Catherine Jeanette “C.J.” Henderson passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 surrounded by her loving family.
Born C.J. Colquhoun on April 27, 1941 in Toney River, Nova Scotia. After graduating from Pictou Academy High School in 1958, C.J. went on to graduate in nursing from Aberdeen Hospital in 1961. During her nursing training, she secretly eloped and married the lover of her life, David Henderson in 1960.
In 1965, with little money, few belongings, and three young children, C.J. and Dave headed west to B.C. for a new life and settled in Cranbrook where she worked at the Cranbrook Hospital. Four years later, the family moved to Wycliffe Park and resided there for seventeen years. C.J.’s fondest memories were at Wycliffe Park and she enjoyed many happy summers around her pool and loved it when friends and neighbours would stop by for a swim. Even though she considered B.C. her true home, she was always proud of her maritime heritage.
C.J. continued her nursing at the hospital and later went on to be a big part of the home care nursing program. She was driven, had a strong work ethic, and was never afraid to storm into the doctor’s lounge and speak her mind. “Surely in arguing she had her skill, for even when vanquished she would argue still.”
Her passion as a nurse carried over with her diagnosis this past spring, and as her illness progressed, it was her hope that her knowledge and experience in the medical field, along with her sometimes brutal honesty, would encourage positive changes in palliative care. C.J. handled her illness with unbelievable composure right up to her final few days.
C.J. was the proud mother to Megan (Chris Obst), Grant (Shannon), and Robin (Geoff) MacLeod, and grandmother to Freddie and Oscar Obst, Colby and Danni Henderson, and Marty, Wyatt, and Hayden MacLeod. She is also survived by her two sisters Elaine (Aubrey) MacLeod and Jackie (Eric) Ross, both of Nova Scotia. C.J. was pre-deceased by her husband Dave and parents John and Violet Colquhoun.
C.J. could not express enough how much she loved her family and how much of an inspiration her husband and kids were to her.
In lieu of flowers, donations in C.J.’s memory may be made to Family Palliative Room c/o East Kootenay Foundation for Health, #13-24th Ave. North, Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 3H9.
Drop in between 1 and 3 o’clock for an informal celebration of life at the upper level of Wycliffe Park on Friday, July 25, 2014.