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Catherine Muir
1 year ago

Hello, I recently came across a reference letter that Kitty had written for me back in 1992. I sat and reflected on my interactions with Kitty. As a new teacher, I felt so special in her presence. She was so interesting, worldly, classy, and so personable. A part of me wish I had stayed in Vancouver, simply to have her as a mentor - Today, I googled her, only to discover the sad news. I am so sorry for your loss, she was truly a special lady that cared. Sincerely, Catherine Muir

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V
8 years ago

I was in her grade 7 class in 2000-2001. Ms. O'Callaghan whipped my work ethic into shape, something that I still carry today. She kept me and my friends on our toes, all the time. Have to say, it has had a lasting impact that is reflected in my work. One thing that Ms. O'Callaghan wrote on my report card was "I worry that she puts too much pressure on herself". She was the first person to ever realize that about me. I can't tell you how true that one statement is, especially with my job. I will never forget Ms. O'Callaghan! I still remember she once yelled at me so harshly that I cried! If I could tell her one thing now, I would say thank you for being my grade 7 teacher. It set the tone for my work ethic during high school and as well as university.

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Kimberly Jansz
9 years ago

Mom, Christmas wasn't the same without you. We missed you. xoxo

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Winnie
9 years ago

Ms. O'Callaghan was my grade 7 teacher from 1995-1996 at Moberly Main Elementary. I remember I had her in grade 6 as well but only for a certain period and I always looked forward to her classes. Which is why I chose her to be my grade 7 teacher when the students were given a choice the following year. Most of my friends chose who they thought were more "easy-going" teachers; I chose Ms. O'Callaghan because I found her exciting and her enthusiuam for learning contagious. A quirky thing I found her always saying to the class was "I'll have your guts for garter!"; I never really understood what she meant by that but it sure did push me to do my homework! I remember on the last day of grade 7 I gave her this small momento of a pop-up bear toy. During that summer, I received a postcard from her telling me how everytime she opened it she would think of me. I still have that postcard up to today, and (before her passing) I always wondered if she still had. During grade 12, I wrote Ms. O'Callaghan a letter explaining what a huge impact she has had on my life and how grateful I was for knowing her. She still does to this day when I think about her and all that she has done for me during the time I've known her. I'll miss her very much.

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Kimberly Jansz
9 years ago

Hi Winnie, Mom loved teaching and really did care about her students. It's funny you remember that saying. She used it all the time and while I understand what the intent of the saying is, it is odd when you try to translate it! Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us. Hugs. Kim

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Anonymous
9 years ago

To Kim and Steve, I wish this letter were written in happier circumstances, and also that I could be with the family today to remember and celebrate Auntie Kitty's life. When I saw her last, July 31st - the day before I left to Montréal, I knew it was possible that it would be the last time I saw her. Though I wish it were not, I couldn't think of a better goodbye – she was happy, vibrant and at peace with the challenges she faced. Exactly as I've always remembered her. We talked much, hugged, danced (!) and I made sure to tell her how much I loved her. What I didn't tell her, but should have, is that she was always an inspiration to me. In many ways, she had the character of a scholar, and I could always get into an interesting and sophisticated discussion with her. She was always interested in what I had to say, even when during difficult times in my own life I was frightened to share my thoughts and feelings. She seemed so unafraid to speak her mind, to engage with her enviable wit, that I learned from her a confidence I hadn't known. She was a strong woman, and I'm proud to have known her. I can find nothing to reconcile death but the strength of one's life–and Kitty's life, as I knew it, was strong and bright and radiant. I can't imagine that she gave anything but joy to those who knew her: to me, she gave so much. I can only thank her by giving back in the same way, and perhaps someday I will have a nephew, to whom I could only hope to be as warm and encouraging as my aunt was to me. All the best, -James O'Callaghan

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Isabel Somerville
9 years ago

I feel very fortunate in having had the opportunity to meet Kitty when I worked at Moberly Annex in the early 1990's. I later connected with her many times through VESTA. Kitty was one of the few people that I met who made me feel as though she really cared about those around her. As shown by the many activities she participated in and the wonderful memories that people have of her, it is shown that our lives were enriched by knowing her. Kitty also made the world a better place for those who didn't know her as she worked hard for many causes. I will always have fond memories of Kitty and I am sad she is no longer with us.

