Ada Canning

Obituary of Ada Canning

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Ada Canning

April 21, 1951-October 12, 2021

It is with great sadness and wonderful memories that we announce the passing of Ada Canning in her 71st year, surrounded by family at St. Luke’s Home after a lengthy and courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Left with broken hearts filled with wonderful memories are her daughter Samantha McMullin, son-in-law Glenn, granddaughter Rebecca, Special Nephew Will Canning, as well as a large circle of family and friends. Gone on ahead and waiting to greet her with open arms are her partner Gerald Abbott, her parents James and Jean Canning, sisters Joan, Betty and Mary and brothers Kenneth and Archibald, Samantha’s father Ken Wheeler, sister-in-law Peggy Ruby, brothers-in-law Bob Matchim, Bob Farrell and Gary Wheeler, and her faithful furry companion Holly.  Ada was born and raised in St. John’s to wonderful parents; a stay-at-home mom and land surveyor father. She grew up adoring her older sister Joan whom she always tried to tag along behind and her brother Ken with whom she enjoyed many adventures during summer vacations when they would be allowed to accompany their father into the untapped wilderness at fly-in camps where he was plying his trade. She was a talented figure skater and had wonderful memories from her teen years competing and travelling. She was a Spencer girl who was always glad to run into an old friend from those days. She fell in love at a very early age and grew up fast when she left home at the young age of 18 to begin her life as a military wife and young mother. She always worked hard to give us a wonderful home and never shrank from the challenge at every posting to get us settled and become an active member of the current military community. After military life she returned to Newfoundland and settled in Conception Bay South. She thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and much missed family and was especially grateful to be close to her sister Joan and family as well as the Wheeler Clan. Ada was a fighter, when her life took a drastic turn at 51 she pulled up her big girl panties and despite her devastation she took herself back to school to fulfill a long-time dream of becoming a hairdresser. She didn’t let being more than twice her classmates age discourage her from her goal. She was fortunate to meet a wonderful new life partner as she began this new chapter of her life. She and Gerry made a wonderful couple and each helped the other heal and enjoy living again. They had many wonderful adventures camping with friends and enjoying their many like interests. We were also blessed to have Gerry in our lives. We are thankful for his love and care for Mom and his desire to join into our family life. Sadly only a few years later Mom once again faced difficult times as Gerry was struck ill and she did her very best to love and care for him while also being struck down herself with Parkinson’s. She once again faced adversity with great strength and determination. She tried her very best to always do the right thing no matter how difficult. She was selfless and put everyone else’s needs above her own.  Her love and commitment to Gerry was inspiring and she spent every day visiting with him at St. Luke’s until her illness progressed and she eventually joined him to live there. Ada was a wonderful mother, grandmother, wife, partner, loyal friend and fabulous homemaker. She loved baking, ice and roller skating, dancing (particularly the jive and line dancing), walking, crocheting, gardening, camping, beach vacations, wine-drinking, laughing, Coronation Street, all animals great and small, and most of all her family and friends. She loved deeply and wore her heart on her sleeve. She spoke truthfully and always “told it like it was” a trait some loved about her and others cringed at the thought of, but none-the-less it was a big part of who she was. She had a fiery wit that she kept with her till the end much to the amusement of her steadfast caregivers at St. Luke’s. We are especially grateful to mom’s sisters-in-law Peggy Ruby (posthumously) and Barb Farrell, her cousin Trudy Lilly and her long-time friend Patricia Jefford who visited with her faithfully during her time in long-term care and offered immense emotional support to us. There are no words to express how much this support meant. And thank you to all other family and friends who dropped in to see her during her time at St. Luke’s.  Special thanks to all of the wonderful staff and wingless angels who work tirelessly at St. Luke’s Nursing Home especially those on Pleasant View Terrace & Cabot Square where she resided for the end of her earthly journey. Many thanks to Dr. Colin Penney for his care and compassion to not only Mom, but us as well. He truly is everything you could hope for in a doctor. All of you made mom’s final months and days as comfortable and homey as possible. In keeping with her wishes there will be no visitation or service. She wished for everyone to remember her in life not in death. Cremation has taken place and interment will follow shortly thereafter when those closest to her can be together, during a private family ceremony at Forest Road Anglican Cemetery where she will be reunited with her parents, siblings, grandparents and extended family that have gone on ahead of her and will be waiting to greet her. If you wish to do something in memory of her please consider visiting someone in long term care (it means more to them than you can ever imagine), committing a random act of kindness, or support of some kind to an animal shelter. These things would make her smile. To send a message of condolence, please visit

Ada would want to remind you…….life is short…….eat the cake, buy the shoes, take the trip!

We are born of love; love is our mother. I will hold you in my heart, until we meet again Mom


A Memorial Tree was planted for Ada
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Hickey's Funeral Home
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