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Dunlop, Catherine


On May 10, 2024 with her loving family by her side,
we said farewell to our fearless 
leader, the matriarch of our family, 
Catherine Dunlop 
after a bravely fought battle 
with cancer.

Catherine lived her life to the fullest, with more spunk than a barrel of chili peppers. She was the 9th of 11 children born in 1938 to Yvonne and Arthur Vanheddegem in Hardwood Ridge, New Brunswick. The family moved to Ontario when she was 13, meeting the love of her life Harold when she was 17. He was smitten by her vivacious spirit, knack for witty one-liners, and her wicked sense of humour. 

Together, they raised 4 children; Wanda (Steve), Jenica (Jan), Nancy (Peter) and Mike (Elaine).
Catherine took pride in her role as their mother. She was a real 
enforcer, who instilled the fear of God into those kids when it came
to their minding 
their P’s & Q’s. She could get the truth right out of them by saying “I can read your eyes”.

Catherine was an amazing homemaker. Whether it be baking from scratch or 
turning leftovers into meals fit for royalty - you would have thought her cooking came from Julia Child’s kitchen. Her legendary graham wafer pie could bring peace to the world.
She may have measured with a pinch of this or a dash of that, but her 
secret ingredient was love.

Knowing her way around a kitchen like nobody's business came in handy when neighbourhood kids would knock on her door -
they always knew where to find the best homemade snack in town. Everyone who came into her welcoming home could sit at
the counter anticipating her to-the-point advice and anecdotes of comedic gold. Her laughter was contagious.
If there's one thing she taught us, it's that life is too short to take things too seriously.

She took on her role of grandmother with enthusiasm. She was a doting “Gramma” to Kandace, Matthew (Stephanie), Alyssa (Bryan), Lindsay (Riley), Weston (Georgia), Molly and Cole, and great grandmother to Drew and Theodore. Each one of them learned quickly that any game against Gramma meant that $100,000 was on the line. Sleepovers with her were always done in style, with a bowl of popcorn and a special outfit made out of Poppy’s t-shirt and a scarf to keep it from dragging. Any time her grandkids cried, she’d collect the tears and put them in her pocket, instantly putting a smile on their face. One hug from her filled your heart with love.
Catherine had a heart of gold, always ending conversations with an “I 
love you”...or an endearing “keep your pecker up”.

Beyond her wit and culinary skills, Catherine was a natural entertainer with a sharp tongue and impressive ability to tell stories.
She was the queen of the card table, a 
master of scrabble, spirited curler, and undisputed champion of telling it like it is. 
She passed on important euchre lessons: we learned quickly to never sit between the counters; the 9 of spades would never be euchred; never send a boy to milk; and most importantly - not to sit in the bushes (otherwise you’d hear from her). 
Later in life she enjoyed playing bridge and her time volunteering with hospital auxiliary, where she made some of her
most treasured friends and memories.

In the weeks before she passed, she continued to make us laugh. Many “I love yous”, quiet moments, and tears were shared
while she remained so brave. We are 
all incredibly grateful to have been able to reflect on countless memories with her. 
True to her character, she took care of all of us right until the end. 

We will miss our Mom, Gramma, and friend so very much, whose laughter echoed through every room she entered and whose spirit
will forever live on in the stories 
we'll tell for generations to come. Her humour knew no bounds and love knew no limits.

Rest in laughter and know how loved you are. Heaven has gained the feistiest angel.

In keeping with Catherine’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a private family
Graveside Service will be held at a later date.
If desired, donations to the PEC 
Memorial Hospital Auxiliary or
a random act of kindness would be appreciated by 
the family. 

In Catherine’s words “that’s another job done”.

Arrangements entrusted to the Ainsworth Funeral Home, 288 Noxon Avenue, Wellington.
Online condolences may be shared at

Memorial Donations the the PEC Memorial Hospital Auxiliary may be made online at
or by cheque payable to PECMH Auxiliary and mailed to 
PEC Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, 
Suite 3, 389 Main Street, Picton, ON K0K 2T0

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