Laurie Van Zeeland

May 26th 1958 — Dec 1st 2021 (63 years)

Biography

Laurie Brethour- Van Zeeland, a devoted mother, aunt, sister, and daughter, passed away peacefully on December 1, 2021 with her two children, Brahm Van Zeeland and Brianna Emmons by her side.

Laurie had a passion for the Christmas holidays. It was a season about her favourite thing to do, giving. She was a fiercely passionate and loving person. She loved spending time with family and friends. Some of her favourite Christmas traditions her baking cookies for cookie exchanges, building gingerbread houses, stuffing the turkey and filling the stockings until they were ready to burst. Santa Claus was Laurie’s hero.

They broke the mold when Laurie was born to the late Edward Frederick Brethour (Ted) and Sheila Ann Logan-Noonan, May, 1958 in Burlington, Ontario. Being born going into the 1960’s. Lead the foundation for Laurie’s Spirit, love of Life and the Mother Earth, her church. Laurie has three siblings, Norman, Nancy and Stuart who were brought into this world back to back causing for a close bond through her life, never to be broken throughout sibling challenges.

Laurie was bright beyond our understanding. Laurie excelerated twice before achieving 100% honors in college. Where she chose the path to help people as that was her way, to become a trusted, respected, professional in the field of X-ray Imaging. Laurie loved her profession working right up until Covid struck us. Despite her ill health and living in pain daily she would get on the train and subway every day without hesitation.

Growing up Laurie was very creative, art and drawing was her passion, she would capture an image on paper in its true form. She continued this creativity throughout her life from painting, gingerbread house making, designing Halloween costumes for her kids and the many crafts she created with her sister, daughter and friends.

Laurie had a soft and gigantic heart for her fur friends with many over her life, from her bouvier Jona to Lady Dave and her kitties Melanie, Eddie and Logan. She opened her heart and her home to many wandering creatures.

Laurie relished her role as a mother to Brianna and Brahm fearlessly protecting her children. She did anything and everything she could for her kids. Also extending her love and compassion to their friends. Everything from co-ordinating baseball tournaments, to rock n roll birthdays in the backyard, and making sure her daughter had the perfect dream wedding. Always instilling her words of wisdom, with the hopes that she taught them to be true to themselves and at least to cuss out loud and be proud.

Laurie leaves behind decades of fond and colourful memories with her family - mother Sheila Noonan, her brother Norman Edwin Brethour his partner Brenda Anderson, sister Nancy Louise Brethour DiGiovanni and her husband Alfie DiGiovanni, brother Stuart Frederick Brethour and 7 nieces and nephews, 1 great niece and 1 great nephew.

When she was called by her nickname Lollipop the memories flow, she lights up with such a smile and a little giggle.

One of the greatest aspects of Laurie is her tremendous capacity to love. Life in many ways has not been kind to Laurie and this capacity was challenged many times. What We love and admire about Laurie is that she consistently chooses - in spite of everything- to live in her truth. That truth is her unwavering belief in the capacity that a pure heart given in love, always creates joy and makes a difference.

Although Laurie leaves behind her husband Peter Vanzeeland of Victoria B.C . Laurie was lucky to have had several loves whom each had a special place in her heart throughout her life. She was never without love around her.

Laurie was a special friend to all. She always put others first and was always the first to be there to support you anytime you needed her, even though she was struggling with ailments she would soldiering through to help you.

No flowers please. Seriously what would make Laurie the happiest is for all who new her to have a beverage of choice with a friend and talk about Laurie’s passion and love for life and her people. Cheers! Should you be able to donate in honor of Laurie’s memory to your local humane society or food bank would surely make her spirit dance.

Laurie faced death and her mortality as she did her life, face on, telling us what to do and where to go without filters. Laurie often said when my time comes put me in a pine box, NAKED ! Push me off the waters edge in a northern lake to be one with Nature. Unfortunately we are unable to do that at this time. She will be cremated and brought to a northern lake at a later time, though still naked in a way.

