Eulogy, given by Judy Stone, AAS president
and friend of Elizabeth's
asked me to speak at her service, I said I would but that she had to write it with me, so
I sat beside her hospital bed and took notes and Elizabeth
and I wrote this eulogy together. We did
lots of things together, so it is very fitting that we decided to do this together too. We did so much work together: and we talked and planned and giggled and gossiped
together so many times, usually early in the morning.
Both of us are early birds: so when I would see Eckert come up
on call display at the crack of dawn, Id think, Oh, good! Elizabeth!
Elizabeths turn to speak, but first I have to tell you that it was darned hard
getting Elizabeth to talk about herself at all. I
wanted her to talk about her feelings for animals and how she came to love them enough to
work so hard on their behalf.
to talk about how proud she was to be a director of Animal Advocates Society, and to be
able to get to know people involved in animal welfare, and what, in her words, was
an honour and a blessing.
So here is
our compromise. Here are
Elizabeths words about a part of her life that had great meaning for her.
I have been so blessed by getting to know
so many good people over the last six years that I have worked with Animal Advocates. I was blown away when I discovered all these
people who felt the same way that I did. Brian
and I had our dear Sheebie, who we got (I now
know) from a back yard
breeder, and when we decided to get a friend for her we didnt want to do that again,
we wanted to give a home to a homeless dog, so we phoned AAS and ended up fostering the
famous Sabrina. Sabrina was a little shepherd
cross who had never been in a house, and had barely been touched in her life, so she was
almost like a wild creature. She became famous when Brian took her for a walk at Mosquito
Creek and she twisted her head out of her collar and ran away, up the mountain. Poor Brian came home with a leash attached to an
empty collar! For ten days, a network of
hundreds of dog-lovers on the North Shore looked for Sabrina, and after being spotted many
times up and down the creek, Sabrina finally found her way back to us! We knew we werent quite up to handling a dog
with Sabrinas needs (not yet anyway), so Sabrina went to a foster home that had more
experience. But we were in it now, and I
realized for the first time how many good people were trying to prevent animal suffering
and I knew that I wanted to keep helping.
As a child
I was so drawn to animals, I could not bear to see one dead or injured, it would be
devastating. That is why I became a
vegetarian. And that is why I wanted to get involved with people who felt the way I did.
Judy told me about a young dog that looked just like Sheba that needed fostering, Brian
and I said, Yes. Judy told us that this dog
was a real keeper and she was! That
was Stellie, our second black dog.
By now I
realized that black dogs are not as valued as other dogs and are so commonly thrown
away, so when we saw poor skinny black Sammy, who was such a handful, we knew that
he might end up in the wrong place, so Sammy joined our black-dog family too.
with other animal lovers and getting to know so many selfless people has been such a
blessing and an honour. I felt like I was really doing something important.
The honour was on
my side I was so proud to have a woman of Elizabeths calibre a part of AAS. And I am the one blessed to have had a friend like Elizabeth.
Aside from those
precious early morning phone calls, Elizabeth helped me with the fiddly financial details
of running a society. She delighted in
rolling up her sleeves and getting the numbers all in order. She would come early to my house with Beans
Around The World coffee and muffins and we would work at the boring paperwork details.
Elizabeth would write cards and address envelopes in her beautiful handwriting and
wed talk about animals, and our lives, but we always got a lot of work done, because
Elizabeth was a worker.
She organized all
the business details of the concert that Pandoras Vox held for us at the Centennial
Theatre and she sold more tickets than the rest of us put together. It wasnt easy to
turn Elizabeth down when she told you how important it was to buy a ticket and attend the
provided three gorgeous bikes from her generous employer,
Norco, for raffles, and she sold hundreds of raffle tickets too the
same way she sold concert tickets, quietly but determinedly convincing you that it was
important to buy the tickets.
that was the way that Elizabeth fulfilled another job she did for AAS. She was the follow-up person for many
of our adoptions, going to the dogs new home, talking about the dogs needs and
behaviours, helping to get the dog settled in and everyone feeling comfortable, getting
the papers signed and getting the adoption donation. Who better?
She was a genius at politely but firmly extracting the money! We had so many
laughs about sending the collector!
is still my friend, and she will always be my friend.
She gave me all the things a friend is supposed to give: laughs, sound advice, quiet affection, loyalty,
common sense ideas, hands-on help, and non-critical, always kind, support. None of that is gone - it is all in a reserve of friendship, a magic well
of Elizabeth-ness that is never empty. I
can draw on it anytime, night or day. I am drawing on it right now she would not
cry at what cant be helped; she would just deal with it; find a solution; get it
done; and have a laugh while doing it.
