Obituary of Shirley Joyce Leibel
Shirley Joyce Leibel (nee Fenning), born on February 1, 1933, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, wasn't expected to live due to a congenital heart defect. Defying expectations, not only did she thrive but also survived nearly being stolen as a baby, battled hepatitis contracted as a nursing student, and withstood a heart attack before checking out at 90 on Tuesday, August 22, 2023.
Shirley grew up on a farm near Edenwold, Saskatchewan, attending South Valley School to grade 8, then continuing her education with grades 9 and 10 by correspondence. For grades 11 and 12, she resided at Luther College. Her compassion to help others led her to nursing school. In 1954, she graduated from the Regina General Hospital, commencing her nursing journey at the Red Cross Children's Ward.
On February 1, 1957, Shirley married Norman Karl Leibel, a day that saw her transition from nursing to embracing the joys and challenges of farming and raising a family. Four daughters were welcomed into their lives in succession, and together as a family they farmed and nurtured 640 acres which remain in the family today.
Shirley was a unique and exceptional mother. She had little time for idle gossip or trivial conversations, always preferring discussions of substance. Known for her persistence and sharp wit, her humour never abandoned her. Her insatiable thirst for knowledge was unquenchable, and she was committed to lifelong learning. One of her final pieces of advice was, "Think for yourselves." Her lifelong learning included her faith, exploring many avenues to support her strong faith, and she was looking forward to what happens next.
She led a humble life but was exceedingly generous to causes close to her heart. Her charitable giving included: WaterCan/WaterAid, World Animal Protection, World Wildlife Fund Canada, Regina Humane Society, Nature Saskatchewan, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Nature Canada, World Vision, Plan International, Sauti Moja and Leprosy Relief Canada.
In her later years, she ventured into travel, exploring Iceland, Kenya, Tanzania, and Costa Rica. Her nursing skills remained ever-present; she cared for animals, plants, and people alike.
Predeceased by her husband (1996) who met her on the other side, left to miss her are her four daughters: Wanda (John), Janice (Chris), Carmen (Allen), and Norine (Lee), as well as her grandkitties Hunter, Les and Dark; grandpuppies Slim and Peanut; and grandhorsies Cher, Cody, and Winter. Also left to mourn are her brother Norman (Diane) and their children Carol, James, Michael, and Crystal.
The family extends their gratitude to Dr. Sylvie Jones at the Family Medicine Unit, who enabled Mom to stay in her home until the last few months, the staff at Country Lane Care Home, especially Rey, who she nicknamed "Mr. Sunshine," and the caring team at the Regina Wascana Grace Hospice who gave her much comfort and support in her final days.
At Mom’s request, a Graveside Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, August 28, 2023 in Riverside Memorial Park, 815 Assiniboine Avenue East, Regina, SK. Please meet inside the cemetery gates just prior to 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, Shirley encourages a donation in her memory to the Regina Humane Society.