Irma Elizabeth (Manley) Collette
Born In: Whitney Pier, Nova Scotia, Canada
Born: July 28th, 1932
Passed on: November 16th, 2012
Irma Elizabeth Collette, nee Manley, 80, of Sydney, died peacefully on Nov. 16, 2012, at Cape Breton Regional Hospital.
Irma was born on July 28, 1932, at home on 63 Frederick St., Whitney Pier, to her parents, Barbara and Alex Manley.
Her siblings were the late Margaret (Edward) Del Vecchio, the late Alex (Mary) Manley, the late Ann (Matt) McMullin, the late Stephen (Elsie) Manley, the late Louis (Marie) Manley, Rose (Mike) DiPenta, the late Joey (Lorraine) Manley, the late Helen (Edward) Medora and the late Francis Manley.
As the baby of the family, Irma received both the love and never-ending teasing of her elder siblings. Irma lived at home and cared for her parents, allowing both to die in the home that they, as immigrants, worked so hard to establish. Thanks to Irma, 63 Frederick St. was home to all of the Manley family, including her many nieces and nephews, as well as anyone who came to the door needing assistance.
Irma was united in matrimony to John on Nov. 12, 1956, and earnestly kept her vow to love through good times and bad until John’s death parted them on March 2, 2002. John was the love of her life, and together they suffered the loss of three children before the birth of their eldest surviving child, Colin Collette, who currently resides in Chicago, Ill., with his life partner, William Nifong. Almost exactly two years after Colin’s birth, they were blessed with their baby girl, Kimberly Ann, who lived with Irma and cared for her. Kimberly resides in Sydney with her longtime companion, David Deveaux of Cheticamp. Irma joins now in heaven her only granddaughter, Baby Elizabeth. We rejoice that in death she may now embrace the little angel she never had the opportunity to hold in life.
Throughout her life, Irma was the consummate mom, caring for Colin and Kimberly, along with her own parents. From time to time, she did work outside of the home. At an early age, she was an Elizabeth Arden girl; she also sold Rainbow vacuum cleaners and was a Polaroid girl, demonstrating Polaroid cameras when they were first introduced. Irma also was a longtime volunteer at Holy Redeemer parish, where she served as a sacristan for over 30 years, preparing and cleaning the altar cloths and decorating the church for major feast days and celebrations. Irma was the past president of Holy Redeemer Catholic Women’s League several times and an associate of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame.
For the past 20 years, Irma would spend part of the year in Chicago with her son and became a regular and active member of Holy Family Catholic community. There she was a member of a small Christian community and a regular participant in the Marion Ministry Rosary Group. Irma worked also as a sacristan, preparing thousands of candles to be lit at the Easter Vigil. She was the light of Christ to her family and to the people of Holy Family.
In addition to her children, their partners, and countless friends, Irma leaves to grieve her only surviving sister, Rose of Windsor, Ont., and many much-loved nieces and nephews. Irma also was a special ‘Nanny’ to great-niece Philippa and great-nephew Remington, and her two favourite puppies Happy of Chicago and Little Bear of Sydney. Welcoming Irma into the feast of heaven are her late nephew Billy and her very special niece, Cheryl.
Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated in Holy Redeemer at Whitney Pier on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 11 a.m. The family will receive visitors from 10 to 11 a.m.