June McNeilly would have turned 90 on Friday.
"She was a vibrant, outgoing woman," said daughter Beverley MacKenzie. "She was much-admired for the way she loved us and made us feel loved and cared for, she always made sure we knew that."
McNeilly was born in Nova Scotia and loved art, music and travelling. After two strokes a few years ago, she moved into Extendicare Starwood.
"Bingo, trivia nights, tea parties, almost all the activities that Starwood had to offer she participated in," said MacKenzie.
The home was hit hard by COVID-19 in the second wave of the pandemic. McNeilly was diagnosed with the virus and died in hospital a few weeks ago.
"She still had a lot of life to live, she wasn’t ready to go and the fact that it happened from COVID, we’re just angry as a family, we’re angry," MacKenzie said.
McNeilly had four children, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
"She was just so outgoing, friendly and accepting of everyone, just a really kind soul," said granddaughter Sara Rodney.
Growing up, Rodney spent a lot of time with her grandmother.
"I just felt like I couldn’t keep up with this woman," she recalled. "She would just drag me all over the market, taking me to parks, galleries and shopping and out for lunch, and just super, super busy all the time, walking everywhere all over the city, she loved Ottawa, loved the market."
McNeilly’s family said they’re grateful they were able to spend time with her in her final days.
"I could give her a hug which was the best feeling in the world," said Rodney. "Despite the bad circumstances and she wasn’t feeling great but she just kept telling us that she loved us."