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OKAZAWA – Dr. Nancy Elizabeth

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.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Tieke Jhamandas and Leah Robichaud :

    Leah and I are so sad hearing about Nancy’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time.
    Much regard.
    Tieke and Leah

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  2. Shimoon, Ed & Debby :

    You have our deepest sympathies on the loss of your wife Nancy. Our thoughts are with you and Stephen.

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  3. Asha Jhamandas :

    I was very sorry to hear the news that Nancy passed away. I will always admire and remember her spirit and strength. Steph and Tadahiro, you are in my thoughts every day. I wish you lots of support and love during this difficult time.
    Asha

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  4. I met Mrs. Okazawa only once but felt the love she had for life and her family. My thoughts are with you.

    Brian

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  5. Malcolm Cooper :

    Our sympathies to all the family on their loss.

    Malcolm and Jane Cooper
    Clive and Barbara Cooper
    England

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  6. Khem Jhamandas :

    Our deepest sympathy on the loss of dear Nancy. We keep you in our thoughts. While we deeply mourn her passage, we take comfort in the thought that her deep love for her family and friends will endure beyond her time in this world.

    Khem and Shan Jhamandas

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  7. Lisa Wilson :

    It was such a pleasure getting to know Nancy during the last year. She was such a shy person until you got to know her. We shared many laughs, thoughts and chats about the hospice and dying during the walks up and down the hallway. I will treasure these moments and will miss her kind quiet nature.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers. A new star is shining in the sky now! Adieu Nancy!

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  8. Maureen Ramage :

    Dear Okazawa Family:
    I send you all my deepest sympathy and prayers. I am a volunteer at Agape and shared talks, hugs and her going home tea.
    She was a very nice lady, I am so sorry for your loss. God Rest Her Soul.
    An Agape Friend, Maureen “Mo”

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  9. Shan Jhamandas :

    My most sincere condolences on your loss. Please remember that we never truly lose the ones we love, they are always with us and we carry them and their love wherever we go.
    Shan

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  10. Adrian Mugridge :

    Heartfelt sympathy on the loss of your sister.

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  11. Cathy McLarnon :

    I was so sad to hear that Nancy finally lost the battle. What a fighter and a good friend, even though we didn’t get to see each other often. My sympathies to Tadahiro and Stephen. Nancy lives on in our memories forever.

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  12. Shaun and Rita Paterson :

    With heavy hearts we read of the passing of Nancy.
    Our son, Brian Paterson, was a friend of Stephen in their younger years at school.
    We met Nancy and Tadahiro then and would meet every once in awhile throughout the years, when walking in Glenmore Park.
    Our prayers are with all of you during this time of grief.
    May Nancy rest in peace with no pain.
    She was a very strong woman and very courageous.
    Sincerely,
    Shaun and Rita Paterson

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  13. Gregory Smolynec :

    Dear Stephen,

    My sincere condolences to you and your family.

    Greg

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  14. Zakia Bouayed :

    Stephen – My most sincere condolences on your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this difficult time.

    Zakia

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  15. We are extremely saddened to hear this distressing news. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.

    Sincerely,
    Raman and Anita Pall

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  16. Wale and Risi Shokoya :

    We are sad to hear of the passing of Nancy after all the strength, courage and fight she gave to Cancer. Our condolences to Tadahiro, Stephen, other members of the immediate family and the “extended” family she left behind at the UofC, including those of us she has touched during the brief period we got to know her. While we mourn, we take comfort in our believe that you are in peace with the Almighty.

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  17. Jim Campbell :

    Cindy and I would like to extend our deepest condolences on your loss. Nancy was a remarkable woman and we are all saddened to no longer have her with us. Her illness was such a hard and long road. We can only trust that she is now at peace in a better place.

    Sincerely,

    Jim Campbell and Cindy Anderson

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  18. Debbie Humphries :

    Dear Tadahiro and Stephen – it is with truly a heavy heart that I write this. Nancy and I were friends for over 40 years. We walked to school together and the blessing that I had is that we kept in touch over all these years. I treasure the times that you, Tadahiro and Nancy came to visit me in Chilliwack, even if it was for a brief time. Nancy’s strength, courage and love for you both will always be with me. She fought the good fight and I will always remember her as the dearest of friends. Love to you both, Debbie

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  19. Debbie Leong :

    Dear Stephen and Tadahiro- I cannot say how sorry I am to hear about Nancy’s passing. She fought a courageous battle with a horrible disease. I remember her as a loving mother and wife and I appreciated her friendship.
    May God bless you Nancy and keep you.

    Sincerely,
    Deb

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  20. Judy St. Cyr :

    My sympathy to Tadahiro, Stephen and Robert.
    How fortunate I feel to have known Nancy.
    We were the best of friends through elementary and high school sharing summer holidays in Wellington Ontario, playing tennis, walking to the movies, family camping trips with my parents – one very memorable one to the east coast. We lost touch for a long time, but were reconnected through a mutual good friend.
    Her spirit and love for her family shone. She always will have a special part of my heart, and made my childhood a happy one.
    Love to all from her friend Judy (nee Hutton)

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  21. Jack and Vija Jhamandas :

    Our deepest sympathies and condolences on your loss. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

    Jack and Vija Jhamandas and family

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  22. George Bezaire :

    Tadahiro – I’d like to offer my condolences in person but I have a meeting with government officials in Edmonton on Wednesday evening.

    I was so sorry to hear of your loss – Please accept my heartfelt sympathy. May your memories bring you comfort in the future.

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  23. Anita and Leo Vorndran :

    We are greatly saddened to hear of the passing of your beloved wife, Nancy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  24. Jian-Yang Yuan :

    Dear Tadahiro,

    We are deeply saddened by Nancy’s passing. At this very difficult time for you and your family, please allow us to assure you that our hearts are with you.

    Sincerely yours,
    Jian-Yang and Hongqi Yuan

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  25. I am very sorry to hear of your loss Tadahiro. Although I never had the opportunity to meet your wife, I am sure she will be sadly missed by you and your family. My and Marilyn’s thoughts are with you at this sad time.

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  26. Barbara Sibbald :

    So very sorry for your loss.

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