Carolyn June Copps, 52, of Thunder Bay, Ont., passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011, with her family and friends at her side, after a six-year journey with ovarian cancer.
Born on June 25, 1959 in Fort Frances, Ont., she graduated with a B.Sc. nursing degree at the University of Manitoba in 1986. She worked at Port Arthur Hospital, and later the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, from 1987-2009.
More than 20 years of her career were spent caring for patients in the ICU. During this time, she was honoured with a Provincial Nursing Excellence Award.
Carolyn is survived by her loving husband of 21 years, Michael Copps; daughter, Jennifer Sutton (Veronica) of Toronto, Ont.; mother, Eleanor (Don) Haggard of Medicine Hat, Alta.; sister, Noreen (Paul) Richard of Thunder Bay, Ont.; brothers, Jim (Holly) Whitehead, David (Sheri) Whitehead, and Jason (Katie) Whitehead of Fort Frances, Ont.; and sister-in-law, Kathy Copps of Vancouver, B.C.
She also is survived by seven nephews, Jeremy, Adrian, Taylor, Tristan, Jacob, Aaron, and Nathaniel; numerous special cousins; and her dog, Molly.
She was predeceased by her father, Fred Whitehead; in-laws, Cyril and Teresa Copps; brother-in-law, Bob Copps; and her long-time companion, Millie (dog).
Carolyn always was generous with her time and gifts for others. Her hobbies and interests were many, and always done with much enthusiasm. Her passions were whitewater canoeing and wilderness camping, taking numerous canoe trips—some as long as four weeks—to isolated regions of Northwestern Ontario.
She also took her nephew, Jeremy, and daughter, Jen, to Madawaska (whitewater) Kanu School in Barry’s Bay, Ont.
After diagnosis, she went on her “trip of a lifetime,” whitewater canoeing for three weeks on the Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories.
Her love of gardening led to starting hundreds of plants in a greenhouse that Michael made for her. She also grew all the fresh and dried flowers for hers and Noreen’s weddings.
These two sisters also spent time together camping, gardening, cooking, baking and canning, as well as making various crafts. Refinishing furniture became Carolyn’s next hobby, which she hoped to continue after retirement.
Cremation has taken place, and a private family interment will be held Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 at 11 a.m. in Mountain View Cemetery in Thunder Bay.
A memorial service for family and friends to celebrate Carolyn’s life will be held Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 at 2 p.m. at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church (River and Farrand Streets in Thunder Bay).
If desired, in lieu of flowers, in memoriam donations may be made to Ovarian Cancer Canada.
Remember her and you will smile
Though you may cry for a while
Because her days here with you
Were so great and far too few.
Online condolences may be offered at