurie
I've lost a beautiful friend and I'll miss all her positive inspiration. She fought a hard fight, but it's nice to know she is now at peace and pain free. My sincere condolences to all her family, especially Lyndon, Corrie, Lyndsey and all the grandkids.
We can’t even describe the whole in our hearts that was left with the passing of Laurie. She will forever be part of our family and will be greatly missed. Forever a positive influence in our lives, we can only hope to be as generous & positive as she was. Till we meet again my friend! ♥️♥️♥️
Huge hugs to all of Laurie’s beautiful family. We are blessed to have wonderful memories of our time spent with Laurie. Lots of love.