Audrey left us in her 90th year while sleeping peacefully at her home in Collingwood, Ontario on May 7th, 2020 surrounded by the love of her family.
Audrey was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, sharing the chores with older sister Claire and younger siblings Diane and Sharon. She enjoyed school and enriching her mind, but loved summers on Gull Lake, where she began a life-long affair with Mother Nature. After graduating high school she took her first 'real job' as a dental hygienist and, much as she loved the work, became downright smitten with a neighbourhood knight in shining chariot who saved damsel Audrey from the perils of busing to work. Audrey and Don West would spend the next 59 years together, the early years focused on family as happy campers Peter, Jan, Eric and Phil would join the fray - primarily to assist in schlepping the gear.
Audrey became an awesome cook, kept an immaculate house, and is legendary for the 16+ years she spent (2 months of every summer) wilderness camping with all 4 kids and a sporadically present Don. All siblings agree that this was the most unique education a kid could imagine, or hope for! Learning the simple pleasures of wilderness living, with no distraction from TV or other creature comforts, prepared each of them for the 'real world'. Audrey consistently conjured culinary magic, seemingly out of thin air. The kids often reminisce about the days when she would take them all on hiking/swimming adventures along the coast of Georgian Bay. A plethora of islands lay ahead as they travelled, requiring them to swim from island to island with Pete in the lead carrying the picnic basket. Once on land Pete would open the basket to reveal a cornucopia of gourmet delights! A feeding frenzy followed with little regard for the chef, until kids became parents and collectively wonder how on earth she managed the magic. Truly remarkable!
Friends were another great passion in Audrey's life. She had an incredible ability to connect with people and her warm, generous nature enabled her to evolve these connections into lasting friendships. The outpouring of love she received over the past several months bears testimony to her extraordinary group of friends as cards, letters and tasty treats filled the house.
Audrey was a generous spirit always in search of causes she could get behind. Those closest to her heart were volunteer positions at The Hospital for Sick Children (17 years), Library - Reading Grannies (10 years) and Art Gallery in Thornbury (10 years).
Audrey is predeceased by her devoted husband Don and sister Claire. She is survived by her sisters Diane and Sharon, her children Peter (Holly), Jan, Eric (Marna), and Phil (Sue), grandchildren Amy, Annie, Tass, Danielle, Ben, Emma, Jess, Nicole and Tanya. And last but certainly not least - great grandchildren Maddie, Kobe, Kaelin and Khloe. A gaggle of nieces, nephews and their progeny round out extended family mourners.
A celebration of Audrey’s life will be held in Meaford, Ontario on a date to be announced.
Donations to the Hospital for Sick Children or The Stephen Lewis Foundation are welcome. Alternatively, please plant a tree in her honour.