Donna Merle Rich

September 1, 1936October 10, 2020

Donna Merle Rich passed away on Saturday, October 10, 2020 in Calgary, Alberta at the Foothills Hospital at the age of 84 years

Merle was born on September 1, 1936 in Melfort, Saskatchewan to Ruby and Reginald Lancaster. She had always dreamed of becoming a nurse and after completing High School in Edmonton, went on to the University of Alberta where she graduated from the Nursing Program in 1958. Her career in nursing spanned over 4 decades in locations which included High Prairie, Edmonton, and Calgary. She retired in 1992, moving to Cochrane, to start a new career of caring for her grandchildren and other children for the next 16 years. Nothing meant more to Merle than her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Eastern Star was a very big part of Merle’s life for a long time. She became a member of the organization in the early 1970’s in the Amity Chapter in Edmonton. Upon moving to Cochrane, she joined the Zenith Chapter, where she eventually rose to take on the role of Worthy Matron in 1996.

Merle loved to travel all over Canada and the USA both with and without her family. In 2011 she had the opportunity to experience one of her dream vacations by taking a cruise to Alaska for her 75th birthday.

People will always remember Merle for her warmth, generosity, and kindness. She possessed the ability to make friends in any place or situation.

Merle will always be lovingly remembered by her family and children: Carlene (Brian) Matheson, Kelly (Karen) Rich, Todd (Leslie) Rich, Kimberlee (Kevin) Armstrong, Teresa (Tony) Bridges and daughter-law Judith Rich; her grandchildren Greg, Kent, Kelsey, Stephanie, Bethany, Megan, Adam, Allen, Will, Anthony and Marissa and her great grandchildren Claire, Mikaela, Austin, and Rowan. Merle is also survived by her sister Patricia Lauren and her nieces Debbie and Jennifer as well as the many other children that Merle cared for during her life and to whom she became a surrogate Nana. She was predeceased by her son Cameron Edward Rich in November 2019 and her parents Reginald and Ruby Lancaster.

Thank you to the nursing staff on Unit 36 in the Special Services of the Foothills Hospital for the compassionate care you gave our Mom.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to her favourite charity the Alberta Heart and Stroke Foundation at

A Memorial Service for Merle will be arranged a later date.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Donna Merle Rich

have a memory or condolence to add?

Julie Brown

October 22, 2020

Dear Todd, Buffy, Beth& Shane &Baby Rowan, Megan& Eric, Adam& Kira and Family,

We were so saddened to hear the news that Nana Merle passed away. She was such a warm and kind person, always keen to have a chat and share a laugh. I can still hear her laugh as I say her name. May the loving memories you have of your mom and Nana warm your heart. Sending loving thoughts and condolences your way,
Julie, Murray, Matt, Kate and Hannah xoxo


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