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Pat Greenfield
9 years ago

Her love of family and friends. Her warmth, caring and joie de vivre. Her wicked se of humour. Her love of children and teaching. Her wonderful sense of style-the hats, the scarves, the big silver jewelry. Her love of traveling. Her love of antiques. Kitty. you've left a big hole in our hearts and we miss you so. From Pat Greenfield (Steve's sister)

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Kitty
9 years ago

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Caley
9 years ago

Aunty Kitty, We miss and love you. You will always be in our hearts.

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Megan Riter
9 years ago

I had the very qreat luck to have Kitty O'Callahan not once, but twice as a teacher at Quilchena Elementary school in the late 70s. She is, to this day, one of my favourite teachers from my school days. She was passionate and supportive in the classroom - and a bit of a whirlwind! I can remember LOVING going to school - even when she was determined to have me do my best, and I wasn't quite on board yet! Reading her comments in the paper today, I couldn't have imagined a different life for her - her energy, passion and zest for life wouldn't have allowed for anything less than that. I know that she will be missed by all who knew and loved her...... and also by this former student. Yes Kitty, you did enrich my life, and I thank you for it.

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Nora Grove
10 years ago

Maya Angelou once said,"People may ultimately forget what you said or what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel". For me, Kitty radiated a warm, positive energy that was infectious. She possessed that Irish mischievous, flirtatious sense of fun and exuberance for life that feels so great to be around. The photos taken by her dear pal Maureen MacDonald show Kitty, even in her last weeks of life, with a twinkle in her eye and a radiant smile. That is the Kitty we all shall miss. My heartfelt condolences to Steve and all her family. Nora Grove

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Dirge Without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground. So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind: Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned. Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
 Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust. 
 A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
 A formula, a phrase remains, --- but the best is lost. The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love, 
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
 Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve. 
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world. Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
 Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind; 
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
 I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

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Kitty and I liked each other right away when we met at a VESTA Status of Women Committee reception in 1974. We spent many years together on the VESTA executive committee, the BCTF executive committee, the CTF board of directors and at a million other union events where we tried to solve the problems of the world. We travelled thousands of miles on union business to CTF AGMs all over the country, and for sheer pleasure as often as possible to New York City, to Mexico and to Hawaii. Kitty was the biggest flirt I have ever known. She loved to flirt our way to the head of the line lots of places, to the best table in the Russian Tea Room, and to the best seats on the Manhattan Circle Island Tour more than once! Kitty often quoted her grandmother on these occasions, assuring me that "Flirting is ATTention without INtension!" She also charmed principals, superintendents and ministers of education while telling them of the folly of their policies. Kitty was fiercely loyal to her family and friends and could always be counted on for a kind word and a loving touch. No one could ask for a better friend and ally. I will miss Kitty tremendously, and I am glad to count Steve and Kim among my friends. We'll keep the stories alive for years to come.

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Diane McQuade
10 years ago

I would like to post a poem for Kitty's daughter and grandchildren YOUR MOTHER IS ALWAYS WITH YOU She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street, She's the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick and the perfume that she wore. She's the cool hand on your brow when you're not feeling well, she's your breath in the air on a cold winter's day. She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a rainbow, she is Christmas Morning. Your mother lives inside your laughter and she's crystallized in every teardrop. A mother shows every emotion, happiness, sadness, fear jealousy, love,hate, anger,excitement,joy,sorrow,helplessness and all the while, hoping and praying you will only know the good feelings in life. She's the place you came from, your first home, and she's the map you follow with every step you take, She's your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy, but nothing on earth can separate you. Not time, not space and not even death. May the memory of your mom and grandma live on in your heart We shall all miss her infectious smile and positive outlook on life

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ady burke
10 years ago

Ever so glad I met you fifty years later.

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10 years ago

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Barb Parrott
10 years ago

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Barb Parrott
10 years ago

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10 years ago

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Evelyn Randhawa
10 years ago

Kitty I will miss your sweet and smiling face in my life. It was my pleasure knowing you and you will always be in my heart. Steve, you have my deepest sympathy and are in my thoughts

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10 years ago

To the outside world you are gone, but not to me they are wrong! I will remenber you as you always were, Strong Brave,Gentle just you! We shared private family jokes. We remembered family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. Kitty even though we are far apart, I will always carry you in my heart Donny

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Such a tender moment captured forever

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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I love this

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kimberly Jansz
10 years ago

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Kelly McCallum
10 years ago

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.” The world will be a quieter and less interesting place without you here Kitty. You will remain in our hearts and minds always!

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I love this photo of Kitty. Kim and the girls had just moved back to Vancouver. We were having a nice visit in our backyard. Kitty was radiant with happiness.