Lorraine Elvera Andersen
April 3, 1933 – September 20, 2014
A family has lost a triumph of a person and Vernon, one of its fastest drivers. Lorraine Elvera Andersen, who acquired the nickname “Leadfoot Lolly” after her many years of working for Vernon Home Support (where she logged many hundreds of kilometers and many more run red lights), passed away peacefully on the morning of September 20, 2014 at Vernon Jubilee Hospital. Lorraine, also called Lolly, mom, and grandma, waged a take no prisoners battle against Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma for over 2 years. She continued to fight until the very end and though she lost her battle, she took the disease down with her.
Lolly is survived by her very proud family: son Erik (Erin), daughter Lori (Peter), grandsons Solo and Ryan (Stephanie), great grandchildren Nyla and Marah-Jade, family members Susanne and Joy, special friends Marianne, the Aaltos and the Coopers, and many cousins and extended family in Winnipeg.
Born April 1933 in Canada’s Moscow, also known as Winnipeg, Lolly decided by grade 8 that she had learned all that she needed to and quit school to work at a candy factory. Lolly would move on to work at a Winnipeg flower shop where she would have the privilege of designing a bouquet for Queen Elizabeth II to use during her 1957 Royal Tour of Canada.
Lolly married and left her home on the prairies and like so many prairie pioneers before her, was dragged kicking and screaming over the Rocky Mountains, proclaiming her fear of any hill higher than 2 meters. She finally settled in Vernon in 1976 and committed to “never move again.”
For 21 years Lolly burned rubber all over the city, helping those in need as a member of Vernon Home Support. Many co-workers could often be heard saying in hushed tones, “Maybe she’s colour blind?” A baseball player in her youth, Lolly had a talent for throwing any object within reach and hitting her target dead on. This included ham sandwiches and half rung out dishcloths.
Lolly expressed immense pride in her family, first in her children, then grandchildren, then great grandchildren. She once remarked “Wow, that’s a lot of kids,” and then proceeded to make her infamous cabbage soup that promised to clear rooms, if not the entire house.
Diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in the summer of 2012, the same year as her 79th birthday, Lolly faced the disease head on, and with an optimism that impressed even her doctors. She continued to be mother, grandmother, great grandmother, cousin, loved one, teacher and best friend to the very end.
Lolly will be immensely missed and would wish, in lieu of flowers, for donations to be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Vernon SPCA or to the superb team at the Vernon Cancer Clinic.
Keep on driving Grandma. There are no red lights in Heaven.