Obituary for Audrey O'Callaghan
Audrey O'Callaghan - A Celebration of Life
It is with great sadness, that the family of Audrey Marian O’Callaghan (nee MacLatchie) announces that she passed away peacefully in hospital, with her husband by her side on June 12, 2017.
Audrey is survived by her loving family; her husband Gerald Edward O’Callaghan, children Liane, (Alain), Michael (Debbie), Jennifer (Tony). Her daughter in laws, Lynn (Ian) and Christina. Her Grandchildren, Sayre (Darth), Bryar (D’Ango), Sean (Stefanie), Ian (Robin), Lindsay (Kurtis), Amanda (Anthony), Taryn, Brittany, Jessica and Samantha. Her Sister in law Sue, Cousins Beverly and Earl (Jennifer) and her large extended family, great nieces and nephews and great grandchildren.
She is predeceased by her parents, Arthur Nelson MacLatchie and Irene Isobel MacLatchie (nee Kolmar), brother James Melvin MacLatchie, son David Michael Knight, first husband Jack Vernon Knight, nephew Ricky Bergin, and in laws Cliff O'Callghan, Bill O'Callaghan, Diane O'Callaghan and Phylis Klein.
Audrey’s life began on November 21st, 1932, in Montreal, Quebec. During her early years, her family was involved in promoting social causes which continued throughout Audrey’s life. During Audrey’s early adult years, she was married to Jack Knight, they travelled with his job in the Armed Forces through Canada and Germany before settling in Ottawa in 1959.
She began working as a nursery school teacher before starting her career as a social worker within the Regional Municipality of Ottawa Carleton. In the early 1970’s Audrey attended Algonquin College and became a certified Life Skills Coach. After Audrey and Gerry re-settled in Ottawa, Audrey returned to the Regional Municipality, where, along with a colleague, they developed the "Home Support Program". This program assisted clients with Home Management Skills such as cooking, cleaning, budgeting, childcare, parenting, etc., Clients were well supported and able to develop the skills and self-esteem necessary to go out into the work force. Some of the clients went on to become workers in the program. The programming expanded to all the Community Health Care Centres through the Regional Municipality. As well, when the Regional Municipality went through a Job Evaluation Process, Audrey was on the CUPE 503 Job Evaluation Team. The team fought and won job equality for all employees within the organization.
Another of Audrey’s loves, was of being a Unitarian Universalist. Everywhere she went she promoted, through her actions, the principles of the Unitarian Universalist Religion. She was instrumental in promoting the Children’s RE curriculum both in the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa in the 1960’s and in the 1990’s at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ottawa. From 2002 to present time, Audrey tirelessly worked at developing, establishing and promoting a curriculum for seniors about the values of aging. This curriculum has been adopted by the Canadian Unitarian Council. She helped to promote Unicamp, a Unitarian Universalist Summer Camp located north of Toronto in the 1960’s. In the early 1970 she was a teen advisor travelling around to Montreal, Beaconsfield, Toronto and Niagara Fall Regions for conferences. If the conferences were not on, you could guarantee the house was full anyway.
As she aged, her focus shifted from teenagers to Denominational Affairs. She became president of her Fellowship in East Ottawa and ensured that the congregants at the Fellowship and First Unitarian Congregation understood and were involved with the structure of change within the UU Organization in the 1990’s. Humour was also a big part of her life. She loved to tell jokes and make people laugh. She believed in the healing powers of laughter and positivity and would teach workshops on Humour throughout Ottawa.
Audrey loved spending as much time as she could with Gerald and her family. They loved sailing and they sailed in Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, the St. Lawrence, Lake Ontario and the Rideau Canal System. She participated in Theatre Night in Merrickville and enjoyed Rug Hooking, Miniatures, Model Railroads, and her beloved Book club of 20 years plus.
Audrey’s zest of life, her sense of humour, her smile and her infectious laugh were huge. She made life fun and whenever you left Audrey’s, you always left feeling a little lighter and full of joy and love. She is greatly missed by her husband, children, grandchildren, extended family, friends and all who knew her.
A Celebration of Her Life will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ottawa on Saturday June 24, 2017. A private family internment at Chaffey’s Locks will occur later in the summer.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the UUFO Fellowship or to the Ottawa Hospital Foundation.