Deborah Bennett née Ferrier
June 27, 2018
Mary Deborah Bennett (nee Ferrier) b. November 28, 1947 Hudson, QC d. June 27, 2018 Ottawa, ON
The world lost a great woman on Wednesday morning when our beloved Deborah passed peacefully at home in Ottawa after a brief but difficult battle with lung cancer.
Deborah was an intrepid young woman who left home at sixteen to attend boarding school in New York and then moved to London, England to start a career in marketing. Her father’s passing brought her back to Canada in her early 20’s where she became an active member of the Toronto Junior Chamber of Commerce. It wasn’t long before she met a dashing Provincial Cabinet Minister who won her heart. After what Deborah called a ‘lengthy courtship’, she and Claude were married in 1977 and just over a year later welcomed a daughter, Natalie. Two years after that, son Winston arrived to round out the Bennett family of four.
Deborah travelled the world with Claude and was always at his side for the seemingly endless events on a politicians social calendar. At home, she carried the burden of raising two young children while Claude’s demanding career often took him away from the family. Deborah knew she had to embrace the political life – both good and bad – and she did it like everything in life, with grace and strength.
After the family moved to Ottawa in 1986, Deborah devoted herself to being a full-time volunteer. She was involved in a number of causes – Variety International, Elmwood School, the International Women’s Club of Ottawa and, most notably, the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre. ?
Publicly, Deborah will be remembered as a tireless volunteer who ran the gift shop at ‘the Perley’ for over 25 years. She poured her heart, soul and waking hours into an endeavour whose sole purpose was to serve the needs of the ailing elderly and veterans while raising funds to enhance their quality of life. We often teased her that she ran the store like a Fortune 500 company (both in terms of effort and management style) but it never bothered her – volunteerism was her true calling. Words can’t express how honoured she was when her fellow volunteers put her name forward to receive the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in 2008.
Privately, we remember her as an incredibly caring and thoughtful wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and great friend who put everyone else’s happiness and health before hers. She carried this selflessness through to the end and we believe she left us early to save us from worrying about her any longer.
Those who had the privilege to really know Deborah also knew she operated in her own time zone – Deborah Time. Unlike any standardized time, this was generally about a half hour to a full hour behind whatever schedule she happened to be on. Deborah loved hosting and was a great cook. Though the meals may have been served later than anyone anticipated (see above) they were always incredibly delicious. She liked to do crosswords, loved a good game of Scrabble and never met a cup of coffee that was too strong. She was one of a kind and she was amazing.
Deborah is survived by Claude, her husband of 41 years, her daughter Natalie, grandsons Liam and Owen, son Winston, daughter-in-law Erin and granddaughter Sloane. She will be missed and her memory cherished by many relatives and friends and all those who volunteered by her side.
We encourage anyone with fond memories of Deborah to join us for a celebration of her life at the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club on July 18, 2018 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that be made in Deborah’s name to the Perley and Rideau Veteran’s Health Centre Foundation. ?To do so, please visit www.perleyrideau.ca?and click on ‘Donate Now’.
, or tributes may be made at?www.tubmanfuneralhomes.com
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Deborah Bennett nee Ferrier June 27 2018.source