Image by Dimitri Tyan

LORI GERBER

LORI ANNE GERBER

(née VIVIAN)

September 26, 1958 – January 4, 2021

    It is with heavy hearts that we announce Lori’s passing on January 4th, 2021 in Winnipeg Manitoba, at the age of 62 years old. Lori is predeceased by her son, Dustin Gerber in 2004, and survived by her children Angela Kolonich and her husband Josh, Martee Wicker and her husband Mik, and Chris Gerber; sisters Terry Conn and her husband Gregory, and Donna Tremblay and her husband Ken; her extended family; and many friends in both the United States and Canada.

    Lori was born in Winnipeg Manitoba, and was the oldest of three sisters. Lori married and had her first child Angela while living in Winnipeg, and moved to the United States when she remarried. She lived in Lansing, and then Holt Michigan for many years, and had three more wonderful children; Dustin, Martee, and Chris. After the passing of her son Dustin, Lori moved back to Winnipeg to be closer to her family. 

    Lori treasured her role as a Mother and a homemaker, a job that she felt lucky to have because it allowed her to spend lots of time with her children. Not only was Lori a wonderful Mother to her four children, but also all the other kids in the neighborhood, on any street she lived on. She was always making hot dogs or Kraft dinner, planning pool parties in the backyard, or volunteering at her kid’s schools. She even helped host multiple school Valentines parties in one day! Lori also would often bring a special lunch to her kids at school, and spend the lunch break with them. Lori also loved animals, and her home was always full of both kids and pets. Birds, fish, hamsters, gerbils, and of course cats and dogs too.

    When her children got older, Lori attended Lansing Community College where she received her Certified Nurse Aide certificate, and took jobs providing home and hospice care for Cypress Home Care and Heartland Hospice in Lansing, Michigan. She also pursued Reiki training, and other holistic approaches to providing care for her patients. While she treasured her time as a Mother at home, Lori felt it was a privilege to provide care to people in their older years, and at the end of life. Her kind demeanor and bedside manner comforted her patients, and many of her patients and families formed a special bond with her. Lori was personally invited and honored at many of her client’s funerals, and inspired her daughter Martee to also go into healthcare. Lori continued her career when she moved back to Winnipeg, working for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority until she retired. 

    Lori also loved to garden. She loved plants, and she made growing them look so easy! She loved her tiger lilies, rhubarb, and her lilac and burning bush. She also loved her purple passion, spider plant and dieffenbachia and she gifted friends and family seedlings of each one. Lori also loved to make things and to craft using cross-stitch and crochet. Over the years, she made lots of mittens, blankets, pillows, toys, and clothing for her children's dolls and stuffed animals. She would like to crochet on cold winter nights after supper, watching her kids play video games, or a pet snoozing nearby.


    Lori was active in her church communities too – both in Michigan at the All-Saints Lutheran Church, and in Winnipeg at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Evangelist, where she was a member of the altar guild and the church knitting circle. At the Cathedral Church in Winnipeg, she worked closely with Reverend Paul Johnson, Reverend Brian Ford, other church members like her dear friend Shirley Godfrey to support church initiatives. Lori volunteered by visiting members of nursing homes, giving prayer readings, singing hymns, knitting prayer shawls, and making other items for the Cathedral Church community.


    When Lori was diagnosed with stage four breast Cancer in 2018, she immediately resolved to fight as hard as she could. Lori’s strength and will to fight cancer was not because she was afraid of passing, but instead because she wanted more time to build memories with her family, and to be there for her children. In her final years, she did exactly that – spending time with her family and building lots of memories together. She volunteered with church family and friends, gathered with her family to celebrate birthdays, took her bucket list trip to Churchill Manitoba to see the polar bears, enjoyed watching her niece’s daughter Daci learn and grow, spent every Saturday crafting over facetime with her daughters in the United States, and spent many hours cuddling with her pets in front of her warm fireplace. 


    The last year of her battle was particularly difficult, and complicated by the pandemic – yet Lori’s strength and resolve never, ever wavered. Lori’s hope was infectious, her strength unwavering, and her love unending. Her kindness and light touched everyone around her, and she never lost sight of the things most important to her – her faith and her family. Even in her final months here with us on Earth, she was inspiring others. Lori's passing was very peaceful, holding hands with her daughter Angela. Afterward, her nurse came into the room and shed tears, and said that Lori was a very special person with a heart that was kind, and both gentle and strong. 


    Lori’s Family would like to thank Lori’s Cancer Care team especially Dr. D. Grenier, Dr. B. Kowaluk, and nurse Nick. We would also like to thank all of the Health professionals at Concordia Hospital for providing excellent care for Lori during her hospitalization, and specifically the hospital staff of N3E for providing comfort during her final moments. 


    A celebration of her life will be held in Winnipeg sometime in the Fall. Our wish is to share loving stories and memories of Lori here on the website, and gather in person to celebrate her life once we are able. We will communicate details as they are available. 

ETHICAL DEATH CARE

Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St, Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 - www.ethicaldeathcare.com

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Ethical Death Care (Death Care Services Inc.) is privately, independently, and locally owned. As a company, we are not associated with, nor do we wish to be confused with, any other Winnipeg based organizations or suppliers; regardless of perceived similarities in business model and/or name.