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Obituary - Laurie Sharland

Laurie Sharland

1936 - 2020

Cook Southland Funeral Chapel - Sharland(2020)

With a heart full of love for the family she adored, Dolores Patricia ‘Laurie’ Sharland passed away peacefully at the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital on Thursday, January 16, 2020, at the age of 83 years. Laurie will be lovingly missed and forever cherished by her husband, Leonard; daughter, Raeann; granddaughters, Jessilyn (Dan) Forigo, Jennafer Yuhas and dear family friend, Theresa Wiebe. Also left to mourn her passing is her brother, Stan (Betty) Biffard; sisters-in-law, Agnes Biffard and Marylou Sharland; nieces; nephews; her rodeo and travel families as well as many friends. Laurie was predeceased by their only son, Leonard Lee; parents, Henry and Hulda Biffard; sister, Marjorie Blair as well as sisters and brothers-in-law, Leona and Maurice Knowles, Marion and Frank Bagshaw and Don Sharland. Mom loved life and lived it to the fullest. Countless hours were spent volunteering, in Mom’s words, “because of the love of your community and the belief in the organization you are volunteering for.” She loved working with young people and coached many in swimming, bowling and baseball. One of her greatest passions was the time spent with the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede of which both she and Len are Life Director’s. Laurie was Chair of the MHES Queen Committee for 35 yrs, Chair of Miss Rodeo Canada for 14 yrs and continued her involvement with MHES until her passing. As tour coordinator with Kabet Travel for 25+ years, Laurie and Len enjoyed many adventures and built lifelong friendships travelling to the Canadian Finals Rodeo, National Finals Rodeo and numerous other destinations. Laurie often said “you don’t volunteer expecting recognition” but went on to receive honours and awards too numerous to mention. Family was the most important part of Mom’s life and she loved nothing more than our family dinners. Her greatest joy and favourite title was Grandma to Jessilyn and Jennafer, teaching them so many things and to “always use manners, always show respect” and if you want to play outside “go see your Papa”. Included in Laurie’s activities were racing stock cars, coaching sports, volunteering with Medicine Hat Cubs and Tigers, Leaders of Tomorrow and Senior Games. She enjoyed a good crib or rummy game, tending to her flowers and visiting with friends.

There are people who touch the lives of others in a unique way.

Knowing them brings us joy and inspiration and when they are gone,

Memories of what they have done stay with us,

encourage us and comfort us.

A celebration of Mom’s amazing life will be announced at a later date. If friends so desire, memorial donations may be directed to the Medicine Hat and District Health Foundation or a charity of your choice.


  1. Jayne Biffard-Smith:
    Jan 20, 2020 at 08:55 PM

    I loved Auntie Laurie with all my heart.
    I learned so many things from her growing up as a child.
    She always made me feel so special and always included me in all activities.
    My favorite times included spending time at Rotary Swimming Pool, weekly family dinners, playing cards,
    learning how to bake pies and her famous Kuchen. I will miss you so much!

  2. Tom Corboy:
    Jan 21, 2020 at 10:31 AM

    Len I am sorry for your loss. A great lady, I miss her already

  3. Jerry Biffart:
    Jan 21, 2020 at 11:49 AM

    My love and prayers are with you at this time !
    Laurie was a wonderful lady supported many good causes in the community!
    Blessings on you all!
    Jerry B

  4. Les Aman:
    Jan 21, 2020 at 01:20 PM

    Len & Raeann I'm very sorry for your loss. Laurie was a "one of a kind" lady who was so gracious with her time for everyone. Thinking about you and all your family at this sad time.

  5. Cheryl Bartman:
    Jan 21, 2020 at 05:49 PM

    So sorry for your family's loss. She was a special lady who gave so much of her attention & time to so many of us in our youth. Thank you for sharing her.

  6. Julie rogers:
    Jan 21, 2020 at 07:20 PM

    Our thoughts and prayers to Laurie’s family. She was a great lady and was loved by many. My mom and her had a great friendship. Thinking of you. Julie, Murray and J’Dee

  7. Wilbert & Linda Langille:
    Jan 22, 2020 at 11:48 AM

    Len and Raeann and granddaughters: We send our prayers to your family. We enjoyed our many trips on bus #2 to CFR and all the times we saw her anywhere else. She was a friendly person and we will miss her face at medicine hat rodeos.

  8. Gary & Liz Haubrich:
    Jan 22, 2020 at 03:30 PM

    We are very sad to hear of Laurie's passing. She was a good friend and a great person. We will always remember the great times we spent together at Kabet Travel. Our condolences to the family.

  9. Mark and Kathy Carry:
    Jan 23, 2020 at 09:38 AM

    Dear Stan, Betty and family,
    So very sorry to hear of Laurie's passing. She was certainly an outstanding member of our community. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.
    Love, Mark and Kathy

  10. Mary Mytton:
    Jan 23, 2020 at 03:43 PM

    My condolences and prayers go out to the family of Laurie. She was a wonderful neighbour and friend to my mom for many many years. They lived across the street from each other on Dominion Street. My mom really appreciated Laurie and Len's friendship.

  11. Richard and Donna Kane:
    Jan 23, 2020 at 06:54 PM

    Dear Len and family,
    So sorry to hear about Laurie, she was a 'larger than life' kind of person who influenced many people over the years. I always enjoyed working with her at Kabet Travel. Rodeo on, Laurie!

  12. Jessilyn Forigo:
    Jan 24, 2020 at 01:21 AM

    Thank you to everyone for your beautiful comments. Grandma was a true role-model, not only through her community efforts but as a woman, mother, grandmother and wife. We already miss her terribly but are comforted to know how many lives she touched and the mark she's left on the world. Like the way she tended her garden she's left this world better than she found it through consistent love and attention and that's a beautiful legacy.

  13. Bernice(Pederson)Fode:
    Jan 24, 2020 at 03:07 PM

    Len and Raeann, I am so sorry to hear of Laurie’s passing. She was truly such a big hearted lady giving so much to the community and endless hours of her time with the MHES specifically the Queen contestants year after year. I always joked with her asking why had chaperones after my year ...weird ? haha. She will be sadly missed by all who knew her and future queen contestants. Thanks Laurie.

  14. Harold & Kathryn Exner:
    Jan 25, 2020 at 11:59 AM

    Our sincerest sympathies to you Len and your family as your mourn the loss of Laurie. We both have many fond memories of times shared together through the MHES. Laurie had a true heart to do what was good and right. She shared her etiquette and kindness with us when we were in the role of president and 'First Lady'. Only once I, Kathy, forgot to wear my name badge when checking in for a function...Laurie was gracious and we had a good laugh about never forgetting to bring it again! She seemed to be the official greeter at many of the functions, and we will miss seeing her there. May the many wonderful memories be a source of comfort and joy in the days ahead.

  15. Richard and Debbie Burniston:
    Jan 26, 2020 at 01:57 PM

    Len, Raeann and family, we're so sorry to hear about Laurie. She was a wonderful lady, gracious and courageous. One of my favourite memories was presenting her with a rose in the 2010 parade when she was the Honorary Parade Marshall. It won't be the same at the Stampede without her.

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