Born in July 1955 to Leonard and Beatrice Collins, Cathy was the 15th of 19 Collins children. She grew up in a small house her father built in the south end of Peterborough, Ontario. Cathy worked as a cashier at the local grocery store and enjoyed figure skating and babysitting as a teen. She met her husband, Bob, at the age of 16 at a Peterborough Petes hockey game where she worked as an usher.
In 1975 at the age of 19 she married Bob, who had just begun what would prove to be hugely successful career with the Montreal Canadiens. They bought their first home in Kirkland, Quebec and would later move their rapidly growing family (Anna born 1978, Stephen 1979, Laura 1981 and Colleen 1984) to Westmount. Cathy was passionate about motherhood and took immense pleasure and pride in her family. She was an early adopter of the mini-van and embraced a life of darting to and from hockey tournaments, gymnastics, birthday parties and sleep-overs. A warm and generous person, she was often the social coordinator amongst her friends organizing parties and fundraisers.
In 1990 Cathy was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She faced this challenge with courage and optimism, inspiring those around her. In 1995 the illness would claim her at the age of 39. She is deeply missed by family and friends and remembered fondly for her beautiful smile and zest for life.
Born September 9, 1981 in Montreal, Laura was the third of four children. Growing up in Westmount, Quebec Laura attended Roslyn School and enjoyed hours spent playing in Murray Hill Park. The family moved to Epinal, France in 1989 and then to Minneapolis Minnesota in 1990. In 1993 the family moved again, this time to Dallas, Texas. Taking up residence in suburban Coppell, Laura would attend the near by public middle school and then finish her high school education at the Winton School, graduating in 1999.
Laura went on to study Fine Arts at Malaspina College in Nanaimo, British Columbia and also enjoyed summer months spent at the Haliburton School of Art in Haliburton, Ontario. She was an accomplished professional photographer, a potter and loved to draw. Many children benefited from her art classes held in the Juniper pavilion on Stony Lake, Ontario.
Laura loved to travel and sought repeatedly for opportunities that would allow her to see the world. She spent a summer in Costa Rica volunteering on a sustainable tourism project, sailed on board the tall ship Concordia from Lunenburg, N.S. to Portugal, and explored the coast of British Columbia, Oregon, Washington and parts of California by car.
Sailing was an intense love affair for Laura. She enjoyed sailing prams and dinghies on Stony Lake and racing through the Caribbean on 40 footers. Her greatest sailboat passion however was tall ships. She crossed the Atlantic twice and last spring, sailed from Capetown, South Africa to Lunenburg, N. S. Her time spent in Africa prior to setting sail was an experience she cherished deeply.
Laura was passionate about everything she did. She loved her family, her cat Tierra and all things outdoors. She is deeply missed by her family and all of those who were fortunate to know her. In her last email she said, “I am happy to be leaving winter behind and to be living my dream. I will however miss all my great friends and family so know I will be thinking of you all as I unfurl the royal, 97 feet above the deck, 🙂 my favourite job on board.”