A MESSAGE FROM THE FAMILY

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OBITUARY

Katherine 'Katie' Sheila McElweenie

September 27, 1998May 10, 2021
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It is with overwhelming sorrow and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our sweet angel Katie.

Katherine ‘Katie’ Sheila McElweenie passed away on Monday, May 10th, 2021 at Cambridge Memorial Hospital after a long, hard fought battle with mental health. Katie was born September 27th, 1998 to her loving parents Martha and Steve McElweenie in Cambridge. Katie will be missed greatly by her adoring brothers Colin and Robbie. Devoted granddaughter to Sandra and Pat McElweenie, Andrew Glenny and wife Susan Close. We are comforted and are certain her grandmother Sheila Glenny and great grandmother ‘Nanny’ Margaret Winters welcomed her into the gates of heaven and into the arms of God. Katie is forever loved by her family, and friends. She is survived by uncle Bob and aunt Lucinda Glenny, uncles Andy Glenny and Jason McElweenie and aunt Beth Glenny. Loving cousin to Cassy, Lauren and Drew.

Words alone cannot capture the essence of Katie and the impact that she had on our lives and those who knew her. She was always more concerned about the wellbeing of those around her than herself. Katie had the most beautiful warm smile that could light up your soul. She had extraordinary compassion and even with the briefest encounter you would remember her for life. The world needs more people like Katie.

Loving, sweet, friendly, intelligent, polite, hardworking, fiercely dedicated, exceptional person, who loved music, art, traveling, nature and animals – especially her cat “Scooby”. She was an extraordinary artist who was humbled by her talent. She had a great sense of humour and profound sense of social justice. Katie knew right from wrong.

In her young years, Katie was a bubbly, happy and somewhat shy little girl. As she made her way through elementary and middle school Katie was always engaged in her school activities, dedicated to her studies, family, sports and time with friends. She received the Sr. class Citizenship Award her final year of middle school. In high school she continued to excel in her classes, school activities and winning many more awards along the way. She played high school field hockey and was involved in several activities including student counsel, art, science and business clubs. Katie graduated with honours and chose the Biomedical Sciences Program at the University of Guelph. Katie was in her final year of her program and dreamed of moving on and becoming a doctor, so that she could care for others. Katie has a broad and diverse group of friends and they all know how much she loved them. Her warmth and gracious nature welcomed all as she was always so compassionate to their needs. Katie knew she was loved and was enormously grateful for the love she received from her family and friends. Katie’s loss will forever leave an emptiness in our hearts that will never be filled. We find solace knowing Katie is looking down on us all from heaven and with the love and support of our family, friends, and God, the light will shine through this darkness.

We love you millions Katie, and wish you sweet angel dreams in your new home. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Katie McElweenie Memorial Fund GoFundMe page with all proceeds going to Canadian Mental Health Association https://gofund.me/3a43d29b or the Kids Help Phone https://kidshelpphone.ca/

If you have a photo, video, story or memory of Katie that you would like to share with her family please email memoriesofkatie@rogers.com

Our families hope is through this tragedy, families will be having discussions with their kids, parents, grandparents, friends and loved ones about mental health.

Private Funeral Arrangements entrusted to Coutts Funeral Home. A livestream Funeral Service will take place on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. Please visit Katie’s In Memoriam page at: www.CouttsFuneralHome.com and click ‘Join Livestream’ at service time to view.

The following is an excerpt from the Funeral Service (portion that experienced audio recording issues)

