In the quiet morning of Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14, 2023, the heart of our beloved Kathie beat its final rhythm at the Greater Niagara General Hospital. She was surrounded by the warmth of her family, wrapped in love and comfort, as she embarked on her journey into eternal heaven.

Kathie leaves behind a legacy of love and unyielding devotion. Her beloved husband of 54 cherished years, Michael John Sawada, remains as a testament to their enduring love. Their love story, which began in 1968 in Fort Frances, has been a beacon of strength and an example of commitment for us all. She followed him to various RCMP posts including Portage La Prairie, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay and Ottawa, where many close friendships were developed.

Her children, Michael Charles Sawada and Raija Jo (Michael) Pearce, will forever remember her as a nurturing mother whose wisdom and kindness will continue to guide them throughout their lives. Her joy was magnified through her grandchildren Emily and James Pearce, whose lives were enriched by her profound love and grand-maternal warmth. Her sister, Mitzi (Larry) Armstrong, her sister-in-law Berni Candeloro, along with a constellation of nieces, nephews and extended family in Fort Frances and the Niagara Area, will forever remember her as a beacon of strength and a heart brimming with compassion.

She joins those who preceded her in this journey, including her daughter Heather Mary Sawada (1975); her mother Kathleen E. Callahan Q.C. (née Morrison, 1988); father Thomas Callahan, Q.C. (1952); siblings Thomas, Sean and Fran Sinclair; and brothers in-law Robin Sinclair and John Candeloro.

Born in Toronto and raised in Fort Frances, Kathie was a woman of many talents. A graduate of high school in International Falls, Minnesota, she honed her skills as a court reporter after university and was a valuable member of a local finance company in Fort Frances before Holy Matrimony called her. Kathie was a wellspring of creativity and practical knowledge. Her talents ranged from tailoring and teaching sewing and knitting, small machine mechanics, computing, and carving. She had an uncanny ability to solve any problem, and her industrious spirit inspired those around her.

Kathie’s compassion was not merely a spark, but rather a lighthouse that illuminated her path as she navigated the solemn halls of palliative health care. She dedicated her life to the noble cause of comforting the suffering, helping countless souls find peace in their final hours. Her dedication was tireless, her strength a testament to her unyielding commitment to the well-being of others. She extended her heart and hands beyond her professional obligations, caring for those closest to her in their time of need. Her mother-in-law (Josephine Sawada) and sister-in-law (Marilyn Sawada) were recipients of her unfailing love and care during their final weeks.

Kathie was not one to step back when challenges arose; she stepped forward, providing the comfort and strength that her loved ones needed. Kathie’s love knew no bounds, and she exemplified this through acts of immeasurable selflessness. Not only did she devote her time, energy, and care to those around her, but she also gave a part of herself in the most profound way possible. She became a living donor, generously offering a part of her own life to her sister, Fran Sinclair (née Callahan). This rare and precious gift was not merely an act of saving a life, but it was a testament of love that extended the tapestry of their sisterhood. It granted Fran decades more of life, laughter, and love, not just with Kathie, but with her own family as well. This act of selflessness and love was a powerful testament to Kathie’s character. It will forever remind us of her profound capacity for love and her willingness to sacrifice for the sake of others.

Kathie’s heart was always big enough to hold us all, and she truly lived the message of love in every sense of the word. Despite her failing eyesight in her later years, Kathie’s spirit remained undimmed. She continued to embody the roles of a loving wife, mother, doting grandmother, caring aunt, and a faithful friend to many.

A woman of unwavering faith and love, Kathie was remembered in a Funeral Service on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Fort Frances. In place of flowers or donations, we ask for your prayers. May they serve as comforting whispers on the wind, guiding Kathie on her journey and reminding us of the extraordinary love she brought into our lives.