May 7, 1926 – April 13, 2021
Nora Toal of Red Deer, passed away peacefully on April 13, 2021, at the Northcott Care Centre in Ponoka. She lived a full, happy life of almost 95 years.
She was predeceased by her parents, Pat and Mary Toal and her siblings, Mary Peterson, Jim Toal and Kay Roth.
She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews and their families. Nora will be loved and remembered for her feisty spirit and her independent, can-do attitude.
She was born on the farm near Loverna, Saskatchewan on May 7, 1926. She grew up helping with chores around the farm, playing with her siblings and hearing stories of Ireland and of the relatives still living there from her parents.
She enjoyed the years she spent attending Antelope Park School. Nora left the farm in 1944 after high school and moved to Calgary where she joined her sisters. She studied at a business college for two months before securing employment at the Income Tax Office. She continued to work and live in Calgary for the next few years. In 1951, she moved to Red Deer to help take care of her dad, who passed away in 1952. Nora worked at the Red Deer Bottling Company, before moving to Macdonalds Consolidated, where she worked until she retired.
She also worked part time at the old, Red Deer arena taking tickets for hockey games and public skating. She never married, but chose to live in the family home taking care of her parents.
She was a member of Sacred Heart Parish and an active participant, for many years, in the Irish Booth at the Red Deer Folk Festival. She always enjoyed listening to the hockey games on the radio and in later years, she cheered for the Edmonton Oilers and watched them faithfully on TV.
Nora spent time with her extended family in Red Deer enjoying many Sunday afternoons at Sylvan Lake. She had a huge garden full of flowers and vegetables and she loved to share this garden produce with her siblings and their families. She also sewed clothes for her sister’s children, as well as for herself.
She loved to shop and always liked to look nice. She curled her hair every night. Nora embraced new technology, taping family concerts and gatherings on her reel to reel machine to send to the relatives in Ireland or to keep for herself.
She loved to travel and take pictures. Upon her return, she would invite the family over to enjoy a slide show of her experiences and adventures. She knew all the Irish cousins and encouraged the next generation to keep up the connection, which we have, thanks to her.
She took driving holidays to California with her sister, Mary and her girlfriends. Nora travelled on an ocean liner to Ireland in 1953 and stayed for three months. She returned to Ireland, on her own and with her mother in later years. She also did a European tour and took a trip to Costa Rica in the 1970s.
Nora enjoyed having the family over for Sunday dinner, where there would always be cake and ice cream for dessert. Nora was independent. She could fix most things and took great care of her cars.
She spent her retirement years living at Parkvale Estates and later at Parkvale Lodge. She loved getting together with friends and family for card games and picnics. For many years, Nora hosted a St. Patrick’s Day tea in her home in Parkvale Estates. She would invite close to 40 people and transform her front room and adjoining garage into a little corner of Ireland. She was also treasurer for the Parkvale Estates Association for twenty years.
Nora spent the last five years of her life at the Northcott Care Centre in Ponoka, where her sister also lived. She struggled as she lost more of her ability to hear, but she still participated in activities and always enjoyed family visits.
We would like to thank the Northcott staff for their love, concern and excellent care of our aunt. We also want to thank Nora’s friendly visitors, Gail and Irene, who visited on a weekly basis, when we couldn’t be present.
Nora was a character! She was one of a kind. She had a snappy personality and said what she thought. Her spunk and spirit will be remembered, as well as her offerings of advice on how we kids could improve ourselves. We will miss having her in our lives, but we are happy for her that she is free from pain and at peace in her heavenly home.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Church in Red Deer (6 McMillan Avenue) on Tuesday, April 20, at 1 pm. Condolences may be left with Eventide Funeral Home, Red Deer, who are looking after arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to donate to Sacred Heart Parish or to a charity of your choice. Due to Covid, we would ask that you phone the funeral home in advance at (403) 347-2222, if you want to attend the mass.Obituary
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