Ona passed away Feb. 12, 2012 in Chilliwack at age 79 years. She was born Dec. 30, 1932.
Ona is survived by her devoted husband of 57 years Rene Rousseau, 5 children – Richard, Randall, Roxanne (Laurie), Rhonda (Grant) and Dana (Theresa-Marie); also, 5 grandchildren, Sheena (John), Bonnie-Jean, Robert, Christopher and Brendan. Ona is also survived by her loving sister Myrna (Russ), as well as aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins who will miss her greatly.
Ona was predeceased by her father Leonard McCutcheon (1956), and Irma McCutcheon (2001).
Ona was born to a prominent Chilliwack pioneer family (McCutcheon). Her great-grandfather John McCutcheon was the first reeve of Chilliwack. Ona grew up on the family’s dairy farm which was located where the present day A.D. Rundle school, Chilliwack Ford and the University of the Fraser Valley are. She spent many happy hours on the farm, doing farm chores and driving the tractor.
After graduation from Chilliwack Senior Secondary she entered nurses’ training at the Royal Columbia Hospital in 1952. During that time Ona met her future husband Rene who was attending UBC to become a teacher. Ona and Rene’s early years of marriage were spent in Ocean Falls and Nanaimo before returning to Chilliwack where they raised their five children.
Ona and Rene will be remembered for their time teaching ballroom dancing while Rene was teaching at Chilliwack Senior Secondary. They were also involved in the early days of Chilliwack theatre, the “Blackouts” – Rene painted backdrops and Ona designed and sewed costumes. In their retirement years, Ona enjoyed travelling in their RV with their beloved Boston Terrior “Winnie”. For a time (9 years) Ona and Rene enjoyed the bright lights of Reno before returning to live in Abbotsford in the late 1990’s.
Ona was a wonderful homemaker and a devoted mother to her 5 children. She always put their needs before her own and made many sacrifices so they could have ballet, skating, and judo lessons. She wanted her children to have things she never had.
Mum was a great gardener; she spent many hard hours toiling in her garden, especially her roses. Mum was an excellent seamstress, she was very creative designing and sewing ballet and skating costumes. Mum had a great passion for animals; she raised salt water tropical fish and lovebirds. Mum enjoyed many years of camping, fishing and travelling with Rene and her children. Her family will always remember her determined personality, creativeness and keen sense of humour. She had such an appreciation for beauty in the world.
Ona’s last few years were spent in nursing care facilities. She passed peacefully away at MSA Manor in Abbotsford from end-stage lung disease.
A private memorial took place on Feb. 21 at the Chilliwack Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers or cards, donations can be made to the Chilliwack SPCA or charity of your choice.
Online condolences can be left at www.hendersonsfunerals.com