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COOMBS, Bernice Ann “Bea” (nee Batchelor)

January 27, 1929 – March 16, 2013

With family in attendance, Bea passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at the Rockyview Hospital in Calgary.

Bea was born in North Battleford Saskatchewan on a chilly, prairie, winter day: Sunday, January 27, 1929. She had many fond memories of her years growing up on the North Battleford hospital grounds with her siblings. With hospital care-giving in her blood, Bea ventured into psychiatric nursing in Ponoka, where she met the man of her dreams, her best friend and love of her life, Ralph Coombs. From the day they were married, July 3, 1954, Bea devoted all her time and energy to creating a home, a haven, a refuge, filled with love for her husband and her treasured children, which overflowed onto any family guests. Everyone found “home” with Bea. Her expressions of love were evidenced through her endless hours of reading and singing goofy songs to her kids and grandkids, preparing favorite family recipes, playing UNO and cribbage, caring for the sick, knitting afghans, slippers and scarves to keep family warm, and ensuring everyone entrusted to her care was safe. Her love was abundant, pure and sacrificial, an example to all and a legacy for generations to come.

Bea is survived by her adoring husband of 59 years, Ralph Coombs; daughters and son-in-laws Carol and John Schlosar, Glenda and Ralph Dubienski, Susan Taylor; son and daughter-in-law Brian Coombs and Candance Hicks; seven doting grandchildren and their spouses: Jay and Tamara, Mat, Jenn and Oliver, Tara, Kevin and Bekah, Jill and Kathy and Shane; and one really great-grandchild: Linus. Her sisters, Barbara (Leo) Wahl, Betty (Harold) Steele, and Bev (Don) Bleaney, who accompanied her in everything from church choir to tomfoolery, predecease Bea.

Bea generously supported many charitable organizations but empowering marginalized Rwandan women brought her great joy in her latter years.

A Funeral Mass will be held at Holy Name Parish (2223 – 34 Street S.W. Calgary) on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. (please note the day has changed) followed immediately by a celebration of her life of love and nurture in the church hall. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. Respectfully suggested, memorial donations may be made to the “Bea Coombs Vocational School Memorial Fund” online at www.canadahelps.org/DonationDetails.aspx?cookieCheck=true or by cheque payable to Hopethiopia/Rwanda, 19 Elbow River Point, Calgary AB T3Z 2V1. Please mention “Bea Coombs Memorial” in the memo line. Bea’s family was truly blessed by the exceptional care extended to her in her last days and would like to recognize and thank the staff of the Rockyview Hospital Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, Units 71 and 73. A special thanks goes to Ralph and Bea’s kind, attentive neighbors and the caring staff at The Manor at Garrison Woods.

In living memory of Bea Coombs, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

Offer Condolence for the family of COOMBS, Bernice Ann “Bea” (nee Batchelor)

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Condolence Messages

  1. Shelley Nadon (Rothermel) :

    Dear Sue, Glenda, Ralph and family. I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your Mom. I remember her to be a quiet, kind, lovely lady. Your Dad picked a good one!! You are all in my thoughts and prayers!! Give each other a hug from me.

    With lots and lots of love.
    Shelley

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  2. Val&Fran Gaudet :

    Our condolences to you Ralph and family.

    Sincerely

    Val & Fran

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  3. Dear Ralph, we were saddened to read about Bea’s passing. At this time we want to extend our deepest sympathies to you and your family. Just wanted to let you know that our thoughts are with you.
    Donna and Gordon Kerr

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  4. Martin and Marian Jerry :

    Dear Ralph,
    We saw with great sadness the passing of Bea. We send you and your family our sincerest condolences and our very best personal good wishes.

