Nona May (Annon) Cuthill (1933 - 2001)

Nona Cuthill

Photo:

Date Taken: August 1, 1981
Place Taken: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Owner: Vaughn Dragland
(Copy: Dragland Family Association)

Nona's Theme:

"What a Wonderful World"
Written by: Louise Armstrong
Midi Arrangment by: Mandi Dragland

Tribute:
Spoken by Vaughn Dragland
at Nona's memorial Service in Calgary, November 10, 2001.

"Wow! Look at the crowd here! Every seat is full, and there are people standing at the back, in the vestibule, and flowing out into the parking lot. On behalf of the Draglands and the Cuthills: thank you all very much for coming today. It means a great deal to us…

Nona Annon was born in 1933 in Medicine Hat, Alberta. At the time of her passing, she had 5 children, 13 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. She also had 4 stepchildren, from her loving husband Trevor Cuthill.

I am proud to say that I am one of Nona's five children. Even though she left us at an early age, fortunately she also started her family at an early age. Because of that, I had the pleasure of knowing her for almost 52 years. Most of the success that I have enjoyed in my life is directly attributable to her guidance, and the way she taught by example.

When I was about 10 years old, I was angry about losing an argument with my sister Jeanne, so I decided to run away from home. I had hoped that my mother would beg me to stay, but instead she helped me to pack, all the while giving lots of encouragement about how I would do well in the world since I was so clever. Once I was all packed and ready to go, (having cooled down in the process), she said, "By the way - we're having fried chicken for dinner. You might want to fill up before you go…" Needless to say, I never left the house.

Someone once said that life is the great challenge and death is the great mystery.

Well, Nona's life was in many ways a great challenge. She got pregnant at the age of 16, but still managed to finish school. At the age of 25, she found herself divorced with 5 young children, and had never had a job before. Instead of giving up though, she got busy. Nona built a very successful career and raised her family on her own. Whenever life threw a curve at her, she met it head-on. It wasn't until later on in her life that she was rewarded with her dream man (Trevor) with whom she built her dream house. She herself remarked that it was a real shame that she won't be around to enjoy them.

As for the great mystery - well, I'm not a religious person, (that's my brother Todd's department), but I am sure of one thing… There must be a heaven, because otherwise it would be such a waste for someone so deserving of it to have lived; someone like Nona, with so many good and wholesome qualities.

Her bravery, her fidelity, her grace and dignity, her sense of privacy, and her sense of humour, set her apart. Everyone who knew her loved her, and she was my hero - my role model. Her motto was: "Be nice", and that's what I have always tried to be, because I knew it would please her. She had so many good qualities, but most of all she was always thinking of others.

Some great people have lived and died. We know them by their great deeds. Others have an impact on the world merely by being here. Nona was one of those. Now she has gone away. (Did you notice that the daylight seems a little less brilliant, for want of her?) I feel very glad that I had a chance to say goodbye to my mother. She was sad to go but didn't want us to worry about her. Somehow she knew she would be OK in the next place. She said to cry a bit if you need to, but then get on with living. And make sure to take care of each other, as best you can.

Having known Nona, we all carry a bit of her goodness inside of us. If we allow that goodness to take root and blossom - if we could all be more like her - the world would indeed be a better place.

Thanks for listening…"







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