Obituaries

Catherine Jane Balcom

01/11/1951 - 01/02/2021

Obituary For Catherine Jane Balcom

November 1, 1951 – February 1, 2021
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that the family announces the passing of Catherine Jane Schrader Balcom with her husband Jerry by her side and holding her hand on February 1, 2021 at the QEII Hospital in Grande Prairie, Alberta after a long battle with diabetes.
Catherine was born on November 1, 1951 in Liverpool, Nova Scotia to Everett and Emmeline Schrader. Cathy married her husband Gerald Balcom on April 24, 1971 in Liverpool NS; they moved to Grande Prairie AB in 1973. Together they have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.
Those who remember Cathy as, “Chatty Cathy” will remember her throwing bowling balls halfway down the lanes on Friday night leagues. You always knew Chatty Cathy was in the building by the loudness of her voice, her laugh, and the way she was able to make everyone feel comfortable and special as if they were family.
Cathy worked at the Trumpeter Motor Inn for 10 years. She loved bowling and bingo, making crafts, going shopping, and meeting her many friends for coffee. She was a collector of all things. She enjoyed family gatherings, and especially loved Christmas which was her favourite time of the year.
She will be deeply missed by her Husband, Children, Grandchildren, all her family back home in Nova Scotia, and many family friends.
Cathy is survived by her beloved family, her husband Gerald “Jerry” Balcom, her son Robert Balcom (Paula Gagnon), her daughters, Tina Balcom Castle, Crystal Balcom Deschene (Darren Deschene), grandchildren Shyla, Joshua, Nicolas, Alisia, Josee, and Caleb “Little Man” of Grande Prairie, Alberta, siblings Borden Schrader (Jean), Burton Schrader (Marie), Kenneth Schrader (Valerie), Charlotte Hallet (Harvey), Lavina “Sookie” Young (Charlie), Pauline Conway, and Dianne Wynot (Douglas) all of Nova Scotia, sister-in-law Deanna Roy of Nova Scotia, as well as many nieces, nephews, and extended family on the Balcom side.
She was predeceased by her parents Everett and Emmeline Schrader, 4 infant siblings, her sister and brother-in-law Jeanette and Gorden MacNutt, brother John Roy, and brother and sister-in-law Joseph and Mae Schrader all of Nova Scotia.
The family would like to extend a very heartfelt Thank You to all the staff on 5N at the QEII Hospital in Grande Prairie AB for the past 10 years, they have been an extension of our family and Cathy cared for them deeply. Also, the family is forever grateful to Bear Creek Funeral Home for their compassion and understanding through this difficult time.
We will have a Celebration of Catherine’s Life once restrictions have been lifted. This summer she will be interred in Liverpool NS with her Mom and Dad.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association (10001 – 101 Avenue, Grande Prairie AB T8V 0X0, www.diabetes.ca)
Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780-830-7742 www.bearcreekfuneral.com

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Condolences

My condolences to you and your family, Jerry! Thinking of you.
- Darla McCullough
Cathy is my cousin. Growing up, our home was located just above her family's home and I knew them well. I played with these cousins almost everyday. Her sister Lavinia (Sookie) spent many of our days together and Cathy was a tagalong. Loved her. We spoke a few times over the years as she moved to Alberta Growing up in Liverpool, on the "hill", we were surrounded by family. Cathy was a wonderful person and will be missed. Know that she will never be far away from you as she adored her family Joan Roy Tiffany❤️❤️
- Tiffany
Miss u, Cathy! I remember ur tricks & always loved holding/looking my "small nurses' watch" hanging on my blouse smack' uniform every time I'm near you.., May God's Perpetual Light shines upon u & Rest In Peace 🙏🙏🙏🌹Amen! God bless ur bereaved family! Amen!
- Tessie Rimando
She was a very kind soul! May she be looking down at all of her children and grandchildren with the angels above!!
- Treena Hutchison
I will always cherish the talks the xmas cards with recipes on them. She was a wonderful kind woman loved talking about you all. I'm so sorry for you all hugs sent to each one of you. love you aunt cathy may you RIP. xo from your niece lucy mailman and family from nova scotia.
- Lucy Mailman
Jerry and family. We were shocked to read of Cathy's passing. Please know we are thinking of you and keeping you all in our prayers. The memories you have made together will always be a reminder of her love. Lean in each other during this most difficult time. Shirley and Paul Shot
- Shirley and Paul Shot
I worked Cathy at the Trumpeter Hotel, she was a wonderful kind person who will be missed. My condolences to all her family. From Leah Schlamp
- Leah Schlamp
My heart felt Sympathy to you and yours .Her time on this earth was to short .Hugs to you all
- Maxine Hammersley
Think of you guys and big hugs. I will miss visiting her on my trips north.
- Kathy Blais

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What is a funeral?

A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person prior to burial or cremation. A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories and celebrate their life. A funeral is a vital first step to help the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.

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If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you.  Services are usually held at a funeral home, community hall, or a place of worship. There is a wealth of different services, ranging from a traditional religious or military service to something a little more non-traditional. Our funeral directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.

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What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body; it also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of the body damaged by traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing.

What do I do if I am not satisfied with the way a funeral was handled?

Funeral homes and funeral professionals in Alberta are licensed by the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board. If you are unhappy with the way a funeral was handled or the actions of a funeral home in Alberta, you may speak with or proceed with a complaint process to seek resolution of the matter. More information is found at http://www.afsrb.ab.ca/  or by phone at (780) 452-6130 

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of the funeral varies depending on the wishes you have. The average cost of a funeral is between $5,000-$7,000, however, it varies greatly depending on the kind of service you desire. In general, cremation tends to cost less than burial. The costs include professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, and the purchase of a casket or urn.

Can I personalize a funeral?

Of course you can, in fact, more and more people are opting for a more non-traditional personalized service. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate somebody’s life. There are many unique ways to celebrate life, let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honour your wishes.

Do we need to have an obituary notice and what is included in one?

It is highly recommended to have an obituary notice that’s either placed in a local newspaper or placed online. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred, and gives them information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city, and date of birth and the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children or grandchildren. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you may include a little blurb on the life and legacy of the deceased. An online obituary or memorial website offers you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.

What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

We are here to help, funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Do I need to have an embalming

No, embalming is often an unnecessary expense, even if a viewing is desired. There are times when we would recommend embalming, especially if there is an extended gap between death and burial or cremation.

Why are funerals so expensive?

Funerals are labor intensive and require a lot of work from a lot of people. The cost of a funeral goes beyond merchandise such as caskets, it includes the services of a funeral director in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other people involved in the death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). Funeral directors work an average of 40 hours per funeral. The cost of operating a funeral home is factored into the cost as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.

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