Born July 11, 1924 in Pembroke Ontario to Lillian and Ed Cotnam. Wife of the late Richard ‘Dick’ Plummer. Dear mother of Judith (late Gerry), Kent (Barbara), Pamela (Jedrzej), David (Kathryn) and Mark (Lee Ann). Adoring grandmother to Pamela, Olivier, Tanya, Angela, Andrew, Alexander, Kirk and Ellen. Proud great-grandmother to Hannah, Simon, Elise, Sebastien and Alexis. Predeceased by brother Ross (late Olive). She will also be missed by her nieces, nephews, many cousins and her “cottage family”.
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Lou completed high school in Pembroke during the years the 2nd World War was fought. Throughout her life she never forgot the sacrifices made by the mostly young men from her high school and she taught her family to be thankful for the freedom won by the many sons of families in the valley (and especially Harold and Royden Cotnam and Alton Thrasher). She also regaled her children with stories of bicycling (during mostly good weather) from her parent’s farm in Greenwood all the way to the Pembroke Collegiate, a feat that never ceased to amaze her car-dependent children. She went on to complete a business diploma in Toronto and returned to Pembroke as secretary to J Deacon Taylor.
Lou very happily worked for the well-known Pembroke jeweler and retailer for several years before meeting and marrying Dick Plummer. In 1950 they started their family and in 1955 built their family home east of Pembroke. The next 15 years were very busy ones for Lou, raising her 5 children, teaching Sunday school at Wesley United in Pembroke, supporting Dick’s businesses in Pembroke, volunteering as a board member of the Pembroke Figure Skating Club, and still finding time to continue with her French language studies, one of the loves of her life.
With her children about to be finished high school, Lou embarked on a new career in Real Estateand for several years enjoyed working for Jim Kelly Sr.. However, with the death of her husband in 1984 she took over Plummer Marine and until her 90s, oversaw the businesson a near daily basis. She considered her life as a business owner and manager one of her best personal accomplishments and she regarded her staff as an extension of her family. She was especially fond of Terry Lance and trusted him as a son.
But it was outside of the world of work that Lou sought and found great meaning in her life. Lou loved nothing more than being with her family at the cottage, rambling though the woods and swamps, teaching her grandchildren about the wonders of an old turtle returning year after year to lay her eggs, or in spring, pointing out the many varieties of wild flowers – not to picked but enjoyed in the ground. Lou loved the seasons of the year. She planted flowers and watched for the return of the birds in spring. She fed the chipmunks and hummingbirds in summer, moved the family to the cottage, swam in the Ottawa with her children and grandchildren, attracted butterflies and moths to her garden with special plantings, and always enjoyed going out on the Ottawa with Dick in a new boat, and heading “up river” to see Burt and Elaine Elliot.
In the fall one would find Lou in gum rubbers and an old coat out poking around in the woods behind the cottage, looking for signs of deer and other wildlife. In winter she cross-country skiied and skated, fed her beloved chick-a-dees and even tried dog-sledding – in her 80s.
Lou loved all babies, human and animal, was fascinated by the wonders of nature and never missed an opportunity to teach her children and grandchildren to respect nature, and honour all forms of life (but she could be a little impatient with squirrels – but never the red squirrels).
Lou loved music and singing and inspired her children to learn to play musical instruments and turn to music for personal expression and joy.
Lou loved the freedoms she had driving her car and going out to shop and eat with family and friends.
Lou loved getting together with her cousins, travelling to Niagara-on-the-Lake for theatre, or simply enjoying their company at a local restaurant.
And most of all, Lou loved to simply watch children playing. She loved to tell stories about her children and grandchildren’s bold and daring feats at the cottage in summer or in her backyard at the house in winter. And she also enjoyed writing poems about those magic moments, which she read and reread throughout her life.
Lou died peacefully with her family by her side. Her family is deeply thankful to the Renfrew Victoria Hospital staff for their professionalism and compassion. And they’d also like to thank Sue, her special friend, who took away the burdens of Lou’s final years and replaced them with heartfelt laughter.
Friends are invited to share their memories of Lou with her family during visitation at the MURPHY FUNERAL HOME, 296 Isabella Street, Pembroke on Monday December 2nd from 2 – 4 and 7 – 9 p.m. A Celebration of Lou’s Life will be held in the Chapel on Tuesday December 3 at 11:00 a.m. Interment Wesley United Cemetery. In memory of Lou, donations to the Arthritis Society, Hospice Renfrew or the Renfrew Victoria Hospital would be appreciated by the Family. Condolences, tributes, donations www.murphyfuneralhome.ca