Laurel will be remembered as a strong and intelligent woman who was warm, compassionate and caring. She was generous to a fault, and everyone who knew her could see that she placed the needs of others, especially those whose needs were greatest, before her own. She underwent chemotherapy for lung cancer for almost two and a half years with very few side effects and managed those that she did have with grace. Her family was with her constantly in her final days and she passed peacefully in her sleep.
Laurel spent her career caring for others; she was highly respected by her colleagues as a teacher, as the founder of the Main Street Program for at-risk youth, and finished her career as a counsellor at Nutana Collegiate. Laurel was a Woman of Distinction as an educator, outstanding musician and a singer in The Refiners Choir and the Eclipse Chorus. She cherished her family above all else, her children Nicholas, Lila (Stryker) and Julia (Kurt) and grandchildren, and loved all of the times together at Christopher Lake, Rincon de Guayabitos, and around one of the family homes. She loved and was loved deeply by her devoted husband of 48 years, Rick McCormick, who she shared countless laughs, travels and adventures with.
She will be missed by her sisters, Diane and Julie and brothers, Bill (Cynthia) and Duncan (survived by Judith), and a large extended family. Both of her parents, Elinor and Godfrey, instilled in Laurel a strong sense of values and of social justice. She was a selfless and devoted friend who enriched the lives of so many. Despite her multiple health issues, Laurel lived life to the fullest and with gratitude, and inspired all who knew her.
A Celebration of Laurel’s life is planned for May 1, 2022. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Saskatoon Community Clinic Foundation or contact Millie’s Early Learning Centre to provide support for student parents and establish a scholarship in Laurel’s memory.
A Poem for my Mother
By Lila Chelsom McCormick
My mother can’t be summarized in but a line or two
I could use up all the trees and yet that still would not do
Because you see Laurel Chelsom is unlike anyone you’ve ever met before
She’s grace, courage, kindness and oh so much more
She was a warrior of the strongest and bravest kind
Battling a malignant enemy that had made it behind enemy lines
Health issues had been dealt to her in a hand that no one would want to take
Including Parkinson’s, arthritis and four bouts of cancer for fucks sake
Yet rarely could you find her complaining or feeling pity for herself
She carried on feeling grateful and thinking about everybody else
Laurel was a teacher, counselor and support to youths by trade
And her strong yet soft impression on colleagues and students will seldom fade
She was known for being a kind, selfless and devoted friend
Listening and supporting others was her gift, which she gave right until the end.
Her family, oh her family, how they will miss her so
As they loved her, and she loved them, more than anyone could know
Her husband felt her affection and everlasting love each and every day
As they built a life of laughter and joy, meeting each adventure along the way
She taught her children gratitude, and how to see things from all sides
How to rise up in the face of challenges, and take hardship in stride
She wasn’t one to preach or scold or tell you how to be
But through her actions she inspired others to live with compassion and humility
Her grandkids will miss their nana, and the time left unspent
But they know she loved them fiercely and she showed them what that meant
Through lullabies and board games, shared laughs and hugs every day
Wanting nothing more than for them to be happy, and of course, free from harms’ way
They will miss her, as will we all, who were lucky to know this marvel
And with us we will carry her, on the paths we each shall travel
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