Nelda Belanger, a former resident of the Winchester area, passed away at her home in Kingston on Thurs., Jan. 17, 2008, surrounded by her long-time companion John and her family. She was 54.
Nelda was born at the Winchester District Memorial Hospital on May 8, 1953 to her parents Eugene and Rose Belanger (nee Lalonde).
She attended S.S. #20 school near Winchester, and then North Dundas District High School. As a teenager she babysat for her neighbours, and she also worked at the coffee shop/bus stop in Winchester. As a Grade 12 co-op student, she worked at the Ontario Hydro office in Winchester, and they were so impressed with her work ethic that they hired her immediately after she graduated in 1970.
She immediately started saving money and she bought her first car, a used 1968 yellow Epic, while living at home with her parents. She later rented an apartment in Ottawa and commuted to work in Winchester every day. As a result of her work ethic, Nelda quickly advanced to higher positions within Ontario Hydro. Her promotions meant that she had to move frequently, and she subsequently lived in Ottawa, Guelph, Perth, Kingston, Belleville, and London.
While living in London she took night courses and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in the faculty of social sciences from the University of Western Ontario on June 2, 1990. She was then promoted to human resources training co-ordinator at the western regional office of Ontario Hydro in London where she lived for 17 years.
In 2000 she decided to transfer back to Kingston so she could be closer to her family, and she bought her dream home on the shore of the St. Lawrence River. A few months later she was transferred to the Peterborough office which meant that she had to commute from Kingston to Peterborough every day.
In May of 2005 she decided to retire after a 34 year career with Ontario Hydro and Hydro One. She held many different positions throughout her career, and she was very dedicated to her work and her fellow employees. She was a friend to all. Her enjoyment of retirement was short lived as she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in June of 2006. She truly believed that she could beat the cancer by taking numerous chemotherapy treatments, and she never gave up her fight until the very end. She had many dreams for her retirement but unfortunately she never got the chance to do any of them.
She loved to travel, and in 1974 she bought a new Pontiac Ventura car, and she and some girlfriends travelled to the west coast for a holiday. She then decided flying was an easier way to travel, and she toured many different cities and countries throughout her life. She still maintained her love of cars though and she always drove a sports car.
She was always fond of her animals, especially cats. She always had a cat in her home for companionship, and she treated them with lots of love and attention.
She was a very active member of the Roman Catholic Church in all of the areas she lived in. She always participated in various church activities, and was willing to lend a helping hand whenever it was needed.
Nelda was very devoted to her numerous personal and professional friends from school and throughout her career at Ontario Hydro. When she was in their area she always made a point of stopping in for a visit. She loved to socialize, and therefore she enjoyed dining, boating, attending plays, and spending quality time with her friends.
She was the youngest girl in the Belanger family, and as suchs he was very special to her older brothers and sisters. She was a special friend and companion of John Skinner of London for 21 years whom she met at her office when he was working as a repairman with Bell Canada. They continued their friendship even after she moved back to Kingston, and he supported her and was there for her throughout her illness.
Nelda was a very special and proud aunt to all the little children that came along through her family and friends. To her they were all her babies. She also had a special place in her heart for John’s daughters Lana (Junior) and Lisa and John’s granddaughter Ayla of London.
She is survived by her long-time companion John Skinner of London, her siblings Edna Eldridge of Williamsburg, Rita Belanger of Spencerville, Sandra Bloom (George) of Winchester, Gerald (Carline) of Brockville, Leonard (Bonnie) of Spencerville, and Donald (Domenica) of Brockville, and her sister-in-law Norma Belanger of Brockville. She was predeceased by her parents Rose and Eugene Belanger, her brother Bernard, and her brother-in-law Jack Eldridge. She was a loving aunt of 19 nieces and nephews, several great-nieces and nephews, a great-great-niece and a great-great nephew, and a granddaughter.
Family and friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home in Williamsburg on Sun., Jan. 20 and Mon. Jan 21. The funeral mass was celebrated at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Chesterville on Jan. 21 with Father John Gillis and Father Tim Shea officiating. Cremation followed. A reception in Nelda’s honour was held at the Chesterville Legion following the service. The pallbearers were Nelda’s nephews Brian Belanger, Michael Lapierre, DarellBloom, Kevin Belanger, Bruce Belanger, and D.J. Belanger.
Spring interment of cremated remains will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Chesterville.
In memoriam donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Research Fund of Canada or the Winchester District Memorial Hospital would be appreciated by the family.