Nora Cairns was born in Strome, Alberta to Irish immigrant parents. Her family eventually settled in Thorhild, Alberta where she grew up on a farm with many brothers and sisters. At the ripe old age of 9 Nora moved out of her parent’s house to another farm to be a farm hand. Not one to turn down an adventure Nora moved to Abbotsford, BC as a young teen to work on a berry farm. In the off season she worked as a nanny in Vancouver. When she was old enough, she enrolled in beauty school and became a hairdresser. After the war she met her beloved Bud Cairns and they were married after the Great Flood on August 9th, 1948 and bought a farm on Downes Rd in Abbotsford. Nora was the main runner of the farm and grew strawberries, raised cows and chickens as well as had a huge garden. This past August Nora and Bud celebrated 70 years together. Nora always remarked that her and Bud never talked divorce; murder, but never divorce! In March 1952 Nora was blessed with her first child Donna Marie and 14 months later in May 1953 Nora Dianne.
Nora and Bud were both active members in the community and volunteered extensively. They coached baseball and gymnastics, ran a youth drop-in centre in the 1960s, helped fundraise for the new MSA hospital, were a part of the original board of the Fraser Valley Credit Union. In later years she volunteered for the Citizens Patrol.
Nora had many jobs over the years besides hairdressing and farming; she worked at Chemos cleaning and refurbishing RVs and also worked for a time at the Abbotsford News in the bindery and painted houses. After retirement Nora and Bud sold the farm and moved into town. They enjoyed an active retirement travelling. They travelled extensively throughout BC and Alberta, travelled across Canada, went across the pond to England to visit family and wintered down in Apache Junction, Arizona for many years.
Nora was always up to learning something new and trying new things. She took a lamp shade making course, brewed wine, baked, cooked, gardened, crocheted, sewed, wrote poetry and canned. She loved children and would go over to the elementary school to read to the kindergarten class and help with sports days. She never missed a school play or concert and attended all the birthdays. Besides her own grandchildren Nora “collected” grandchildren from the neighbourhood and loved all of them as they were her own.
Nora is going to leave a huge hole in not only the family but in everyone who knew her as well. She was fearless and kind, stubborn and forgiving, fiery and gentle. Nora was an amazing woman that people half her age couldn’t keep up with.
Nora is pre-deceased by her parents Mary and Archibald O’Hagan, brothers Bill (Doreen), Robert, Gerald (Shirley), Patrick (Muriel), sisters Isabel (Wes), Madonna (Walter), Vera (Dave), Peggy, her beloved daughter Donna (Randy) and many friends. She is survived by her loving husband Bud, daughter Dianne (Ron), grandchildren Deana (Bill), Kelly (Jake the dog), Kimberley, great-grandchildren Travis and Alina, “adopted” grandchildren, Danielle (Randy), Lindsay, Kaja, Mathieu, Alexander, Payton, Cameron, brothers Frank (Gloria), Leo (Vicky), Richard (Lucille), sisters Bunny (Mike), Joyce (Arnold), many nieces, nephews and friends.
As per Nora’s wishes there will be no funeral but a celebration of life in the summer.
“Do not cry for me as I am fine. I am with those that went before me and until we meet again may God hold you in the palm of His hand”