Good afternoon everyone. And welcome to those who are joining us by video live-steam. My name is David Haskell. I’m a friend of the McElweenie family and I’m honoured to officiate this service as we remember the life of Katie McElweenie. On behalf of Katie’s parents Martha and Steve… and brothers Colin and Robbie… let me express the family’s gratitude for your presence both in person and online. The journey of grief is long… and it needs to be walked in the company of friends. During this service we’ll honor a young woman who brought immense love into the world and touched many lives. But anything we say today will feel like it wasn’t enough. We know that. So remember as you hear my brief account of Katie’s life… and as you listen to the stories of remembrance from her family… Remember that there is so much more to say… and that those stories will continue to be told after today. Katherine… ‘‘Katie”… Sheila McElweenie passed away on Monday… May 10th at Cambridge Memorial Hospital… after a long, hard-fought battle with mental health. Those who knew Katie… knew of her struggle… and they also knew that her struggle did not define her. Those who knew her best… and loved her best… knew that dedication to her family, her humor, diligence in her studies, her concern for the well-being of others, and the joy she found in simple things… those were the traits that best exemplified Katie. Katie was born September 27th, 1998 to her loving parents Martha and Steve in Cambridge. She was the loving older sister to her adoring brothers Colin and Robbie. Katie’s dedication to her family was unceasing. She never tired of telling her mom and dad how fortunate she felt to be their daughter. She never questioned their love for her… and she made sure they knew that. As a child, Katie could be shy. But she was the kind of shy child who wasn’t out of the action… she was there in the midst of the action… but she was helping others get a chance in the spotlight. When it came to her family… she would set aside any feelings of shyness if it meant the end result was more laughter. As a young girl… Katie loved the Moose Winooski’s Pie in the Face birthday celebration. Her brothers… who were younger and more intimidated by the process… were less enthusiastic about a birthday pie in the face. Later in the service, as part of his tribute to Katie… Colin will be telling us how his sister calmed his “pie in the face fears” and found a way to keep the laughter rolling. Katie loved to laugh… and loved to make others laugh. Her humor often involved her ability to speak in a heavy Scottish accent. An accent she perfected by listening to her loving grandparents. Katie had numerous phrases that made her sound straight out of Glasgow and she could throw them out at just the right moment. Katie brought humor to her family and friends… but she approached her studies with a dedication and seriousness. From an early age… Katie enjoyed her school experiences. She took pride in being organized and on top of her studies… and academic success followed her through primary, middle, and secondary school. Her academic success was matched by more and more extracurricular involvement. She played high school field hockey and was involved in student counsel and art, science and business clubs. Katie would graduate with honours from high school and chose to study Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph. She was in her final year of her program and dreamed of moving on and becoming a doctor, so… in her words… she could care for others. Now there is a theme that defines Katie: Caring for others. Along with that full life… inside and outside the classroom… Katie always had time for others. In fact, her concern and compassion was so striking… and so consistent… others noticed. A mother contacted Steve and Martha wanting to share a memory she had from when Katie was in elementary school. She remembered Katie as the kid who sought out other children alone on the playground or in distress because, quote, “she must have thought she could make that person feel better...and she was right.” There are a few people in this world who have the gift… but also the burden… of feeling the pain of others like it is their own. Katie was one of those people. In middle school she received the Sr. class Citizenship Award; an honor bestowed for compassion shown to classmates. Katie played soccer from a young age until she was 18. But when you talk to those who watched her play… it’s not the goals or defensive maneuvers that get mentioned first. They’ll tell you how the game would suddenly become unimportant to Katie… if someone got hurt on the field. Teammate or opposing team… she’d rush to see if they were ok. Katie’s circle of protection would happily extend itself out to strangers in need. The examples are numerous, but I’ll give just one. One weekend Katie and some friends from university were out at a nightclub. At that same nightclub was another young woman celebrating her 19th birthday whose friends had gone and she began to feel uncomfortable being alone. She approached Katie and asked if she could hang out for a while. Katie was exuberant in her welcoming and inclusion of this young woman. So much so, that they’d stay in touch long after… and Katie never missed her birthday from that date on. This isn’t a story Katie told her parents. Steve and Martha only found out about this incident through Katie’s memorial page. The young woman touched by Katie’s kindness needed to share how Katie’s compassion had impacted her life. As I say, the examples of Katie’s compassion for others could go on… but I have to mention this last story… Because it reveals Katie’s heart on several different levels… We’ve been talking about Katie as an adult, but this story--that Steve and Martha shared with me-- features a two-year old Katie. It was approaching Christmas and two-year old Katie was asked about what she wanted Santa to bring. She told her parents… it would be good if Santa were to bring a “Happy Birthday… Baby Jesus… Birthday cake”. Of course… true to her nature… Katie was looking out for others… in this case the baby Jesus. This beautiful… brief account also illustrates Katie’s early relationship with God. Throughout her childhood Katie was reminded that God loved her. Part of that assurance came in the form of a family prayer at the end of the day. Martha and Steve told me how…. as Katie was growing up… at bedtime, the family would gather in a one of the kid’s bedrooms. They’d all join hands and say a simple prayer. It was a prayer that Martha’s mother… who had been a Sunday school teacher… had taught her and then she taught it to her children. It was in two parts and went like this: Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, Look upon a little child, Pity my simplicity, And suffer me to come to thee. Amen.

The family would then continue… Thank you, dear Lord For everything you have given us, And for each other, Please be with us for ever and ever, Amen.

Later in the service, I’ll mention a little more about Katie’s spiritual path. But for now, I’ll conclude this brief biographical sketch by describing the joy Katie found in simple things. Katie found great joy in artwork. It was a release for her and a gift for her mom and dad who often received the finished products. Katie loved music… from the oldies to alternative to modern rap. And she loved passing on new music to her dad and adding it to the family playlist. I’m told that in preparation for New Year’s eve this past year… while in lockdown… Katie ordered a karaoke microphone for her family to have a fun night of singing and dancing. Katie also loved her evenings out with friends—it could be a night on the town or a night on the couch watching movies—she got joy from being with people she loved. She especially loved travelling and had lots of opportunity with her family. There was Florida, and California, and Mexico. As an adult Katie was able to do some mother-daughter travel with the most recent destination being Scotland and Ireland. If you ask Steve and Martha, they’ll say that no matter how exotic or ancient the destination… Katie always enjoyed the “small things” while visiting new places. She lost herself in the peaceful views… the warm sun on her skin… the colours of the ocean and sunsets… the nature of the local animals, plants and trees. Martha showed me one of the pictures from her 2019 Ireland trip with Katie. They were travelling on the “Paddywagon” bus tour. They’d been travel down the highway and the bus pulled over for a stop where the sign at the side of the road said: Come and hold a baby lamb. So Martha and Katie got off the bus at the farm… and Katie wrapped her arms around a baby lamb. Martha snapped the picture. The joy… that simple act brought Katie was seen beaming from her face. And it’s that look—a look that appeared a million other times… in a million other instances of simple joy—that we all will remember.

