We sadly announce the passing of Virginia Lucille Copenace, known to many as “T-Qua,” our dear sister, daughter, auntie, cousin, grandmother, and friend, on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009.
Lucy’s first spouse was James “Jimbo” Lowmaster from Bemidji, Mn. and together they had a beautiful daughter they named Tashena. He died two weeks before Tashena’s first birthday in a motorcycle accident in 1985.
Lucy went on to meet Stephen McKinney of Swan Lake, Man. and together they raised Tashena. Stephen adopted Tashena as his own daughter along with the precious grandchildren like his own.
Virginia “T-Qua” Lucille was born April 9, 1966 to Fred Joseph Copenace and Lucy (nee Kirkrude) Copenace. Her parents were married on May 30, 1960.
Lucy graduated from Grade 12 from Rainy River High School in 1984.
She was predeceased by her father, Fred Copenace; brother, Raymond Copenace; sister-in-law, Karilyn “Honey” Jack; maternal grandparents, Edward and Marie (nee Adams) Kirkrude; great-grandfather, Billy Archie; uncles, Edward Kirkrude Jr., Ole Kirkrude, Nancy Kirkrude; paternal grandparents, Ben and Jane Copenace; uncles, Jimmy, William, Rodney, Daniel, and Richard Copenaces and Pte. Robert Copenace; and aunties, Virginia and Rosemarie Copenace.
She leaves behind her spouse, Stephen McKinney; daughter, Tashena (Tim Henry); grandchildren, her pride and joy, Tyrese Copenace, Sashayah Copenace, and Sandreyah Copenace; her mother, Mrs. Lucy Copenace of Big Grassy First Nation, Ont.; three brothers, Dennis Copenace and Curtis Copenace, all of Big Grassy First Nation, Ont., and Terry Copenace (Jana Yerxa) of Thunder Bay, Ont.; and sister, Josephine Copenace of Big Grassy First Nation, Ont.
Also surviving are aunties, Yvonne Jack, Edna Indian, Florence Gibbins, Stella Tuesday, Marie Big George, and Melvina Copenace; uncles, Albert Kirkrude, and Alvin and Ernest Copenace; nieces, Tanya Andy, Amanda Copenace, MaryLou Copenace, and Stacey Jack; nephews, Peter Ian Copenace, Cody Copenace-Redwood, Dennis Copenace Jr., Nathan Jack, and Tristan Jack; and all the little relations.
Special mention of her in-laws, nieces, and nephews—a huge family she adored too numerous to mention. All Esquashes and McKinneys have been by her side throughout this difficult period.
That day our loved one left us to start her journey was incredibly sad. She leaves behind a trail of memories that will never be forgotten, only cherished. It’s amazing how our minds easily recover all the past years to current.
She was so comical—humour which was easily transferred onto you. T-Qua was silly, with a big heart.
She had struggled with an underlying illness all her life, but she always persevered and never complained. She accepted this with no conditions with all her suffering. Even her last days was filled with silliness . . . she would raise her thumb with a smile to give us and the nurses she was okay.
She worked as a casual labourer, but her most fulfilling obligation was raising her grandchildren. She loved them like her own.
She gets to meet that little baby she never met before, and all our loved ones and ancestors gone before us that we hear about. How beautiful and sacred is that.
Her time with us was short but memorable, with lasting thoughts of her. We are so grateful to have spent this short time with you, my sis. You will forever be loved by all your loving family.
A wake was held Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009 at the Big Grassy First Nation Hall in Big Grassy First Nation.
A traditional funeral was held Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009 at the Big Grassy First Nation Hall. Elder Ken McKinney officiated, with burial in the Big Grassy First Nation Cemetery.
The pallbearers were Peter Ian Copenace, Blake Kesick, Derek McKay, Randy Morrison, Clayton McKinney, and Steve Jack.
If friends so desire, in memoriam donations may be made to the charity of your choice c/o Northridge Funeral Home, P.O. Box 89, Emo, Ont., P0W 1E0.
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