Wendy passed peacefully at her home in Edmonton, surrounded by her loving family on October 15, 2019.
She was an amazing person who was loved and admired well beyond her family. These words which came from a friend of Wendy’s, who recently sent her a letter wishing her well with her illness, are a wonderful summary of who Wendy was. “You have taught me to be humble, to never judge people, to welcome strangers with open arms, to provide when you can to better others lives’ and above all to be a better human being”.
Wendy grew up in Taber and Lethbridge. She went to University in Lethbridge and then to study Physical Education in Edmonton. After graduation she headed west to Edson where her positive energy and enthusiasm gave her a successful community recreation career. She of course climbed every mountain, paddled every stream and built a large network of friends who loved her. During this time, she married and had a wonderful son, Nicolas.
Wendy then came back to Edmonton and continued to work in recreation and fitness. She married Dan Worley and built their current house and garden. She then started her entrepreneurial venture and imported and exported playground equipment to Asia and built strong linkages in Japan.
She was very active with a group of her political friends in Provincial and Federal politics and participated in many policy discussion and initiatives in education and health care among others. Wanting to change the world by her own hand she ran as a Progressive Conservative candidate in Edmonton in 2008 and gave a well-entrenched incumbent a real challenge.
Wendy was active in her neighborhood and broader community. She and some friends founded the Rotary Club of Edmonton Glenora, the first, women’s only, Rotary Club in North America. This combined with her involvement with the glass beading group, and selling paper bead jewelry imported from Uganda, made a significant impact on the community at large.
Being a recreation and play person at the core, she launched into numerous Rotary International projects to provide playgrounds to numerous communities in Belize and Honduras. Her focus this last 5 years has been a comprehensive community development project in St. Helene, Honduras. As a lasting tribute to her significant contributions the residents of St. Helene created the Wendy Andrews Community Centre Hall in St. Helene. Through this Rotary activity she has certainly bettered the lives of many families in the countries she worked. She was actively involved in a leadership role with the Board of Tour of Alberta and the World Figure Skating Championships. Wendy was awarded an Edmonton Salute of Excellence for her many civic activities.
As a skilled Master Gardener, she created a masterpiece garden at their home in Edmonton. Wendy’s garden has been shared with hundreds of friends. Last August, Wendy held a wonderful wedding celebration in her garden, filled with love and natural beauty, for her son Nic and daughter-in-law Amy.
Her home and garden is a place where friends and neighbors young and old, just walk over and come for a visit, or to help she and Dan bake the 25 apple pies from their trees in the back yard. She has gates built into the fences for her dear neighours on each side, so everybody has easy access. An example of her magnetic personality happened recently, on hearing that Wendy was “under the weather”, a group of several children from the neighborhood came over to her house to carve pumpkins for her.
Wendy has always been proud of her strong Irish heritage and this year made her first visit to Ireland with two of her brothers. Even though it was her first visit it felt like “coming home”.
Her humble and kind persona was reflected every day in her positive and constructive dealings with friends and people she meets. Dan has said numerous times: “It is very rare to hear Wendy say anything negative about anybody” (Unless it is a politician from across the floor!) Another friend commented: “You can’t go anywhere with Wendy without meeting someone she knows”.
We will miss this wonderful, bright, energetic, classic, humble and beautiful person.
Wendy will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 25 years, Dan Worley; her son, Nicolas (Amy Kellock) Baas; her three brothers, Don (Mary Anne), Rick (Antonia), and Greg (Gayle); numerous cousins in Alberta and across Canada; uncle Doug in Calgary; aunt Ruby in Vancouver; nieces and nephews, Kim, Brad, Stephen, Robbie, David and Kaitlyn, Tony, Michael, Scott and Stephanie; as well as 7 great-nieces and nephews, Josiah, Nathan, Micah, Rylie, Emery, Charles and Evelyn, all whom admired Auntie Wendy.
A Celebration of Wendy’s Life will be held at 2:00 p.m., on Friday October 18, 2019 at Connelly-McKinley Funeral Home, 10011-114 Street, Edmonton. To watch the service please click here.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Paper Bead Works, 13708-81 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5R 3N8 or to the Rotary District Charitable Foundation, www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/rotary-district-5370-charitable-foundation/.