JUNE 23, 1932 – JUNE 22, 2023
Violet (Vi) Bradbury departed this earthly terrain one day short of her 91st birthday. She went home to celebrate with her family in heaven, her sister Iris, her mother Laura and father Bill Jones.
For Vi, all pain and suffering, fear and terror of the Alzheimer’s Disease had ended. She is at peace with Jesus. Praise God!
Vi was also predeceased by her uncle Bill Owens and her husband John Bradbury.
Survived by her well loved friend, life partner, and spouse, the Reverend Dale Young and her family, Douglas (Tracey), Barbara, Andrew(predeceased), 6 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren, sister-in-law Sandy (Dierk) Neugebauer and their 3 children and 7 grandsons.
Also survived by her beloved God-daughter Tammy (Arv) Senkus, Kaitlyn, Kristina, her husband Tyler (Deering) and their three children. Dearly remembered by Bryon Millar and Anthony Roberts.
Also left to mourn and celebrate her life are her many friends and acquaintances whom Violet gathered amongst the many organizations that she belonged to and usually lead over her many years of service to the Timmins-Porcupine and Northeastern Ontario communities.
Vi was presented with the National Volunteer of the Year Award in 2001 by Senator Isabelle Finnerty for her contributions and service to Northeastern Communities.
She was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship by the Rotary Club of the Porcupine in 2002.
Huntington University, Sudbury (United Church of Canada) installed her as a Huntington Fellow for all her dedication, devotion, and care for the people of Northeastern Ontario in 2003.
Vi was a Life Member of the United Church Women, the Order of the Eastern Star, the Rebekah Lodge and the McIntyre Curling Club.
Violet was born in a humble miner’s home in Kirkland Lake, the second child of Bill and Laura Jones, who with baby Iris, had immigrated from North Wales. She began her early education in Kirkland Lake Public School and moved to the Dome Mine Property School in South Porcupine when she was about 9 years old, after her father ‘Big Bill’ took a position of Mine Supervisor with the Preston Dome Mine.
Her mother Laura saw to Vi’s spiritual education, first at Kirkland Lake United Church and later at South Porcupine United Church. At 11 years of age Vi attended Camp Waskesui as a camper. There, as she has told us many times, Vi began her lifelong career as a volunteer, helping the Cook in the kitchen. Every summer Vi returned to Camp Waskesui, as camper, Leader and eventually Camp Director for many years. Fondly known as “SKIPPER”, many northern Ontario adults would joyfully shout out her name and rush to give her a warm embrace at any gathering of people in the north.
Violet received her High School Graduation Diploma at Schumacher High School, and Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Timmins Business School. Her first position was in the Office of the Timmins Telephone Company when it was located on 6th Avenue and still had a plug-in board operation.
When Violet was asked to become the Manager at the McIntyre Curling Club in 1974 there was concern expressed by some lady friends about the male culture that dominated the place at that time. With the support of Rev. Sharp, an avid curler himself, Vi persevered. Bursting into tears at her first board meeting, she quietly objected to the language used by the men and cursing was banned.
Violet continued to serve as Manager for 26 years and is fondly remembered and missed by many folks.
As well as managing the day to day operations, Vi organized a crew of volunteers and hosted many important Bonspiels over the years, including several provincial Scotties Tournaments of Hearts and Men’s Briers. Hosting big banquets, cheering the Special Olympic Curlers, arranging accommodation and transportation for visiting teams and Governors-General alike, were all just part of her daily work and joy.
Somewhere along the way Vi found time to volunteer with the Cochrane/Timiskaming District of the Canadian Cancer Society, first in 1973 as Timmins Unit Campaign Chairperson. In 1978 she became Patient Services Chairperson, a roll she spoke frequently about over her later years. Vi became District President in 1986 and represented the northeast at several Provincial Annual Meetings. Vi organized the first and many Timmins Terry Fox Runs. She received a 35 year service award and later a Founder’s Recognition Certificate in 2013.
Vi was also an active member of the Order of The Eastern Star, holding many positions including Grand Matron of the Arbutus Chapter in Timmins until its closing in 2013. Transferring her membership to the Sudbury O.E.S. Chapter, Vi was presented with her mother’s pin for 60 years of service in 2014 by dear Brother Bryon Millar.
Vi was a founding member of the Rotary Club of the Porcupine that met for years at The Airport Hotel. She served as Club Service Facilitator, again organizing activities and speakers, eventually becoming President in 2001. When the Porcupine and Timmins clubs amalgamated, Vi continued her active participation for more years until the Club made her an Active Retired and then an Honourary Member.
At First United Church Vi led the Canadian Girls in Training in the ‘50’s to ‘70’s. She was a board member of the congregation and Property Chairperson as well as being active in the kitchen, eventually taking charge after Flora Osbourne retired. Vi was a Founding Member of the United Church Women in
1962 when two national women’s groups amalgamated. Vi served as local unit, local, and Presbyterial President many times over the years. Also active at the Conference and National levels, she attended many gatherings of the greatest women’s organization in the world. Most recently, she was a member of Trinity United UCW in Iroquois Falls.
When a group of folks decided to transform the abandoned Dome Hospital into a Transitional Living Centre in the “90’s, Vi joined into the work, scrubbing floors on her knees. Spruce Hill Lodge grew out of the hard work of many volunteers. Vi contributed her time and talents serving on the Board and becoming Chairperson for many of her later years, eventually being recognized as Honourary Board Member.
A Celebration of Life for Violet will be held Friday, June 30, 2023 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM at Jubilee United Church, 40 Underhill Drive, North York, Ontario M3A 2J5. A Service will also be held in Timmins at a later time to celebrate her life.
Contributions in Violet’s memory may be made to:
Alzheimer’s Society Timmins, 38 Pine St North , 101 Mall Suite 107 Top Floor, Timmins, Ontario P4N 6K6,
Spruce Hill Lodge, 200 Bruce Avenue, South Porcupine, Ontario P0N 1H0; or
Canadian Cancer Society – Ontario, please use the link below.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.kanejerrettnorthyork.ca for Violet’s family.