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Dana Mary Paul

February 18, 1970 - December 4, 2017


There are many words that can describe Dana Mary Paul – compassionate, strong, impetuous, mischievous, supportive, intelligent, thoughtful, adventurous, enthusiastic, sardonic, dedicated, outspoken, tenacious, and generous are just some of many – but ultimately, it was her loving spirit that truly defined her and is, more than anything else, the main reason why she will be so deeply missed.

Dana’s spirit of adventure took her across Canada, living in her native Nova Scotia, as well as Ontario, Yukon and Saskatchewan before arriving in Winnipeg with her husband Jason Small and their dog Ronnie in 2014. She worked in a variety of roles in her professional life, including store manager, bookkeeper and librarian.

Her favourite roles, however, were as a loving family member and friend, as she was an incredibly caring and loving woman who was very protective and supportive of her loved ones. Her loved ones knew how much she cared about them and that she would do anything to help them.

Dana’s incredible strength was on display throughout her life. That strength helped her through the numerous challenges she faced in life, including the loss of her father when she was a teen, and the chronic illnesses that tried to dominate her later years. She used that strength to overcome the adversity life threw at her, including refusing to let her chronic pain define her life. As tenacious and strong as she was loving and dedicated to her loved ones, Dana persevered through years of chronic pain to be the backbone of her family.

Dana loved that life had so much to offer and was enthusiastic about so many different things. Whether she was pulling large salmon out of the Yukon River, learning about 15th century history, reading one of the 1,000s of books she devoured, playing board games, volunteering, walking along the beach, playing with her puppy or just talking about anything with her husband, Dana did so with an unbridled enthusiasm and joy that was infectious.

She was a proud member of the Membertou First Nation of Nova Scotia and proud to be an Indigenous Canadian.

Dana passed away suddenly but peacefully in her 48th year on Dec. 4 in her home in Winnipeg and she will be incredibly missed by all of those she impacted.

Dana is predeceased by her father Ronald Paul, her grandparents Bob and Dorothy Hyatt, and Percy and Isabel Paul, her parents-in-law Gwen and Sam Small, and other family members. She is survived by her husband Jason Small and their puppy Ronnie, of Winnipeg, her mother Rev. Nicole Paul of Brantford, Ont., her sister Kathy Wilson (Mike) of Waterloo, Ont., her brothers-in-law Kevin Small (Lynnette) of Mount Forest, Ont., and Warren Small (Betty) of Seaforth, Ont., her sister-in-law Sherry McDonald (Michael) of Harriston, Ont., her nieces and nephews Laura, Jeffrey, Riley, Curtis, Brandy, Danielle, Cody, Jessica and Shawn and their spouses and partners, eight great-nieces and nephews, numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, and many more friends than she realized.

Anyone wishing to make a donation in Dana’s memory is encouraged to make it to any of a number of causes she believed in, including reputable pet rescues and no-kill animal shelters, the World Wildlife Fund, the Winnipeg Humane Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Canadian Cancer Society.

There will be two celebrations of Dana’s life. The Winnipeg celebration will be held on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 11 a.m. at the Canadian Red Cross office, 1111 Portage Ave., Winnipeg. The Ontario celebration will be held on Sunday, Feb. 18 (her birthday) at a time and location that will be announced in the coming weeks.

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