Services

  • Virtual Visitation

    Friday, May 21, 2021

  • Funeral Service Please click below to view the recording of the service. We were experiencing connectivity issues during the service and apologize for any inconvenience. The technical issues hampered the audio recording as well, the audio begins at 9 min 30 seconds into the recording. Once again, please accept our sincere apologies.

    Saturday, May 22, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Katherine 'Katie' Sheila McElweenie

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Billy - Joe Campbell

July 1, 2021

Dear Kate,

You will always be remembered as the greatest of all time to me and everyone that you ever met. I didn’t know you long, but I knew you very well. Loved you for who you were, what you were about, I even knew that you were better than anyone! Maybe even my own mom. Gifted, beautiful, kind, humble and the list of words could carry on. I circled back for you for several months, I waited for you, even after you were gone, RIP Kate, you will always own my heart, but I will share it with everyone because that’s what you would have done.

“ We will, cook, bake, and do dishes together”
Love you always and forever,

From everyone you ever met,
God bless,

Billy - Joe Robert Campbell

Jane and Mike Gianfrancesco

May 30, 2021

We want to send our sincere condolences to the family of dear Katie. Although we did not know her, we know that she had the full love and support of her wonderful family. We are so very sorry about her passing, but we know that her memory will always be a blessing for you all.
Jane and Mike Gianfrancesco

John Fullerton

May 27, 2021

Martha and Steve,

I just wanted to take a moment to offer my heartfelt condolences to your family. There are no adequate words to describe your loss but just know that you, Colin and Robbie are in my thoughts. I wish all of you strength and happiness as you move forward.

John

Mallika Goswami

May 26, 2021

Martha and family,
Katie sounded like an incredible person! I'm so sorry for your loss. Wishing you so much strength and love as you move forward.
Love Mallika

Gayle Horyn

May 25, 2021

Dear Steve, Martha, Colin and Robbie,
We were heartbroken to hear of Katie's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
With love from the Horyns

Ryan and Lindsay Judge

May 25, 2021

Steve, Martha, Colin and Robbie: We are so sorry for your loss and still cannot believe it. Please know that our thoughts are with you all through this difficult time.

The Sindles

May 24, 2021

Dear Martha, Steve, Colin, Robbie,

Our entire family was saddened to hear of the passing of Katie this past week. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time, we've shared some of our thoughts below:

Mark:

Katie was such a kind, thoughtful, and bright girl. She cared immensely for those around her and certainly made a positive impact on my life. I am glad that I had the opportunity to know her and I cherish my memories with her. I am truly sorry for your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Kirsten:

Anytime I was around Katie no matter how much time had passed, she would always take the time to hear about my life and to catch up. This would make my day and I would always leave with a smile on my face because of her kindness and caring personality. Katie was such a brilliant girl who wanted to help everyone around her. I will always remember our time growing up together.

Joel:

I can remember any time I came over to hang out with Colin when I was younger, Katie was always very kind to me. I always felt the warmth and kindness radiating off of her. Throughout my childhood, I would always hear fun and heartwarming stories about Katie through my older brother and sister. Your family and Katie are in my prayers, Katie's memory will live on through the immense impact she had on those around her.

Melissa:

Katie was always a pleasure to be around, she was always very kind and thoughtful. She always knew how to make me feel special. I can't imagine what you all must be going through, but just know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Jennifer,

Katie's beautiful smile and her kind heart will be etched in my memories forever. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you. If you ever need anything or just someone to talk to, don't hesitate to ask.

In our hearts,

The Sindles
(Steve, Jennifer, Melissa,
Mark, Kirsten, Joel)

Heather Coppolino

May 23, 2021

Dear Martha and family,
We are so sorry to hear about your beautiful daughter. My heartfelt sympathies to all of you.
Love Heather and Marc Coppolino

Margaret Overton

May 23, 2021

Pat and Sandra,
I am truly sorry for your loss. Your granddaughter Katie was obviously so special to so many. For parents, grandparents, family and friends of Katie please accept my deepest sympathy and the hope that one day the sadness you feel now will be replaced by the many wonderful memories and acts of kindness that Katie accomplished in her all too short life. So called “out of order” deaths are especially hard to bear so may the love and prayers of family and friends bring you some comfort.
Sincerely,
Margaret Overton
🇨🇦🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿



Patricia Palmer

May 22, 2021

To Martha Stephen Colin and Robbie my heart goes out to you all only met Katie the few times I visited but found her to be so lovely with a winning smile, my thoughts and prayers go out to you all I feel your pain lots of love from all my family hear in Australia God bless you all

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