Obituary of Ava Rich
Celebrating Ava Rich
April 17, 1928 - Grantham, Jamaica
October 30, 2022 - Calgary, Alberta
Ava Rich passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 30, 2022 at the age of 94.
Ava was born in Grantham, Jamaica on April 17, 1928. Her father, Thomas Coley, a self-made man, ensured that his only child wanted for nothing and was well-educated.
Ava attended St. Hugh's Preparatory School for girls where she excelled in her studies and athletics. Following a stint of teaching on Grand Cayman, where many of her students were only a few years younger than her, she set her sights on continuing her education far beyond the warmth of the Caribbean. Her adventurous spirit brought her to the wilds of Canada in 1953 to attend the University of Toronto (Trinity College), where she graduated with a B.Sc. in Zoology, as well as received a Teacher's Certificate from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Ava was a piano and voice teacher for over 40 years, during which time she was twice President of the Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association. And as a testament to the impact she had on her students - and even their parents, many stayed in contact long after the lessons stopped, even becoming close friends.
Ava loved the Arts - opera, the symphony, and ballet. She was herself a trained classical singer and gifted painter. And what an amazing cook; her brunches were legendary. She also knitted, crotched and sewed at a professional level. Her closet was full of the fashionable clothes she made for herself, along with the many pairs of high-heeled shoes she enjoyed wearing. In fact, Ava was adept (and fearless) in whatever she set her hand to, even finishing the basement of the family home!
She travelled extensively through the Western United States and across Canada with her family on the many road trips they took together. She enjoyed camping and was the one who prepared, packed, and got us on the road. Even if she was always the last one to get in the car.
As an exceptional mother, dear friend, passionate teacher, and loving wife - Ava was truly remarkable. She knew how to enjoy life and appreciate the people around her. Ava touched the hearts of all who met her, even without knowing her, and will be most remembered for her beautiful heart.
Ava is survived by her son Jack, her two daughters, Tanya and Judi; her former spouse Harvey, as well as numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.
Funeral Services will be held at McInnis & Holloway (Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB) on Saturday, November 5, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. Reception to follow in the Hospitality Centre at the Funeral Home. Family and friends who are unable to attend in person are invited to join Mrs. Rich’s service streamed live (see below) on the day of the service. For those who are unable to view live, a recording of the service will be posted. Condolences, memories, and photos can also be shared and viewed here.
The family wishes to thank everyone for the heartfelt love and caring thoughts received from so many souls around the world.
In living memory of Ava Rich, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.
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