23 April 1936 – 10 May 2018
We lost Paulina to effing cancer at the Exeter, Ontario, hospital. Her birthday was two weeks earlier and she was pleased about making it to 82. Last summer she received the terrible terminal diagnosis. She lived her final months in her beloved and idyllic home in Grand Bend, lovingly cared for by tag-teaming daughters, a revolving cast of family and friends, and wonderful professionals. The songbirds, card games, puzzles and Netflix helped, too.
Paulina made it to the finish line with dignity, pride, humour, trademark stubbornness, and a loving and generous heart as big as Lake Huron. She lived and died the way she wanted. Even on the worst final days she would find a smile, crack an impish grin, utter a funny profanity. She outlived by two years the love of her life, Len Ballantyne, got to see her three children flourish and marry, and watched her grandkids grow up. Late in life she found a new best friend, her neighbour Wendy Atmore.
She was born in Montreal to immigrant parents. Her father, Valentino Kilbertus, died when she was three; her mother Alma went back to work and placed her daughter in foster care. Paulina had an itinerant childhood, as her foster mother moved around the continent, with stops (and new schools for Paulina) in Halifax, Winnipeg, Michigan and Toronto. Paulina’s teenaged years found her in Ste. Rose, Quebec, where she met her first husband Richard Clark. After the divorce, she raised her kids as a single mom north of Montreal in Blainville, Quebec, and eventually moved to Ontario, where she met and fell in love with Len. They shared and stoked each other’s love for line dancing, Texas, cards, dominoes, every gadget known to mankind, and Lake Huron’s beautiful beaches. They threw many parties at their home in the Cove at Grand Bend, and were regulars at the Legion Branch 498.
Paulina was an avid gardener and creative crafter. She loved to dance, and boy, oh, boy, did she love to shop! With her loss, we have warned Wal-Mart, Giant Tiger and Publishing Clearing House to expect a drop in profits.
Paulina will be terribly missed by many: her daughter Lianne Clark and her husband Randy Hall, daughter Nancy Kay Clark and husband Doug Bennet, son Ron Clark and wife Michelle Johnson Clark, her adoring grandkids Nathan, Eliza, Raymond, Brianna, Mackenzie, and many neighbours and friends, especially Wendy Atmore and Mark Broughner.
There’s a new card shark in heaven.
Special thanks to Lambton County EMS and the team at South Huron Hospital. Donations may be made to the South Huron Hospital Foundation.
Visitation: Friday, May 18, 4 to 7 p.m. Memorial Service: Saturday, May 19, from 10 to 12 p.m. at the T. Harry Hoffman & Sons Funeral Home, 118 Dashwood Main Street, Dashwood.