The family is forever in debt to her Son Brahm. Moving in with her and all he has done and sacrificed to take care of his mom the past years and most of all this recent year. Laurie was never alone. We could not have done it without him. The family is very proud of you Brahm.

Her village of people have a Laurie Story, the family would love to hear them all.

To share a memory of Laurie, please send condolences to her family most of all her children.

Laurie’s heart, if we could see is this ever expansive love free of all wounds, angst, anxiety, turmoil and pain. We Focus on her soul and heart as we honor her journey. Be present for her now and she will forever be present with you all.

There will be a cremation and private family gathering.

A Celebration of Laurie’s life to be held at a later date.

Notes of Condolences about Laurie

Julie Sleeman (Edmiston)

a month ago

Laurie's passing has taken me by surprise. I havent seen Laurie since I was pregnant with my first child at a Nelson High School reunion 29 years ago. I do however think of her and the whole Brethour clan often. Living across the road during our formative years made for many wonderful memories. My sister Laurie and my brother Stephen (deceased Jan 19/2021) would often talk about the wild times on Tuck Dr. My sincere condolences to Sheila, Norman, Nancy and Stuart.

Calvin Skidmore

a month ago

I remember Laurie fondly from high school, always smiling and having fun, she was always very nice to me, in fact she was nice to everyone that's what I remember the most. Laurie earned her wings and a seat at the high table a long time ago, she will be missed.

Nancy Fawcett

a month ago

My favourite memory of Laurie was sewing bedding for the crib of my first born Cody. Laurie and I were both pregnant with our first child at the same time. She was so excited that we could share this experience together. She knew that I really wanted to have the crib bedding for my first as special as possible, so she offered to teach me how to sew the bedding myself. Needless to say Laurie was far more skilled than I and we had so many laughs about my ineptitude and decided to try again the next day. When I arrived Laurie surprised me with a special lunch complete with gigantic strawberries for dessert. I will always remember her delight as she served this special treat. Laurie patiently guided me through the sewing project as her real goal was to share her friendship and knowledge with me. This was so like Laurie. She loved learning, loved experiencing and loved sharing with the people she brought into her heart. I am so thankful that she chose me to be one of those people. Godspeed beautiful soul. ❤️

Jane McMaster

a month ago

Sorry to hear such sad news. Biggest memory is Laurie walking home in her cheerleader uniform with her happy smile, she would always say hi and chat for a bit.

Tim Mathers

a month ago

Our paths crossed many years ago when Laurie, Pete and Brahm were managing one of the many softball teams in Stouffville. It was an impromtu collection of kids and parents. I remember their passion and dedication, but most importantly, the fun they brought to everyone.

May you rest in peace and may your family take solace in the fact that you truly left your mark, your warmth was infectious.

Kim

2 months ago

I met Laurie in High School. She was a kind soul. Beautiful inside and out. I got to know Laurie more over the past few years through social media. She always had a kind word and bright spirit. You will be missed.💕

David Fawcett

2 months ago

Although I was not in contact with Laurie on a regular basis I always felt everytime we connected we were simply picking up wherever we left off. I met Laurie in Grade 9 science class in the 70's. I didn't feel judged. Her optimistic nature was wonderful. And I knew that she had lots of work that had to be done to be optimistic but she shone on and persisted. Good solid Brethour heart and soul as her brothers and sister shared with their sister. My world is a little emptier this fine morning in her absence. But I feel her. She is with me in my heart and in my thoughts. Good-bye dear friend. Love David. ❤️😔

Penny J Smith (Shields)

2 months ago

Kind, our Laurie was the kindest woman. Her capacity for that kindness and big love was her greatest gift to me and all our misfit friends. I’ll miss your positive vibes dear girl and I’ll see you when I get there~ ♥️

Cheryl

2 months ago

I met Laurie in the late 80's/early 90's - Stouffville newcomers club - lots of awesome dinner get togethers; couple's baseball - where our wee kids would play on the sidelines; and further along, many visits in sister Nancy's backyard - always interesting, often deep, conversations with Laurie! I even saw Laurie a number of times in the lab where she worked as a technician downtown - a true professional!! May this wonderful lady rest in true peace...

