Merlene Sparry

Merlene Sparry

Friday, December 1st, 1933 - Friday, January 24th, 2020
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December 1,1933 – January 24, 2020

Merlene Elizabeth Sparry (née Seip) died peacefully and is lovingly remembered by sons Andrew Finton (Heather), Doug Thornton, stepdaughters Kathy McLaughlin (James), Sheila Trimble (Pat), sister Pat McTavish and brother Bruce Seip (Joyce), as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Pre-deceased by husband Robert (Bob) Sparry, parents Helen and Nelson Seip, son Earl Thornton, stepson Ron Sparry, brother Arlen Seip (Ella), former husband Doran Thornton and many good friends.

Merlene and Bob created a blended family filled with love, and she maintained beautiful friendships with extended family and friends throughout her life. She was generous with her time and her enthusiasm.

Merlene trained as a registered nurse at St. Mary’s in Kitchener and she was passionate about caring for patients, only retiring at age 75. She knew from age 6 that she wanted to be a nurse, and she cared for thousands of patients over her 50 year career. She loved the residents and staff at Derbeckers Heritage House during her working life, and was able to receive their caring in return during her final days.

She was an avid card player, committed to her weekly cribbage group and family games of solo and euchre. She was a tireless volunteer with the Rebekah Lodge and later Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, providing countless delicious community suppers over the years in the company of many wonderful ladies.

She also loved to travel to the Yukon, making 21 visits to her family there and introducing some of her friends to northern life.

As a mother, a nurse and an active community member, Merlene helped many people over the course of her 86 years with us. She was a bright light that will keep shining in our hearts.

Memorial donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or to a charity of your choice.
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  • Visitation

    Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 | 3:00pm - 7:00pm
    Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 3:00pm - 7:00pm
    Graham Giddy Funeral Home, Fergus Chapel
    280 St. David Street South
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 | 1:00pm
    Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 1:00pm
    Faith Evangelical Luthern Church
    290 Belsyde Ave
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Gloria Ryder


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Derwyn & Heather, Clarke & Sandy, Theresa & Jerry sent flowers to the family of Merlene Sparry.
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Theresa Thomson

Posted at 01:25pm
In my younger days, it seemed like almost every Sunday, my mom and dad and myself were either at the Thornton's or they were at our place on the farm outside of Clifford. My mom, Ruth Reuber, was Merlene's aunt, but they were very close, almost like sisters, and we spent many happy times together. I remember my dad, Elmer, and Merlene trying to get the best of each other, either when playing cards, or, pulling pranks on each other. Merlene would laugh until she had tears coming down her cheeks. When I was a little older, I would go to the Thornton's in the summer, and help Merlene with the boys (Earl was only 1 year older than me), but would get the boys lunch, and help clean the house etc. while she was at work at the Midwestern Hospital between Listowel and Palmerston. Then in years to come, when she was living in Palmerston. sometimes she would have me walk from the Norwell High School and come to the apartment and stay with Andy when she was working evenings or nights. Unfortunately over the years we have all went our own way and have lost touch with each other, but Merlene would still call me occasionally, and after an hour or so, I would drag myself away from the phone. She loved to talk!! In hindsight, I feel she was one of the reasons that when furthering my education, I, too, decided to become a Registered Nurse. She was probably one of the most fun-loving, hardworking women I ever knew, and she will be sorely missed in every way.
Theresa Thomson

Derwyn & Heather, Clarke & Sandy, Theresa & Jerry

Posted at 12:45pm
"Merlene Sparry" will remain in our hearts forever.
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Derwyn & Heather, Clarke & Sandy, Theresa & Jerry purchased flowers for the family of Merlene Sparry. Send Flowers


Valerie Lane

Posted at 12:07pm
My deepest sympathy to all of Merlene's family. I remember Merlene since 1959 when I married her cousin, Carl Seip. They came to visit us on the farm in Clifford. We chatted about birthdays and we found out that we shared the same date and year. We laughed and laughed about it. Merelene said, "I don't believe it Elizabeth that we have the same year and day". We have been very close friends since. In fact she called me her twin. Every year since her and I have given each other flowers for birthdays and Christmas and celebrated some birthdays together. Merlene was a wonderful and caring person and I will miss her greatly and she will be close to my heart.

Merlene moved into Heritage House down the hall from me she was very happy to be back. She met a lot of staff that she worked with years ago. I had the opportunity to be at Merlene's side holding her hand until the end. I was glad that I could be there for her.

Elizabeth Seip

Michele Sheehan

Posted at 11:58am
Merlene, I will miss you more than I can express. You were always good to all of us, we have shared many laughs, I loved hearing your stories through the years. I will treasure the nurse figurines that you gave me and I will remember you when I look at them. I also know that Brandon will miss you a ton. You have gone to a better place we miss you and love you

Michele & Wayne Sheehan, Brandon & Lisa Sparry XOXOXO

Valerie Lane

Posted at 11:52am
My deepest sympathy to all of Merlene's family. She was a wonderful, kind and compassionate lady. I remember when I was growing up she would come to the farm in Clifford and visit our family. She loved to tell stories and some were very interesting and we would laugh and cry together. We always had a great time with her. She will be greatly missed and forever close to my heart. May God bless all of you as you go through this difficult time.

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