CULLEY, PhyllisPosted: March 18th, 2023
Phyllis Naomi CULLEY (nÃ©e Wetherup) Mom passed away peacefully on Monday, 13 March after a long and fulfilling life. She was predeceased by her husband Raymond (2008) to whom she was married for almost 57 years. She leaves behind her children Colleen Metge (Denis Champagne), Jill Asbell (Bernie) and Brooke Culley (Katherine); grandchildren Kate Pedlow (Michael), Emily Martinson (Adam), Harrison Culley (Alexandra Seidman) and Wyatt Culley; and great-grandchildren Lochlan, Savannah, Taylor and Isabelle.
Phyllis was born on July 18, 1928 in the CPR station house in Travers Alberta. Her father George HW Wetherup was the station agent and her mother Alberta Viola was a mother of five with Phyllis being the youngest. She spoke about moving around to various small towns in Southern Alberta and eventually spent most of her childhood in Macleod Alberta with four brothers all of whom have predeceased her (Harold, Howard, Gordon and Fred).
After graduating from Mount Royal College in Calgary, Phyllis enrolled in the Galt School of Nursing program at the Galt Hospital in Lethbridge. She was one of 14 women in the Class of 1950. Most of them survived into their late 80s and she met with them regularly over 60 years for reunions. Over the years Mom worked in a TB hospital, as a clinic and head nurse, a case-room nurse and a surgical nurse. She was elected President of the Operating Nurses Association of Alberta in 1981. She retired from nursing to start consulting for American Hospital Supply and then acted as a real-estate broker in Vancouver. We still marvel at the courage and capacity she had to learn, adapt and successfully create three careers while being a wife and mom.
A memory of her would be incomplete without mentioning her love of sports. She was an avid curler and took up both golf and skiing later in life. Phyllis swore that intently following organized sports kept her mind sharp. PGA Golf was her true passion but Canucks hockey and Stampeder football on TV were close seconds. As for baseball the Blue Jays were her boys and even in her nineties she managed to see a few games in person!
Phyllis will be remembered by her family as being fiercely independent–never wanting help with her suitcase and always finding her own way forward. Mom was energetic, spontaneous and full of spunk while being a fine planner in orchestrating all the activities of a busy and, at times, far-flung family. Mom was an enthusiastic traveler and she was fortunate to be able to travel with Ray to Europe, the UK, Japan, Hawaii and on cruises. Her travelling carried on with her children when he passed and even as recently as July 2022 Mom took a week-long Alaska cruise!
Our family would like to acknowledge Phyllis’ son Brooke for his compassion and tireless efforts in helping to make her final weeks as comfortable as possible. Thanks also go to her dear friends, Gaylen and Marilyn Armstrong, who were often at her bedside over the last weeks. We would also like to thank the doctors and nursing staff at the Chinook Regional Hospital and St Michael’s Health Centre for their excellent care and compassion. Their dedication and comforting words made this journey easier to bear for her family. A memorial service will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Royal Canadian Legion in support of our veterans and their families (www.legion.ca), Lethbridge Pride (www.lethbridgepride.com) or a charity of your choice. Evergreen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Condolences to you and your entire family Brooke. God bless.