Obituary of Eleanor Joan Margaret HAMBLEY
October 14, 1934 – Winnipeg, Manitoba
July 17, 2021 – Calgary, Alberta
Eleanor Joan Margaret Hambley, beloved wife of the late John “Barry” Hambley, passed away at Carewest Signal Pointe in Calgary on July 17, 2021, at the age of 86, following a long battle with vascular dementia. She was surrounded by her favourite music, prayers, the love of her family and went peacefully to heaven to be reunited with her Barry.
Eleanor was born on October 14, 1934, to Joseph and Nellie Puchniak in Winnipeg, MB, the third of six children. She attended St. Mary’s Academy and often spoke fondly of Sister Catherine, her beloved principal. After completing school, she worked as a dental assistant as well as working at the concession in the Officer’s Mess at the Gimli Air Force Base. Saturday nights were reserved for dances at the base where her Uncle Benny’s band would play all the great songs. Many training pilots would line up for the chance to dance with Eleanor.
Eleanor later worked for the Red Cross in Winnipeg. She came home one day to find Barry Hambley in her parents’ living room, along with his best friend, Harris Petroski, who was dating her sister Mary. Barry always said that when he saw Eleanor in her Red Cross uniform, it was love at first sight. Her mother, Nellie, took her aside and said, “That is the man that you’re going to marry!”
Eleanor did marry Barry, the love of her life, on August 20, 1955, in a gala double wedding ceremony with her sister Mary and Harris. Eleanor and Barry began their married life in Montreal, then moved steadily west, first to Burlington, then Milton, Regina, Edmonton and eventually settling in Calgary in 1969.
A devoted wife, mother, and homemaker, Eleanor had a gift for hospitality. She was a gracious hostess and an exceptional cook. She coined the phrase, “How can you expect to be healthy if you won’t eat your dessert?!” Nobody ever left hungry. Eleanor loved music, from classical to Broadway. She was a compassionate person and a devout Catholic, often volunteering her time to help the elderly and less fortunate. Eleanor loved travelling with her husband and family and visited several states including Hawaii, as well as Europe, Great Britain, Jamaica, Mexico, and Egypt.
Eleanor is survived by her children, Sharon Barrett (Greg), Gary Hambley (Greg), Marion Smolinski (Darwin), David Hambley (Kathleen), Philip Hambley (Carol), and Laura Hambley Lovett (Scott); sixteen grandchildren, Rosie, Michael, Tarah, Jonathan, Rebecca, Shauna, Jimmy, Danielle, Jeff, Brett, Tia, Nicole, Alex, Nicholas, Matthew, and Cadence; as well as her great-grandchildren, Morgan, Jacob, Kennedy, Elora, Clive, Kiera, Liam, Orson, Molly, William, Callum, and Dawn. She is also survived by her brother Stan Puchniak of Winnipeg. She was predeceased by her husband Barry (1997), her parents, Nellie and Joseph Puchniak; and siblings, Mary, Edward, John, and Patricia.
Our family will forever be grateful to Cheryl Hanna for her exceptional care as Eleanor’s companion over the past several years. The devotion and love Cheryl showed our mom and granny will never be forgotten.
We owe an incredible debt of gratitude to the outstanding staff at Carewest Signal Pointe, who we consider a part of our extended family. As Eleanor’s health steadily declined, the staff of “House 3” treated her with extraordinary kindness and compassion throughout the eleven years she spent under their care. During her time there, the staff served her over 4,000 meals, assisted countless times with her personal care and provided incalculable hours of daily love and kindness. We love you all so much.
A Funeral Mass will be held at Canadian Martyrs Catholic Church, with the Reverend Ed Hospet officiating (835 Northmount Drive NW, Calgary, AB), on Friday, July 23, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. with a Graveside Service immediately after at Queen’s Park Cemetery, where Eleanor will be laid to rest along with her beloved Barry. A Celebration of Life to follow at 3:30 p.m. at the Calgary Winter Club (4611-14th Street NW, Calgary, AB). Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed on Eleanor’s obituary at www.McInnisandHolloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to The Alzheimer Society of Calgary, 800, 7015 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary, AB T2H 2K6, Telephone: (403)290-0110, www.alzheimercalgary.com.
In living memory of Eleanor Hambley, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH, CALGARY, AB T2E 2V6, Telephone: 403-243-8200.