On Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at London Health Sciences Centre, in her 54th year, Leaurie Noordermeer passed away leaving a legacy behind, both in her personal and professional lives.
For over 20 years, Leaurie played an integral part in her Mission Services of London family. Shortly after moving to London in 1986, she was selected as the Director of Teen Girls Home (then a branch of Mission Services of London) and for 10 years offered her leadership. Twelve years ago, Leaurie became the Director at Rotholme Women’s & Family Shelter where she continued the tradition of offering help and hope through emergency shelter to many women and families in our community.
Leaurie was a tireless advocate for vulnerable women, children and families. She would never pass up an opportunity to tell others about the work that Mission Services did in London and frequently seized opportunities to promote not just Rotholme Women’s & Family Shelter in particular, but women’s issues in general. Those opportunities ranged from addressing large audiences at conferences to speaking to individual women while selling Homes for Hope pins during breaks at those same conferences. Hundreds of women in Ontario and across Canada wear “Homes for Hope” pins because of some connection with Leaurie.
She was a story teller, and more often than not would enhance her stories with props and pictures. “Show and tell” was a regular feature at the monthly updates given to the Women’s Auxiliary of Mission Services. And “show and tell” may have played an important part in convincing decision makers to try the Hostels to Homes pilot project in London.
It was her faith in God and Jesus Christ that gave her strength, informed her advocacy, fueled her passion and nurtured her compassion for her “neighbours” that needed shelter at Rotholme Women’s & Family Shelter, and not only for those that needed shelter here but at shelters across the province. She tirelessly worked for solutions to the problems of poverty and homelessness. She was quick to identify problems, and equally quick to suggest solutions to those problems.
Rotholme was more than a job, it was her extended family; and she welcomed all who were connected with the home with open arms. Leaurie’s passions always included developing meaningful, supportive relationships that helped people through the challenges of life and travelling off the beaten track.
She was cherished by her friends, by her colleagues at Mission Services of London and her “Village Green and Rotholme families”. Leaurie’s life mission was ‘to live according to God’s principles, to bring glory to His name and to serve others. That she did. She had a wonderful capacity for compassion and generosity. She inspired many. Leaurie was also a world citizen, having travelled extensively across Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. She loved to laugh, read and gather with friends and family. Leaurie was undoubtedly, the best friend, loving wife and soulmate of Wilf Noordermeer. She will be truly missed.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever. (Psalm 73:26)
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that you shower someone you love with love, sign your organ donor card, or donate to Mission Services of London, 415 Hamilton Road, London ON N5Z 1S1 (www.missionservices.ca). Any of these would honour Leaurie tremendously.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 11:00am at the Village Green Community Church, 505 Village Green Ave, London. It will be followed by a light lunch. This will be a time to honour Leaurie and her contributions. Wilf and family would love to see you there.