It is with a heavy heart and shaking hand that we write of the passing of our mother, Diane Strang. Surrounded by loved ones, Diane passed away on Friday, November 30th, 2018 at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario.
Born in New Waterford April 11, 1950 to the late Richard and Violet Woodland, Diane was raised and spent much of her life in Cape Breton. Although she would relocate to different parts of the country, Halifax, British Columbia, and most recently, Toronto, Mom would always make her way home. She always made a point to proudly fly her Cape Breton flag, to greet you with a warm cup of tea, and to make sure that you didn’t walk away hungry. You can take the girl out of Cape Breton but you can’t take the Cape Bretoner out of the girl, and for Mom, this saying was true.
Mom took care of people. Early on, she served as caretaker for her grandfather, Pleman Woodland, instilling a sense of duty and compassion, which was to be a consistent theme seen throughout her life. The fabric of Mom’s life was the fabric of family; of being the foundation and driving force that brought everyone together.
She will be remembered as the one who would invite the person standing alone in a crowded room to join in. The one who would always reach out or send a card on your birthday, or call you even just to check in to let you know that she was thinking about you. Able to make friends wherever she went, she could strike up a conversation with pretty much anyone.
In addition to her parents, Diane was predeceased by her husband, Mark Strang; her brother-in-law, Terry Porquet, and her nephew Gerry Chiasson. She will be missed by her life partner, Leon Barr; her daughters, Patricia and Amy (Chris); grandchildren, Owen and Connor; her siblings, Barb (Yvon), Brenda, Richard (Frances), Frances, Wayne (Shirley), along with numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Although Mom struggled with health issues her entire adult life, she refused to let it slow her down. From motorcycle rides, yard sales, hiking at Louisbourg, and chasing her grandkids, she made sure that she did it all. It was through her relentless energy that we were taught to persevere, to work hard, and that even though we can’t control what life throws at you, you can control what you put into it.
Cremation has taken place. Please join us in celebrating our mother, Diane Strang, at V.J. McGillivray Funeral Home, 380 Smith Street, New Waterford this Friday, December 7 from 6-8 pm. Funeral Mass will be held the following day, Saturday, December 8 at 10 am in the Parish Church of St. Leonard, Mount Carmel Avenue, with Father Ray Huntley officiating. The burial service will occur at Mount Carmel Cemetery followed by a luncheon at St. Leonard's Parish Hall, Convent Street, New Waterford.
Thank you to the staff of St. Joseph’s Intensive Care and Palliative Care units in Toronto. The level of care, dedication, and compassion you provided to our mother up to her final days was exceptional.
Donations in remembrance can be made to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto, the Crohn’s & Collitis Foundation of Canada, or to a charity of your choosing. Online expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at: www.vjmcgillivray.ca.