Darlene 'Bunny' Helen Nina Louka (nee Cameron) October 30, 1957(Ontario) ~ June 10, 2020 (age 62) of Calgary, Alberta.
It is with great sadness that her friends announce the passing of our beloved Darlene 'Bunny' Helen Nina Louka on June 10, 2020 from complications of a rare cancer.
Darlene was the eldest of 6, and owing to her father's military service, as a child she lived in Germany and parts of eastern Canada. On her first day of kindergarten Darlene knew she wanted to be a teacher. She obtained her Bachelor of Education with Distinction from the University of Calgary, with a concentration in Special Education and Reading, and went on to complete her master's degree in Educational Administration from Gonzaga University.
As an educator, Darlene was passionate about working with new English Language Learners, Indigenous students and students with diverse learning needs. She inspired creativity and knowledge with her love of reading, writing, poetry and journaling.
Dedicated to teaching for over 30 years, she taught elementary and college level students, including a year at a women's college in Dubai, Adult upgrading on Siksika Reserve and 20 years with the Calgary Board of Education in the elementary grades. At Bow Valley College she instructed report writing skills to Counsellors in Training with the Sunshine Aboriginal Addictions Centre. Darlene believed in people and embraced differences. She organized and delivered children's social skills programming and spoke on learning needs to parent groups.
Darlene was a passionate writer, published poet, creative adventurer, lifelong learner and loving friend - patient, accepting and forgiving. She loved music and travel, crafts, photography, meeting people and gaining new life experiences - driving down a different road just to see what was there. Darlene's faith was important to her. She served on the Parish Council at St. George's Anglican Church in Calgary, started book clubs, organized events for When Words Collide writer's festival and was a member of the Imaginative Fiction Writer's Association. Darlene had a natural sweetness and cheerfulness, and a capacity to enjoy life and appreciate beauty. She embodied the idea that one must build a village for support in difficult times and to celebrate together in good times. Darlene was a 20 year survivor of uterine cancer. When she became ill with this rare cancer and given no treatment options, she faced her fate with courage, love and a selfless acceptance. She wanted to ease the pain and grief of her friends and loved ones. Her 'Good Goodbye' message was "Be there for one another, it doesn't have to be perfect, don't judge, build your caring community".
Darlene is deeply mourned by numerous dear friends across Canada and the U.S., her mother in Nova Scotia, three sisters and one brother. She is predeceased by her father, Hugh Cameron, her sister, Corinna Lynn Cormier and her beloved dog Jack.
A memorial service will be offered by St. George's Anglican Church on Tuesday June 23, 2020 at 2pm via Zoom. Email the Church Office for a link: [email protected] The recording will be available following the service at StGeorgesCalgary.com
The family will bring her ashes back to Nova Scotia for a family service there. Friends in Calgary will be organizing a celebration of her life in the Fall.