December 23, 1931 – August 3, 2019
On Saturday, August 3, 2019, Delee Argue Onerheim, loving wife, mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully at the age of 87.
Delee is survived by her beloved husband Bill (William), her cherished four children Marie (Allen Buschert), Ron, Marnie (Val Paxton) and Joanne (Brent Meckling) and her adored grandchildren Will and Ollie.
Delee wanted to be a mother, or in her toddler’s words “a lady with a baby”. She fulfilled that ambition four times over. Her other major role in life was to marry Bill and form a formidable team while Bill went through his medical and surgical training to establish himself as a celebrated surgeon in Red Deer. This journey required Delee to pick up, move and resettle her whole family repeatedly, all the while showing great resolve and humour.
Delee was born and raised in the small town of Rouleau, Saskatchewan. Here Delee gained local fame for her daring and spectacular equestrian skills, and at 15, she was jumping her horses over 6 foot fences! She was remembered in Rouleau for being strong academically and for her sweet singing voice.
Bill was the love of her life. 68 years together!
Delee and Bill met as mere children, when they were attending the University of Saskatchewan, and they fell madly in love, and kept falling for the next 68 years, right up until Delee passed.
Delee was fiercely intelligent and gleaned so much medical and obstetrical knowledge that she became the unlicensed medical consultant to friends and neighbours, and never erred. Mind and heart at service.
Delee was renowned for her beauty. She lit up every room she walked into, immaculately groomed and dressed. She was an aesthete who appreciated beauty in all things and wanted to create it around her. She enjoyed fashion, dressing her children, and decorating her house. She gained a reputation for very good, if expensive, tastes.
But she remained a Saskatchewan farm-girl at heart and being the product of the depression era, Delee was a hard-worker. She kept everything ship shape at home, holding the fort so Bill could pursue his surgical career. Later, Delee undertook the responsibility of being Bill’s office receptionist and manager, and ministered to the patients with kindness and compassion, while keeping impeccable records. Delee learned well the art of Saskatchewan farm cooking; every meal was close to perfection, and she was famous for her pies.
Delee could be the life of the party. She had a quick and sometimes wicked wit. She loved to sing at the piano and was known to yodel if prodded. And she loved to entertain her grandsons, Will and Ollie, who said that visiting Grandma was like going to Disneyland.
Together Bill and Delee set the standards of the Onerheim family. Number one was the responsibility to develop one’s God-given talents and to put them to a noble purpose. They made it their mission to give their children every opportunity to develop their interests, something for which their children are eternally grateful. And their children all went on to pursue higher education and develop interesting careers in helping professions.
No matter what your spiritual orientation, I think we can all know that Delee Argue Onerheim lives on inside each and every loving family member and friend, and that we can pledge to honour that inner presence we share with loving kindness.
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