Mary Colleen Kiberd ended her battle against breast cancer July 3rd, 2013. Throughout this ordeal she remained ever faithful, inspirational, if not defiant. She was a 'fighter'.
She leaves behind her husband Bryce and children Mat, James, and Anne; daughter of Mary and Colin Craig and her siblings Pearl (Dale) Walker, Paula, Colin (Joann) and Michelle (Paul) MacCormac; and nieces and nephews Craig, Terri, Tanya, Alexis, Olivia, Bryce and Ellie. She was predeceased by her brother Duane.
As a graduate of Halifax Infirmary Nursing School (RN) and Dalhousie University (BN) she was the quintessential nurse. She was always the first to jump to aid a fallen athlete or stricken child. She had extensive experience as a floor nurse, ICU nurse, Burn Unit nurse and nurse administrator. Everywhere she went (Halifax Infirmary, Victoria General Hospital, Kingston General Hospital, Wellesley Hospital, and Stanford University, USA) she was appreciated for her kindness and work ethic.
Her greatest professional love and ambition was to be a nurse educator. She received her Masters of Education (Queen's) and Masters of Nursing (Dalhousie) to pursue that career. She was adored by her students. At Dalhousie she won the Teacher Appreciation Award 12 times. She won the Reddick award at Queen's University twice as well as national awards for education from the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing and the Canadian Nursing Students' Association. In 2011 the graduating class of Dalhousie School of Nursing created an award in her honor. When asked why she was so successful, she was overly modest and never responded. To all she was a role model and mentor but her secret was more fundamental. She loved her students, wanted them be successful and wanted them to open up their inner hearts and souls and be dedicated to caring. They in turn responded to that love.
She was instrumental in establishing the Rho Rho chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing in 2002 and served as its president. She promoted the ultimate gift of organ donation to her students. Colleen was also active in her community devoting her time and energy to various local and Provincial sports teams (basketball, swimming and football) and The Halifax Grammar School, where she was member of the Board of Governors.
Colleen's greatest gift was her spirit, a gift that came from God. She shared her spirit with everyone and would hope that those that she has touched will respond by sharing that spirit with others. There are many friends that loved and supported Colleen and her family throughout her illness and we thank them all. Colleen's sister Michelle deserves special mention for her incredible love and devotion. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Hemophilia Society of Canada or any charity of your choice. Visitation will be held on Monday, July 8th from 6-9 pm in J. A. Snow Funeral Home, 339 Lacewood Drive, Halifax. A Memorial Mass will be held at Canadian Martyr's on Tuesday, July 9th at 10 am.