July 15, 1952 – June 10, 2010
Dr. Nancy Elizabeth Okazawa, born Nancy Dawes on July 15th, 1952, was finally bested by cancer on June 10th, 2010. It was a long and, towards the end, arduous battle. Breast cancer was confirmed in 1995 after a small lump was identified and removed. The following five years were relatively trouble-free, until bone pain surfaced. The cancer had returned, and the situation became serious at that point. Nancy likened it to having a rottweiler on a leash. When treatments were going well, she was on the controlling end of the leash, but when things were going poorly, the vicious beast was in control. She had nine years of life after the bone involvement, an unusually long survival after metastases into the bones. She was able to accomplish some traveling before the situation became too serious, with trips to Hawaii, Japan, England and many camping trips on the west coast.
She is survived by her husband, Dr. Tadahiro Okazawa, who has stuck with her through thick and thin. It is also a tough journey for those who survive, and he quit work to offer support and love until the end. Her son, Stephen, living in Ottawa, was also supportive and loving, with an open ear to many phone calls and several much-appreciated trips to Calgary in the recent months. She has a brother, Robert Dawes, and sister-in-law, Barbara, in Trenton, Ontario, who have kept in close contact over these past many years. Her mother, Agnes Dawes, lives in a nursing home in Trenton. Her father, also Robert Dawes, predeceased her in 2000, from cancer.
Nancy grew up in Lachine, Quebec, and attended McGill University in Montreal obtaining her B.Sc. in Chemistry. She came to Calgary in 1974 where she completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Calgary by 1980 under the supervision of Dr. Ted Sorensen. She held a series of research positions at the University, the last and longest in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering from 1988. During this time, the members of the In Situ Combustion Group became her family away from home. Dr. R.G. Moore, Dr. Raj Mehta, Matt Ursenbach, Mark Hancock, and Elizabeth Zalewski were all appreciated colleagues and friends and Nancy is sorry to have had to leave them. She would also like to mention several personal friends because they stood by her throughout her ordeal: Gabrielle, Michelle, Elaine, Monique and Brenda. Other good friends who don’t reside in Calgary are not forgotten. Cathy, Claudine, Judy, Debbie, Amal and Katerina have also been there as much as they were able, given their distance.
A Memorial Service will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W.) on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. Please forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
In living memory of Nancy, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403) 243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences