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Nancy Erb
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Birth: Jul. 11, 1951
Death: Nov. 3, 2011

ERB, Nancy It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Nancy, on Thursday, November 3, 2011, after a dignified battle with cancer, in her 61st year. Her vibrancy, kindness, love for family and friends, also the professional care given to her patients will be greatly missed. Beloved daughter of Dorothy Erb (nee Oesch). Loving sister of Dennis (Connie) and Darrell (Sandra). Will be sadly missed by niece Carrie (Mike), great-niece Abigail Schultz, her nephews Brennan Erb and his friend Sarah, Benjamin Erb and great-nephew Joseph Erb, her cousins Jack Oesch, MaryLee Oesch, JoAnn Sharpe, Robert Schultz, Duane Rudy, Lynn Martin, Gail Londesbury and families and her aunt and uncle Norma and David Rudy. Predeceased by her father Delmar (2001), her brother Kenneth (1953) and by her cousin and Best Friend Linda Pearce (2009). Friends may call at the Futher-Franklin Funeral Home, 1172 Henry Street Wellesley, on Saturday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral Services will be held at Poole Mennonite Church, Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. Interment to follow in the Poole Mennonite Cemetery. Donations to the Poole Mennonite Church or Lisaard House would be appreciated. We wish to express our thanks and gratitude to all those who provided love, comfort and assistance to Nan and her family. The doctors and nurses at Grand River Hospital, Care givers at Lisaard House and nurses who visited Nan at her home. www.futher-franklinfuneralhome.com


'Nurse Nan' was kindness personified
Nancy Erb of Wellesley

In a eulogy, niece Carrie Schultz said "You taught me that giving is much more gratifying than receiving. Generosity was just a part of your character."
Nan was born one of three children to a pioneering farm family near Wellesley. She attended elementary school in a quaint, one-room schoolhouse and graduated from the Perth Huron School of Nursing in Stratford in 1972. She launched her nursing career at Hamilton General Hospital, then moved on to St. Joseph's in London. By 1975, the adventurous woman was growing restless.
Nan had learned that nurses were needed in Alert Bay in northern British Columbia. She ended up working there for a year before moving to Vancouver. Her time there would spill over three decades, starting with a nursing job at the University of British Columbia. In 1978, she got the travel itch again.
Nan and a friend set off on a seven-month adventure to Europe and Israel though her friend had to return home early. Nan continued on, working on a kibbutz, then visiting Afghanistan and the Middle East, finishing her trip with a tour of India in a rickety old bus.
Returning to Canada, Nan went to St. Joseph's Hospital in London, where she took additional training in peritoneal dialysis, a method where kidney patients could be trained to give themselves treatment in their own homes.
Armed with this new skill and deeply missing her many friends in Vancouver, Nan returned to the west, driving her little Honda on yet another epic journey. She quickly landed a job with the provincial Ministry of Health and was able to use her skills to set up dialysis patients in their homes around the province. It was just Nan and a few other nurses covering the entire province, working with dialysis patients in their homes. The program was so successful that Nan became a staunch advocate for peritoneal dialysis and co-authored an important report on the method.
After Nan's six years as a case manager, the provincial funding for the home-based dialysis program dried up and patients were instead required to go to hospital for treatment. Nan was on the hunt for another job.
With her level of experience, she was quickly hired by Vancouver General Hospital and was eventually named supervisor on the dialysis unit, where she also became a patient advocate and educator.
Longtime friend and fellow nurse Patricia La Croix said that when the province instituted patient-focused care, it hardly impacted Nan.
"Nan was already doing that," she said. "She always listened to the patients, always knew what their values were and also strove to do the best for them." Nan did what was best for the patient, not the hospital.
"She was a beautiful spirit," said Patricia, adding "she had a very good sense of humour."
Like the day a group of friends, all nurses, were having a get-together and one spoke about how she was training hard to compete in a gruelling Iron Man triathlon.
Patricia recalled: "Nan said 'I think I could do that.' Then there was this pause and she said 'but I don't really even enjoy walking that much.'" That line, delivered straight-faced, had everyone howling with laughter.
Nan, who never married, thoroughly enjoyed her many close friendships and loved people in general.
Despite her busy schedule in the hospital, Nan took a casual part-time job nursing at Yaletown House, a non-profit home for seniors with complex health needs. Eventually, she had to leave.
"The load was getting too heavy after about five years," said her mother, Dorothy Erb. "She loved her work and there was no doubt in anyone's mind that if she was on the case, it would receive every attention."
Nan was known for her kindness and patience with people, the way she always went the extra mile in their care.
Life was good and full and fun, but in 2005, Nan's world took a decided shift. She was diagnosed with breast cancer which after aggressive treatment, seemed to be in remission. She returned to work and in 2008, the travel-loving Nan enjoyed her last trip, this time to Italy with friends. The following year, she learned the cancer had viciously returned. It was time to come home.
Patricia remembers Nan saying she needed to be with her mother again. "She knew that when she was with her mother, she'd feel better," said Patricia.
On Dec. 9, 2009, Nan packed up her car and headed east for the last time and once back in the folds of her family, Nan didn't waste a minute in self-pity.
As Dorothy said, "It was a memorable year. She kept very busy with things she loved doing: scrapbooking, card-making, making quilts, gardening, knitting." The list went on and on. Dorothy had recently lost her sister, then her sister's daughter to cancer and now she was about to lose her only daughter.
Nan didn't want to burden anyone in her family and wouldn't complain. Instead she spent her final two years doing what Nan did best: living her life fully even as it ebbed away. She died in Lissard House on Nov. 3.

vhill@therecord.com
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Delmar J Erb (1925 - 2001)
 
Burial:
Poole Mennonite Cemetery
Poole
Perth County
Ontario, Canada
 
Created by: Allan Dettweiler
Record added: Nov 05, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 79886614
Nancy Erb
Added by: Allan Dettweiler
 
Nancy Erb
Added by: Allan Dettweiler
 
 
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