August 2, 1940 - March 2, 2019
VIRGINIA MAE DIDHAM
On March 2, 2019, Virginia aged 78 years of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, went to be with God and the love of her life, husband William John Didham. She was surrounded by her sons Jeff and Trevor, as well as her daughter-in-law Jennifer at Riverview Palliative Care.
Virginia was born August 2, 1940, to Robert and Mary (nee Bruce) Thacker. She was one of four siblings; eldest Shirley, Vivian, and younger brother Clarence, all who have since passed. Growing up in the 40's and 50's, her first job was at Eaton's Mail Order, Canada Post at Christmas and eventually at the Canadian Wheat Board. This is when she met and fell in love with Bill, a tall, handsome man in the Canadian Forces. They married in Winnipeg on August 4, 1962 and were immediately stationed in Germany.
In 1965, son Jeff was born in Iserlohn, Germany. While in Oromocto, New Brunswick, 1968 blessed them with another son Trevor. Shortly after Trevor’s birth, our family was stationed back across the ocean to Germany, where tragedy struck, and Virginia’s loving husband Bill was killed in a tragic accident on December 2, 1970. Devastated, she flew back to Winnipeg with the body of our Father and her two sons age 5 and 2. He was buried at Brookside Cemetery.
To start over was not easy, but she worked a day job and began upgrading her education at Red River College in the evenings. Being compassionate and caring, her goal was to get into health care. She achieved high marks and started her career at the Manitoba Clinic, working for many doctors. I can remember her working the night shift at Winnipeg's Rehabilitation Centre. We did not have a car at the time, so she would hop on her bike, travel 6 kilometers, work her shift, hop back on her bike, and be home to send us off to school. At the end of her career, and for almost two decades, she volunteered at St. Boniface hospital, won awards and was invited to special recognition dinners which made her very proud.
My brother and I were her world. She supported us by always wanting the best for us. Cubs and Scouts, hockey and football and a myriad of music lessons. I can remember her standing behind Trevor at outdoor rinks in the freezing cold, cheering him on as he played in goal. When he ran marathons, she would stand along the roadside and clap for each participant until her hands turned red, but always saved the biggest cheer for him as he ran by. In 1996 we traveled as far as Seattle to watch him run where we had our first Starbucks. She had one sip and said, nope, it's not Tim's!
She was a strong supporter of my music and enjoyed bands like Iron Maiden and Scorpions, although she preferred Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. She could be spotted at shows where we'd play, taking admission and selling t-shirts. She loved to assist anyway she could. It was always interesting and very funny to watch line ups at the show. Cursing and messing around were prevalent at the end and middle of the line, but when they'd got close to where my mom was, the cursing stopped and was replaced by "yes ma'am" and "thank you."
Apparently Metal fans are very polite and well behaved ...
She was passionate about our Bombers and Jets and for 1 dollar, Salisbury House would let you see the Bomber games while sitting in a fenced in section in the south end zone. We saw every game. She was never big on material things but was generous with her time. She would take us places and do things with us.
Mom loved being a grandma to her three grandchildren. She was an involved and adventurous grandma. She tobogganed, went on outings, and to the park regularly with Madie. Even when she was not well she pushed herself to attend all of Madie’s school and dance performances; watching Madie perform brought her great joy. On evenings family would be over for dinner, Madie and McKenna would put on impromptu dance performances that would make grandma gush with pride and joy. Speaking of joy, her first and only grandson Niall received lots of love and attention. Grandma was over the moon!
Left to grieve are sons Jeff and Trevor; daughter in-law Jennifer and mom’s three treasured grandchildren Madie, McKenna and Niall. Madie's dog Buster will also grieve our loss. She especially treasured her time with nephew Jim who would visit and take her for coffee weekly. Also left behind are countless nieces and nephews scattered across Canada. She adored her husband's family in Newfoundland, and always spoke very highly of them.
Sincere gratitude to the doctors and staff at Riverview and a very special thank you to the staff at Lion's Manor, supportive housing.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Alzheimer's Society in Winnipeg.
Friends and relatives are encouraged to share stories and condolences for the family by commenting in the section on the right-hand side of this page.
A special ceremony will take place in the spring of 2019 at Brookside Cemetery where the urn will be interred along-side the grave of husband Bill.
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