Collins, Stephanie Gibson
Steph passed away Monday, September 9, 2019 at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, after a courageous battle against melanoma. A perennially generous spirit, always putting the needs of others ahead of her own, Steph was kind and selfless to the end. Over the past six months she showed genuine concern for the well being of the many friends and family who visited and sent notes of encouragement, never letting them imagine that she wouldn’t conquer the illness. Steph never gave up but cancer fights dirty. She left us knowing that she was well and truly loved.
She is missed tremendously by her husband, companion and best friend of 15 years, Chris Fagel; her parents Martha & Ron Collins; her brother Andrew & his partner Lisa; her grandfather Jack Weir; her great aunt & uncle Fran & Fred Gibson; the extended Fagel family as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends past and present all over the world.
After completing her undergraduate studies at University of Guelph (Honours BSc) and University of Ottawa (BEd) Steph joined the faculty of Country Day School in King City as a primary teacher. Over her sixteen years at CDS she developed the school’s Outdoor Education Program, earned her Master of Education at OISE (University of Toronto), and was a beacon of warmth and positivity for staff and students alike. Her belief was that students learn best by doing - and doing they did!
Steph’s love of the outdoors began at an early age and was nourished by days spent at her grandparent’s cottage on Lake Muskoka, the family farm in Mono, and her many years as a camper and staff at Glen Bernard Camp. Steph was too many things to list: Travel enthusiast, runner, educator, camper, book lover, coach, RVer wannabe, environmentalist, cyclist, gardener, kale salad maker, canoe tripper, organizer, listener, prankster and more. She was unpretentious and inclusive. She drank beer from the bottle and made no apologies. She fought with hope until the end. And will be so deeply missed.
Family & friends will gather to remember Steph at The Country Day School, 13415 Dufferin Street, King City on Sunday, October 6, 2019 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. This will include an optional walk on the trails that were Steph’s living classroom followed by the dedication of her “Talking Circle” - where she taught so many students the value of outdoor activities and conveyed to them the wonders of nature. A time of fellowship will follow. Please dress appropriately for the outdoors and weather.
If you aren’t able to join us please take a walk in the woods, through a trail of your choosing, and remember Steph’s smiling face and joyous laughter.
Our family would like to thank Dr. Samuel Saibil, Medical Oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and his entire team for their exemplary care of Steph through her battle.
In Steph’s memory, those who wish may donate to the Bruce Trail Conservancy aka “Friends of the Bruce Trail” at www.brucetrail.org. Canada’s oldest & longest marked footpath travelling 900 km. from Niagara to Tobermory.