Obituary of Lorraine Dennise Sagmeister
Lorraine Dennise Sagmeister (nee Edmunds)
B. April 3, 1943 - Ocean Falls, BC
D. April 7, 2019 - Grande Prairie, AB
On April 7th, 2019, Lorraine learned that a new members only gift shop was opening and decided to sign up. She won’t be back, as part of the enrolment for the lifetime membership was that she would get an open-ended credit card, unlimited caramel macchiatos with extra caramel, and endless foot rubs.
She has left behind:
Her husband Bruno, four children; Michael, Curtis, Robert (Corine), Suzanne (Shane), and one ‘forced’ daughter Deanna Bill. Her furbaby Lily, and grandfurbabies Amelia, Junko, and Tenzing (who was a Gramma’s boy).
Grandchildren; Jennifer Hoy, Justin Clendenning, Michael (Ketrina), Shaun (Jennifer), Amanda, Lawson Kons (Lauren) as well as those she affectionately referred to as her grandchildren; Kendra & Lilah Stanley, Madison & Bhryeann Randle as well as Lance, Victoria, and Louka Kampela, numerous Great Grandchildren and other loving relatives.
Lorraine was predeceased by her mother, father, and two brothers as well as other extended family.
Lorraine slipped away at home, four days after her birthday on which she had a round trip flight from Grande Prairie to Edmonton on a private plane courtesy of our medical system. At her home of 36 years, she was resting in her favourite recliner, covered in a fuzzy blanket from a dear friend, holding her daughters’ hand, and listening to Remember When by Alan Jackson. Her husband, grandson Lawson, son-in-law Shane, just-like-a-daughter Deanna, and the furkids were just beginning their day around her.
Born in Ocean Falls, BC to Clifford Edmunds & Edith Dedi, Lorraine was a true raincoast girl with salt in her blood and proudly still belonging to Ocean Falls, BC Facebook groups where she maintained and developed strong bonds with other ‘rain people’.
As a child, she was known as a quiet sage, imparting family secrets and wisdom to her younger relatives (like there really is no Santa - much to other parents’ chagrin).
In 1958, at the age of 15, Lorraine flashed her infectious smile and picked up a German Immigrant at the Ocean Falls Post Office by asking for a light (classy move, Mom). In 1961, during a trip to Vancouver, they vowed to be together in sickness and in health (I don’t think she could have a clue the handful Dad would be) and would have celebrated 58 years of marriage this September. Lorraine was known for almost a lifetime as ‘Lovie Dovie’ to Bruno, who will from now on be able to eat more than 3 cookies as his bedtime snack.
In 1965, Lorraine, Bruno and their two children moved to Edmonton, where Bruno began his career as an Ambulance Driver. Two more children followed, a move to St. Paul and then a career change for Bruno to a police officer, created more transfers throughout Alberta; Enoch & High Level.
Returning to Edmonton in 1979, Lorraine worked at the Edmonton Inn as Reservation Supervisor. In 1983, the Sagmeister’s moved to Grande Prairie where she lived until her death. While there she left her unique mark at the Desk & Derrick Club, Tai Chai and answering animals-in-distress calls from home before there was an official GPSPCA.
Lorraine worked at the Westport Inn, Golden Inn, GP Answering Service and then finally on February 21, 1999, landed her career as Division Clerk for Alberta Power, now known as Atco Electric. At Atco, she was well liked for her witty and wry sense of humour, her dedication to customer service, expert skills, and quick smile. She refused to retire until she got her ‘Damn 20-year ring’ which she proudly was still wearing when she left for the new gift shop.
Speaking of this gift shop, if you really needed to get Mom somewhere in a hurry, you simply had to tell her there was one at the destination. Her little legs would quicken, and her eyes would light up with glee as she headed toward the in door. Thanks to this level of shopping dedication, Lorraine has left a houseful of stuff for her daughter to sort through.
Lorraine was very direct and said what was on her mind. It is safe to say you knew where you stood with her especially if you spelled a word wrong, then she quickly became the grammar police.
She loved genealogy and spent a great deal of time tracing her family’s roots. She is gratefully leaving us a legacy of history (and papers) to align ourselves with.
