God came for our beloved earth angel, Cec Chapman, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 28, 2020. For 86 years, we were blessed to have our extraordinary wife, mom, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She taught us the definition of love by living it, and she was an energetic ball of love! She was kind, caring, loving, giving, funny, wise, understanding and generous to all. Giving was Cec’s greatest joy. From her famous cupcakes, thousands of cookies and chocolates at Christmas, and hundreds of beautiful garden bouquets. Cec was sunshine and joy to all who knew and loved her.
Cecilia (Cec) leaves to mourn Ron, her best friend, soul mate and husband of 66 years, her beloved children Cindy (Marc) Sabourin, Deanna (Leonard) Mueller, Linda Chapman, and her precious grandchildren Jillian Sabourin and Courtney (Dula) Mediwake, Craig (Lindsay) Mueller, Ryan (Amber) Mueller, Christine (Mike) Mueller-Stephenson, and Samantha (Ryan) Payne. She also leaves 12 beautiful great- grandchildren: Oscar, Eric and Earl, Bridgette, Summer, Autumn, Zack, Zane, and Xavier, Max and Olivia, and Brooke. Cec was predeceased by her parents Ludvika and Stanley Forczek, sisters Mary Boumberger, Danny Devereaux, Verna Hawley, brother Stanley Forczek, one infant daughter and one infant granddaughter.
Cec was born in St. Michael’s Hospital in Lethbridge on September 4, 1934, the last of five children in her family. She attended St. Basil’s, St. Patrick’s, and St. Joseph’s High School, graduating in 1952. She met the love of her life while working at the Canada Trust Company in Lethbridge. Cec and Ron were introduced in August of 1954 and were married on December 22, 1954 at St. Anne’s Cathedral in Great Falls, Montana.
Cec was a person who was always active and enjoyed life to the fullest. Her piano talent was discovered at the age of six and she often said she got the gift of playing by ear from her Patron Saint Cecilia. She loved playing the organ at her beloved Saint Patrick’s Church before it was built into the structure it is today. She sang like a meadowlark and loved performing in school plays as well as many choirs, especially the St. Patrick’s choir. Her talent was used all her life from playing at school functions, concerts, parties, and later entertaining senior citizens with her daughter Linda, and most recently playing at her beloved Bridges program. Cec was an incredibly talented seamstress. She sewed clothing for her three daughters and often times a matching outfit and coat for herself. Many will remember the four of them in the front row at Assumption Church, all decked out in hats and gloves in the 1960’s. Cec’s daughters always had the most amazing Halloween handsewn costumes ranging from lions and panda bears to Little Bo Peep and Raggedy Anne and Andy. Cec also sewed hundreds of costumes for childrens’ plays at Assumption School over the 10 years the girls attended.
Cec’s Catholic faith was a huge part of her life, beginning in grade 2 when she was asked to crown the Blessed Virgin Mary in a very sacred occasion, one that she still spoke of near the end of her days. Mass was never missed on Sundays. Priests were always visiting the house and joining us for supper or just hanging out. Many became lifelong friends. She also loved going on retreats to the Mount Saint Francis Retreat in Cochrane Alberta and most times would be with all three of her daughters over the last 35 years. Cec also had the beautiful voice of a songbird and enjoyed many years with the Saint Patrick’s senior choir. She was also a member of Saint Michael’s Auxiliary, and the Catholic Woman’s League of Assumption Parish. Her three daughters still fondly remember the Teas and Bazaars that were held in the hall. She was always a willing volunteer and canvasser for the Cancer Society for many years as well as other organizations.
As the girls grew up, Cec decided that it might be fun to work part-time and started working as Secretary for Saint Patrick’s Elementary School. What started out a few days a week turned into half-time for the next 24 years, with her last three years being full-time. She absolutely adored the children and felt that “It was important to be there for the children, to have open arms if they needed a shoulder to cry on, or someone to talk to.” As one principal put it, “She is Saint Patrick’s School.”
The Chapman house was always full of friends from the girl’s schools, from elementary, up to university and beyond. Cec was the kind of mom that had open arms and a listening ear for all of the girls’ friends, and she was like a mom to all.
While the girls were still at home, Ron and Cec loved traveling with their three daughters. Every summer was a new trip to somewhere, be it California, Disneyland, Victoria, Vancouver, or visiting family in Colorado.
When it was time to retire, Cec and Ron travelled to Europe, Barbados, cruised through the Panama Canal and several trips to Maui, their favorite Hawaiian Island. They also had some adventures as well with fishing buddies to Gordon Lake in the Northwest Territories, BC on Sonora Island and all the local great fishing lakes most weekends. They caught a few championship fish along the way!
Cec and Ron were both raised in Lethbridge and raised their family here. They enjoyed many family gatherings together. They loved to garden, renovate, boat and fish, and had many wonderful pet dogs for years that were more like children. Cec could be seen pushing the lawnmower at 60/mph like nobody’s business! She had boundless energy and strength, and loved her yard and flowers, especially her beautifully fragrant lilacs and a special pink pussy willow tree. Cec and Ron have been blessed to spend 66 years together with their amazing family, wonderful friends, and many many beautiful memories.
Flowers are gratefully declined.
Vigil Rites will be held at 7:00pm on Monday, November 2, 2020 at MARTIN BROTHERS RIVERVIEW CHAPEL, 610- 4th Street South, Lethbridge, Alberta.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00AM on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at OUR LADY OF THE ASSUMPTION ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2405 12th Avenue South, Lethbridge, Alberta with Father Derek Remus, celebrant.
To send flowers to Cecilia's family, please visit our floral store.