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Life Celebration of Schreiber Resident
Sadly this year the township lost one of its leading citizens to Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS, a crippling nervous system disease. It usually manifests itself in slurred speech, muscle weakness and eventually a person loses the ability to move, speak, eat and even breathe. ALS is fatal.
Ethel Nesbitt was born and raised in Schreiber. She had many different careers during her lifetime but was most remembered for her role in the medical field. She returned to school as a mature student to get her degree in nursing and this resulted in her being able to take on a lead role when the Jack Stokes Medical Centre opened. Ethel had always been a compassionate person and caring for people was her lifelong passion. She was often known to take in strangers and welcome them into her home and family. She also fairly outspoken but always with a respect for the opinion of others and handled difficult discussions with ease and often a bit of humour. She also had a strong faith and was a member of the Saint Johns Anglican Church all her life.
Medical Assistance in Dying has always been controversial and even more so amongst people of certain religious faiths. On March 17 of 2021 Canada passed revised legislation resulting in the current MAID law. These changes remove assisted dying from the criminal code and give terminally ill patients a sense of dignity in deciding when to end their suffering. Ethel chose MAID when she realized the outcome of her diagnosis would not be positive. A medical professional herself she had always been there for the sick and dying and elderly. Ethel would often return to work after her shift to sit will terminally ill patients. She had no trouble reconciling her faith with her medical knowledge and with the support and blessings of her family passed away peacefully on her own terms.
A life celebration was planned in advance so Ethel could actually take an active part in her own farewell service. Reverend Bob Elkin was a close family friend and was the local minister in Schreiber for many years. He delivered a highly personal eulogy and even though funerals are often thought to be sombre in tone, he elevated the spirit in the room to the point of occasional laughter. It was the perfect send off that Ethel actually wanted.
Schreiber Community Media is a non profit organization established with the aim of providing media production services and training for the residents of Schreiber and surrounding areas. Schreiber is located on the north shore of Lake Superior approximately two hours east of Thunder Bay.
The Schreiber Media Centre is locating in the Schreiber Public Library and includes tools for recording, live streaming and post production of audio and video.