    Martin and Marian (Jerry)

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  5. Bizimana Alain christian :

    Let the Lord be praised for this soul who offered and still offering life to many. May the Lord comfort you and as a family you will continue to be a blessing to the world.
    Christian

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  6. Diane (Winny) Macdonald :

    I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Coombs, but worked for many years under Mr. Coombs at Foothills Hospital (after first meeting him at the U of A Hospital). I just wanted to tell you how very sorry I am to hear of Bea’s passing. It is so terribly hard to say, “Goodbye” but I know you’ll have many wonderful memories of her life well lived.

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  7. Maurice Depalme :

    Ralph – very sorry to hear of the passing of your wife Bea. Even if expected, a loss of this nature is very taxing. I offer my sincerest thoughts and prayers as you face the future.
    Sincerely, Maurice Depalme

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  8. Ralph and family,
    My deepest sympathy in your loss of Bea. I have fond memories of the days of the Foothills hospital board and the many occasions when Roy and I enjoyed your hospitality. Bea was an angel to her family and all who knew her.
    Amy

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  9. Sandra Killan :

    Dear Ralph and family,
    My deepest sympathies to you and your family.
    Sandra & Krista

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  10. tigist abebe :

    Dear Glenda & Dr Ralph Family,
    I just wanted to say sorry. I’m sending you and your family our sincerest condolences.

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  11. Monica & Dave (Perchaluk) Kemppainen :

    Dear Coombs family, You are in our thoughts and prayers. We are sorry to hear of your loss. Sue was a childhood friend. I still have the pencil mark on the back of my leg to prove it. Her Mom always welcomed me with open arms when I came to the Coombs home. I have fond memories of everyone. We now reside out of the country so I will not physically be able to attend the funeral. However, I will be thinking about all of you on Saturday.

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  12. Mike and Illa Maher :

    Our sincere sympathy to you and your family on the passing of your dear wife Bea. A life well lived.
    Mike & Illa Maher

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  13. Kathryn and Adeline Lahoda :

    Mr. Coombs, We extend our sympathy in your loss.
    Adeline & Kathryn Lahoda

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  14. Naomi Lakritz :

    Ralph, please accept my condolences on Bea’s passing. I always felt that I knew her through the little notes you have sent me over the years, in which you often made mention of her. Those notes were glimpses into the soul of a delightful person. I’m so sorry for your loss.
    Naomi Lakritz

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  15. Douig McMillan :

    I communicate from southwestern Uganda ( near Rwanda), where I am working for a short while with Healthy Child Uganda, to express my sympathy over the loss of your wife and mother. I remember Bea from my days at Foothills hospital, especially with the annual Christmas event for hospital leaders. She was a charming woman who I am sure helped many during her time on earth.
    My wife, Kim, and I hope that memories of many happy times will fill the void that I know you experience at present.
    Perhaps she can speak with my parents; I expect they have much satisfaction for their lives in a time of perpetual contentment.
    Doug McMillan

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  16. Tom and Dianne Wickerson :

    Carol, John, Jay and family

    Please accept our condolences at the loss of your dear Mother, Mother-in-Law and Grandmother.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you

    Tom and Dianne

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  17. Roseanne Erickison :

    I send this message of sympathy to Ralph Cooms and his family from Roseanne Erickson who was a former employee in FH hospital and was a former grade six classmate with Ralph.

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  18. Eureka Nakai :

    Dear Mr. Coombs and family,
    Our deepest condolences for your loss of such a beautiful human. I really enjoyed our brief visits. Her courage and lack of complaining even though life wasn’t always kind to her inspired me to be a better person. I thank God that I was allowed to cross lives with this earthly Saint. May the God of all comfort provide strength and comfort in this very trying time.
    Eureka

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  19. Dr. Josie Wilson and Dr. Jim Emmett :

    Dear Ralph and family, our deepest sympathy on the loss of Bea. She was such a gentle and caring person, I’m sure you all will miss her so much. Your obituary captured her personality very well. Her sparkling and encouraging spirit will dwell with you always – take heart for that. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Josie and Jim (regrets we are late – were out of town)

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