Our mother entered her heavenly home on Saturday, January 2, 2016, to dwell forevermore with her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The loving & devoted mother of Peg (deceased) & Stan Martin, Andy & Chris Melville, Al Melville, Beth & Russ South and Tim & Eva Melville. Marie was treasured by her 15 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren. Mom was predeceased by her husband, Robert Henry Bruce Melville in 2001, her eldest daughter, Peggy Anne (Martin) in 2004, her great-grand daughter, Alyssa Marie Melville in 2003, her mother, Ruth Mabel Vanderburgh in 1991, her father, Fulton Reuben Vanderburgh in 1953 & her brother, Richard Fulton Vanderburgh in 2002. Born to a United Church pastor father & homemaker mother, Marie began her life’s journey in Thessalon, Ontario on a hot summer’s day in July, 1931, moving to & living in various communities across Ontario. Mom attended normal school (teacher’s college) after high school and then taught for several years before marrying her sweetheart Bruce, becoming a “wife of noble character” (Proverbs 31: 10-31) & then a full-time mother to her 5 children. Her passions included family, huge annual vegetable gardens, canning & freezing anything & everything, serving lovingly prepared meals in her farm home to a myriad of guests & weary travelers & faithfully serving at Temple Baptist Church (Sarnia) for many years in a variety of hands-on functions. Since 2001, Marie has been a faithful member of Huron Baptist Church in Sarnia. Following life challenges in 2004, Marie moved to Vision Nursing Home & soon became actively involved within her new community, including piano playing for Bible Study and church, reading with school-aged children & investing herself in the lives of everyone around her. Marie enthusiastically continued her card ministry to the end which not only included everyone’s birthday and most holidays, but especially, words of encouragement for anyone sick and hurting. Marie’s family sincerely appreciates the consistently high quality care & compassion of Vision’s nursing, kitchen, laundry & recreational staff members over the past 11 years as well as Dr. Patrick Boyle, Dr. Gannon, and Lynn Withers, nurse practitioner. We also extend our heart-felt thanks to the teams of healthcare professionals at Bluewater Health, including Dr. Heather Emmeriton-Coughlin, Dr. Crombeen, Dr. Greensmith & especially, the nursing staff for your dedicated & compassionate care of our mother during her last days here on this earth. A funeral service will be held at SMITH FUNERAL HOME, 1576 London Line, Sarnia, on Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 2:00 p.m., and friends will be received one hour prior to the service. Sympathy may be expressed through donations to either the Gideons International in Canada or the Canadian Cancer Society (cheques only at the funeral home please) in lieu of flowers. Immediately following the graveside service (family only, please), a reception will be held at Huron Baptist Church, 1285 Michigan Line, Sarnia, Ontario as an opportunity to remember Marie and celebrate her life.
“When all my labors and trials are o’er,
And I am safe on that beautiful shore
Just to be near the dear Lord I adore,
Will through the ages be glory for me”
For more information about this obituary visit http://www.smithfuneralhome.ca.