At La Verendrye Hospital on Friday, Dec. 7, 2007, Willa Knotts (McDermid), of Fort Frances, Ont., passed away at the age of 77.
Willa was born Oct. 17, 1930 to Margaret and William Kidd in Port Elgin, Ont., grew up there, and married Donald McDermid. Together they raised four children, Janis, Julie, Jennifer, and Rob.
Don’s career as driver examiner with the Ministry of Transport took them to Peterborough, Ottawa, Fort Frances, St. Thomas, and Chatham.
Willa returned to Fort Frances after Don’s death in 1996 and married long-time friend, “Laffy” Knotts, who passed away in 2001.
Willa enjoyed time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She loved to visit with her friend and neighbour, Roylene Badiuk, and often went out to dinner with friends.
Willa also liked to knit, bowl, do crossword puzzles, play bingo, and watch CNN. However, best of all, she loved to dance! When she met Roly Crawford, they shared their passion for dancing until cancer took his life in December, 2005.
Even after Willa was diagnosed with brain cancer in September, she travelled to Port Elgin and threw a “Good-Bye” party for family and friends. They were astounded by her courage and sense of humour.
Returning home, Willa bravely prepared for the future, confident and grateful that she had the best doctor in the world—Dr. Nugent!
Her illness was brief and she was able to remain in her home with her daughter, Julie, as caregiver. Willa spent only two days in the hospital, and her four children were with her when she passed away.
Willa is survived by daughter, Janis (Derek) McFee of Atikokan, Ont.; daughter, Julie Neufeld (Glenn Bradley and daughter, Jennifer) of Kenora, Ont.; daughter, Jennifer Hackman of Port Burwell; and son, Rob (Mary Ellen) McDermid of Dorchester, Ont.; and constant companion—her cat, Misty.
She also is survived by her grandchildren, Kimberley (Kurt) Brouillet, Shawnee (David) Larocque, Bobbi (Joel) Morris, Chad (Cindy) Hackman, Amy (Tony) Hackman, Joe Hackman, Rob Brown, McKenzie McDermid, and Kyle McDermid; as well as great-grandchildren, Gabriel and Peyton Larocque, Aaron, Alexander, and Sabra Brouillet, and Emma and Noah Morris.
A celebration of Willa’s life was held Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Anglican Church in Fort Frances, with Fr. Wayne McIntosh officiating.
Lunch followed at the Royal Canadian Legion.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests in memoriam donations to Tamarack House.
Online condolences may be left at www.northridgefuneralhome.com