Elizabeth and I
talked about how the rescue work will go on and that every time we help a black dog it
will be done in her memory.
love and help for animals lives on in your dogs you loved so much and understood so well,
Stellie, Sheebie, and Sammy, and in all the other animals that you will go on helping,
because of the foundation work you did to make AAS the Society you were proud of.
I have a
framed motto at home that describes Elizabeth perfectly to me:
mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand
Courage in your
remorseless cancer finally took her body but it did not have a hope of taking her
spirit. Up to the very end, Elizabeth did not talk about herself, did not impose her
suffering on others. She worried about
others suffering, her familys, her friends and animals.
Elizabeth is a
person who I have been honoured to know, and her example will be a blessing and a
strength to me until we walk our dogs together again.
CAREER - HER LIFE AT NORCO
career at Norco started on March 30th, 1970 when she was 19 years old, after
she graduated from Gladstone Secondary School in 1969.
wonderful 32-year career she has had at Norco. And what an amazing contribution she has
made to Norco, her co-workers, and our customers.
Elizabeth started at Norco, in their 1st. Ave location, there was only a staff
of 4-5 people .
beginning Elizabeths duties included invoicing,
general office, phone sales, order packing and shipping, and more importantly, politely
listening to salesmens bad jokes or patiently trying to balance sample accounts.
This was a very different Norco from the company today. When the
pipes froze in the early 70s we all had to walk two blocks to the washroom at a
nearby gas station. Still Elizabeth persevered.
Norco moved to the Lake City location in Burnaby, and it was after this move that
Elizabeth wanted to work in credit. As her responsibilities grew, Elizabeth felt it was
important to continue her education and she started on that long-term goal by taking
courses at the Canadian Credit Institute.
graduated in 1986 with the MCI designation winning several awards including the highest
honors mark for Mercantile Credit.
dept responsibility was then handed over to Elizabeth who continued to improve on the
companys track record.
continued to grow and so did Elizabeths responsibilities as branches were opened
across the country and in Seattle.
Corporate Credit Manager she was responsible for granting all company credit. A very
difficult job, with huge responsibility, which she always handled very professionally.
would be very hard to find a person that deserves and has earned more respect in our
industry than Elizabeth.
She was the
utmost professional in an often difficult position. She treated all people fairly and with
respect. That respect came back to her ten-fold. She could very graciously communicate
Norcos viewpoint and at the same time be very compassionate to a dealer or co
at Norco and the Industry she was a good friend, co-worker, and mentor. She was my
sounding board for difficult situations. She was a great judge of character, and she
always found the positives in people, and made you understand and think about those
At the same
time she never let any of us rest on our laurels. She always challenged us to improve and
work harder. The strong energy that she possessed was a lesson and inspiration to us all,
and will live on in our hearts.
wanted to win, but she was a team player willing to help in any situation.
moved into its current building in 1995, with the many challenges that moving a warehouse
involved, and the warehouse staff had logged a lot of overtime, Elizabeth went downstairs
after hours and began washing plastic parts bins.
loved to meet our customers and enjoyed the many relationships she had with them. She
liked to get out on the road, have a good laugh, and enjoy a glass of wine.
she had an amazing ability to look like she understood French!
Even in her
last few months with us she made a made a point of letting us know her ideas concerning a
number of customers. When we to the hospital for visits she wanted to talk shop. But that
was Elizabeth; she loved her job. She told us
how much she had missed work when she was off ill. She couldnt wait to get back. It
was an important part of her life.
family was very fortunate to have someone with her ability, loyalty, and integrity for the
past 32 years, and we, like everyone here, will miss her profoundly. From the very start
Elizabeth was one of a kind, whether you knew her as a friend or business associate. Since
her beginning at Norco she was one of our prized jewels that most companies only wished
they had. There arent many examples in any company of the dedication and pride to do things with as much
accuracy and care as Elizabeth.
enjoyed talking about her love for the simple things in life, and the importance of
appreciating them. Spending time with family, a good cup of coffee, a walk with the dogs,
a relaxing breakfast on the weekend, or spending time in the garden.
cherished all of these times.
A few months
ago Elizabeth was given Lance Armstrongs book, Its not about the
bike. Elizabeth fought a courageous fight against this horrible disease. It was a
fight she fought with grace, class and dignity, the same way she lived her life.
wonderful legacy she has left for all of us.
National Sales Manager