She is remembered for her penchant for four letter words, rocking a red lip, pedal to the metal driving habits, playing an all swear word Scrabble marathon, gambling in Rumoli, Yelling Yahtzee! and having ‘all her marbles in a row’ during Aggrevation on a 40-year-old game board that her youngest son had made in junior high shop class. As well as drinking iced tea on the front steps with her longtime neighbour Peggy who, recently taught her how to loom knit. (True to Lorraine’s form, she went all out and knitted up a storm, selling toques at the Grande Prairie Farmers Market, making them for friends and ultimately donating many to those needing love and warmth but refusing her daughters suggestion of “Loopy Lorraine’s” for a business name.), recently becoming an Uber Driver to Junko the cat on her walker through the house, and her collection of shopping bags.
Lorraine was superstitious about shoes on the table and even if they were new, would flip her lid if she saw someone do it. The last while she and her favourite son-in-law (read: only son-in-law) initiated a war, swapping photos over text. She sent him photos of Crocs which he despises, and he sent her photos of shoes on the table.
In 2017, after dad had open heart surgery and multiple strokes, she became his primary caregiver, rising to the challenge with fierce resolve.
In August of 2018, Lorraine was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, an aggressive disease most often caused from smoking. She had smoked for 50 years and we were so proud when she quit cold turkey in 2009. At that time, we were given a prognosis of approximately 2 months but true to form, the construction was delayed on the gift shop and she stayed with us instead for 7.
Lorraine was known for her lifetime of funky hair and we were all sad when it fell out after a round of chemo. We were all happy when it grew back lusciously in her signature and enviable salt and pepper grey just in time to have the best hair in the room, even at the funeral home.
Lorraine was a feisty one until her final days. She was the only one who could figure out how to use the tv remote and just recently she tore a strip off the security company (sorry James, Level Two), citing her knowledge of what great customer care should be like, as Dad and her friend Heather sat nearby smiling with pride. In the hospital before she was brought home, she let the laughing nurse know (while fading in and out of consciousness) that she wasn’t holding her inhaler correctly. And, on the same day we brought her home and dad sat lovingly at her bedside teasing her and then apparently ‘whining’ about something, she managed to scold him with a ‘BRUNO, stop wasting time!’ one last time.
In the end, her wishes included owning shares in Cobs Bakery, having enough colours of yarn to make unique toques for every person she knew, regular foot and back massages by the wonderful home care aides, and winning the lottery.
Thank you to her special friends:
Jodi Winnicky-Lewis (“Our Jodi”) who brought mom and dad milkshakes every week.
Heather Stanley who was the instigator of mom’s Instant Pot addiction.
As well as Cindy Boyd, Dean, Celine & Nathan Beardmore, Dr. Pope, Case Manager Nicole Collins, Caregiver Raiza Jacinto, The Home Care Aides (or Sock Ladies as they were affectionately known by mom as), the QE2 Hospital Care Team, especially those on the 5th floor, the Southwood Condo Board members, Longtime friend Kathy Evert and others who have touched her life. To the members of the GP Fire Department and EMS who helped bring Lorraine from the hospital so she could be with us at home.
Everyone who remembers her is asked to celebrate her life in their own way.
If you’re a knitter, please consider donating to lonely seniors or the homeless.
If you’re an animal lover, a donation to Bandaged Paws or In the Woods.
If you’re a smoker, please become a quitter.
Thank you to Doug, Brian and Hannah from Bear Creek Funeral Home for helping us honour our mother and wife in true Lorraine fashion, with a colourful send off for a truly bright star.
Lorraine was cremated on April 9th in a box decorated by loved ones; drawings by great grandchildren and messages (with intentional spelling mistakes) from friends. The box was filled with brightly coloured tissue papers, paper fans (she hated the heat), owl stickers (because she was wise), her retirement corsage and letters from those who knew her. We stayed with her until the end of her bodily form, even helping to load her body box into the crematorium.
The sendoff was personalized and unique just like Lorraine did things.
Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780-830-7742 www.bearcreekfuneral.com