Laurie Joy Oliver
October 2, 1957 – September 12, 2019
It with great regret that Laurie has passed from our presence after her year-long battle with cancer on September 12, 2019. She passed peacefully with family by her side.
Laurie was born to Ardis and Gordon Williams in Edmonton, Alberta on October 2, 1957. She was the eldest of 5 children, all born within fairly quick succession. Her childhood was spent growing up on an acreage outside Ardrossan, Alberta and spent countless memorable hours with her siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents in the immediate area. She attended school in Ardrossan, graduating High School in 1975.
She started her career working toward a business executive at Financial Life in Edmonton in 1975. The year after marrying Don in 1977, they moved to Winnipeg. Laurie worked for Imperial Life and became an executive secretary to a Monarch Life VP. She was not satisfied with this position and committed to night school to acquire her Certified Management Accountant designation in 1987. She started her accounting career at the fledgling Retail Accounting Department of Nygard International in 1982. In 1990, she took on the position of Controller for Mallabar Apparels. Bristol Aerospace provided the next challenge in 1991 and she working up to its Controller position by 1995. The pace and excitement of the fashion industry drew her back to a Department Manager position at Nygard International in 2000. She advanced her way through the organization and eventually become the Vice President of Merchandising and Operations toward the end of her 17 years there.
Throughout Laurie’s working life, continuing education was always a must. She convocated with a Certificate in Management from the University of Manitoba, acquired a Graduate Diploma in Management and was working on her Master of Business Administration from Athabasca University.
Laurie was an avid gardener and spent countless hours every year modifying the planting layouts at her home. For a number of years, she was able to enjoy the fruits of her labours creating a relaxing backyard oasis to watch her birds, squirrels and racoons. She always planted too many tomato plants but no one seemed to mind their bounty.
Her love of music was ever changing, initiating on Country and Western, grooving to rock in her teen years and slowly sliding into the Blues, Jazz and Classical in later years. The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra performances were a treat and seven trips to New Orleans for Jazzfest provided opportunities for an even wider appreciation of Live music.
She enjoyed the enrichment of travel, for business or pleasure, whether in North America or abroad. Special trips to Chicago, Newfoundland, San Francisco, South Africa, Peru, The Galapagos Islands, Great Britain, Continental Europe, the Middle East and the Asian subcontinent only confirmed how lucky she felt we were to have access to such diverse beauty throughout this world.
Laurie was very proud of the type of people her two sons, Ken and Aaron, had become. She savoured all of their successes and achievements. Family vacations and road trips with them were always interesting and their wit and humour always livened the experience for everyone.
Family and friends have always been supportive of Laurie throughout her life and that only proved more evident over the last year. Travelling and socializing with close friends strengthened those bonds and added to the richness and enjoyment of her life.
Laurie had expressed having no regrets, with nothing left undone or unseen. She had looked back and was proud of her accomplishments and the fine body of acquaintances she had had the pleasure to meet along the way.
The family would like to thank CancerCare Manitoba, and especially the doctors, nurses and support staff at HSC Ward GD4 for their passionate care during Laurie’s final days.
Laurie, Don, Ken and Aaron cannot express enough our deep heartfelt gratitude for the love and support we have received from our friends and family. Words cannot begin to communicate what this has meant to us.
Laurie has been cremated and a Celebration of Life service will be held at Thomson Funeral Home, located at 669 Broadway (Broadway and Sherbrook) in Winnipeg on Saturday, September 28 at 2:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, please give a donation to Manitoba CancerCare Manitoba.
- Memorial Service Saturday, September 28, 2019
Laurie Joy Oliver
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Lloyd & Elaine Selk
September 26, 2019
Our sympathy to Don, Ken, Aaron, and Laurie's family & friends on your loss. We had the privilege of meeting Laurie at Eric and Lorely Oliver's residence in Gibbons, AB. She was a very pleasant person. She will be missed by all and will be with you in spirit.
Lloyd & Elaine Selk
September 25, 2019
Laurie taught me, challenged me and supported me in the time we worked together. I feel fortunate to have benefited from her knowledge, experience and professional demeanor. Above all, she was a very proud Mother and I send my deepest condolences to Laurie's family.
September 23, 2019
The fall of 1983, start of the Master's program in Architecture. Met DonO and it wasn't long before we became friends. Shortly thereafter we were invited over to his house (as he and Laurie were the one of a few with a house) for a demolition party. Don and Laurie were always renovating and of course cheap (free) labour was abundant, especially when free Albertan beef was offered up! Laurie had put up with us bunch of unruly, University friends. It was evident that Laurie was in charge of the renovations. There were a few more visits to the Oliver household over the years all on the auspices that we were working on a project! Laurie was always gracious and enjoyed the company. After I left Winnipeg, Don and Laurie came out west to Victoria a number of times and they always found time to visit, it was always nice catching up with each other. Finding out what the boys were doing, etc. It was very evident that Don had a special lady and had a special relationship and was able to share a lifetime of experiences together. We will all miss her, but she is never far away and always in out hearts! We're always here for you DonO!
Love, Geraldine, Jackson and Tyler
September 21, 2019
Heidi and I first met Don in 1983 in the first year of our Masters programme in Architecture at the University of Manitoba. Don had the unfortunate mischance to pick his desk in studio right across from mine. We quickly hit it off . It was shortly thereafter we met Laurie helping in their many ongoing house renovation parties at their Beresford home. I very much appreciated Laurie’s dry sense of humour. Most evident to me from the first time we met Laurie was how much Don and Laurie was truly in love. We also saw this love extend to their two boys Ken and Aaron. We had the fortunate opportunity to have them up at our cottage a few years ago where they hatched the idea of a 31st Architectural class reunion in New Orleans. We had a wonderful time with them in New Orleans and we saw their love for each other ever enduring. You will be missed Laurie.