Rachelle & Bruce Fraser

2 months ago

Laurie’s friendship spans decades. She was always a welcoming, supportive, kind and loving friend. She always made an effort to connect with us when we’d visit home and would send us gifts as reminders of our Canadian roots. She will be greatly missed but will always be present in our memories and in our hearts. Peace & Love Laurie 🥰❤️😘

Nancy Brethour-DiGiovanni (Your Sister, your Irish Twin)

2 months ago

My sister, my Irish twin, We were never far apart in body, heart and soul. I knew the moment you left us, you spoke to me in your unmistaken voice calling my name “Nancy, Nancy it’s your sister I”m with Dad we are ok” I burst out in tears knowing you had left me. Happy for you, sad for me. You were in so much pain inside and out I ached for you every day, my help was not enough, now I ache for the lose of my sister.


I have a million memories this one was ours I’ll share, we called it “Champagne Bubbles, “ when ever we could we would swim naked, on a northern lake or in the backyard pool, one would be at the edge of the pool the other doing a cannonball to create bubbles galore we would push of the side over the bubbles and let them tickle our back, I can hear us giggling and saying , “Again”.


When tomorrow Starts Without Me.

When tomorrow starts without me please try to understand, that an angel (our Dad) came and called my name, and took my by the hand : The angel said my place was ready. In heaven far above, And that I”d have to leave behind all those I dearly love. But when I walked through heaven’s Gates, I felt so much at home, for God looked upon me , smiled at me, and told me. “Welcome Home”. So when tomorrow starts without me. Don’t think we’re far apart, for every time you think of me, I’m right there in your heart .


Your spirit is free to go soar with the angels. 🙏 may you go to those far away places you dreamt of.


For the Scottish in us, A Gaelic saying my sister would have loved;

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal”


A sister whom had a warm shoulder in a cold world, you are with me always my sister, forever Interred in my heart. ❤️

Vicki Masci Ventrella

2 months ago

My deepest condolences to her family and friends. She sounds like a wonderful person .I wish I had have met her.My prayers for strength and peace at this time.

Randy and Joan Cochrane

2 months ago

I will always remember Laurie's kindness to us, she threw us a wedding breakfast, the day after our wedding,complete with champagne. We have her wedding gift to us, a beautiful collectors plate, in our china cabinet.

Laurie loved Halloween, dressing up and having a household of people. She was a great hostess.

After moving to B.C. we visited her and Peter whenever we returned to Burlington. I know she suffered ill health in the past few years, but still continued to work as long as she could.

We are glad that she is no longer in pain.

Our sincere sympathy to you, her family

Randy and Joan Cochrane




Paul Baker

2 months ago

What a beautiful positive person, always one of the boys. Best memory - a wedding date - silk peach coloured dress-Laurie turning heads on the dance floor - a fond memory I will forever have !!

Cathy

2 months ago

Laurie used to drop into Fullerton’s just once and awhile she wld order a Margarita with an extra shot lol! I had many lovely conversations with her ! I always thought she was a lovely lady! Rest In Peace!

Natalie

2 months ago

I have amazing memeries of drive ins, baseball games, sleep overs, dance sessions, car drives with songs and games, Christmas baking, arts and crafts, and love and compassion for my Auntie Laurie. She was always so thoughtful and there for me at every anniversary event. I will miss her character and spirit in our family. As she always sang - three little birds - don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing, is going to be alright xoxox

Comments Awaiting Approval:

Approved Comments:

Julie Sleeman (Edmiston)

Calvin Skidmore

Nancy Fawcett

Jane McMaster

Tim Mathers

Kim

David Fawcett

Penny J Smith (Shields)

Cheryl

Rachelle & Bruce Fraser

Nancy Brethour-DiGiovanni (Your Sister, your Irish Twin)

Vicki Masci Ventrella

Randy and Joan Cochrane

Paul Baker

Cathy

Natalie

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