HAMBLY, Rachel Whitney Cadieux - (August 17, 1981 ~ April 1, 2017) -
Rachel was born in Oshawa and lived there until age 8 when her family moved to Sudbury. Rachel lived there until age 12 when her family again moved, this time to Peterborough, which has been her home base since then.
Rachel definitely took her own path in life. High school was not for her so she worked in various positions for a couple of years in her teens. At age 17 she joined the Federal Youth Program, Katimavik, and lived in Cambridge, Trois Rivieres and Brandon, each for three months. It was a great experience that was a touchstone for the rest of her life, and where she made several life-long friends.
After Katimavik, Rachel again worked locally. Eventually she decided to attend Carleton University in a special program for young adults. She excelled in the program and went on to finish her degree in history. She especially enjoyed Canadian military history, which is where she developed her love for the Ross rifle.
Upon completion of university, Rachel obtained a position with the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency (CFPSA) as a retail attendant (working mainly at the Tim Hortons outlet) at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. She loved her six months in Afghanistan and forged many special friendships from that time.
After her stint in Afghanistan Rachel took a position as Project Leader with Katimavik in Terrace Bay, Ontario, where she worked with over sixty young people from across Canada over a year long period. Unfortunately the program was cancelled. But she had made such a good impression with the organizations and people that she worked with in Terrace Bay that she was eventually able to obtain a position as Economic Development Officer with Superior North Community Futures Development Corporation, a position she held for three years. Rachel loved her time in Terrace Bay and developed strong friendships from that time. Her favourite pastime was collecting beach glass along the shore of Lake Superior.
A family medical situation brought her back to Peterborough where she obtained a position as Lock Operator with Parks Canada at Lock 20 on the Trent Severn River System. Rachel loved this work – she enjoyed talking with the boaters and locals who visited the site on a regular basis. But her favourite part of her job was managing the Mariah Street bridge where she got to operate the bridge and lights and boss drivers.
Rachel loved to travel and made many trips to various places around the world with special friends and family. She especially enjoyed the weird and wonderful and got to visit such places in North America as the Vinegar museum, the biggest ball of twine site and the mustard museum to name a few.
In the winter of 2014/15 Rachel traveled to South America where she met three other women of her age. This group forged a strong relationship and became fast friends, calling themselves the Pendejas.
The winter of 2015/16 saw her working at Service Canada in Cobourg for six months where she again forged strong relationships. During this time she joined a volunteer group to support a Syrian Refugee family that settled in Peterborough. Trips to Europe and Bali bookended the Service Canada contract. Shortly after her return to Peterborough in May, 2016, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Rachel called her time with cancer an “adventure” and it sure was. Three days after she was diagnosed she was out celebrating Canada Day in the usual Rachel fashion. During the nine months she lived after her diagnosis she traveled to Terrace Bay twice, took an extended trip through the Maritimes with her brother, visited Niagara Falls, Ottawa and Kingston with special friends, Sudbury to spend Christmas with family and meet her new niece, flew to St John’s and, lastly, attended an RAA (Rural Alberta Advantage, her favourite band) concert in Edmonton in early March. Friends alerted the band to her situation and they provided free tickets and swag to her. She did not give up until she couldn’t.
Rachel was a special, one of a kind person. Her Facebook moniker was Rachel Danger. She was intelligent, zany, funny, fun loving and witty. She loved the weird things of life and was always up for an adventure and travel. She was loving and kind, but also very fierce in her convictions. She loved celebrating events like Christmas and Halloween. She was always trying to outdo herself with Christmas cards. This past Christmas she managed to pose in Christmas regalia with members of the Vaughn Fire Department. Her favourite pastime was lying in her hammock at one of our local nature areas listening to her music or reading.
She and her Dad (David) had a special relationship. During the two weeks prior to her Dad’s passing she sewed him a beautiful quilt without ever having made one before. She enjoyed art and collected small pieces here and there and was a bit of an artist herself, and she had a great eye for photography. She had the most wonderful smile and was always smiling.
We know she chose April 1 as the day to go to let us know that, even in the end, she was her usual fun loving self.
She will be greatly missed by her Mom, Sherry, brother, Noah and family (Meaghan and Ellie and all the Hamwiches), Godparents (Rochelle and Wayne Neal), extended family and the many, many friends she made around the world. May you rest in peace Rachel. We will miss you so much.
There will be a ‘Celebration of Rachel’s Life’ at the HIGHLAND PARK FUNERAL CENTRE, 2510 Bensfort Road, Peterborough, on Saturday, April 8th, at 2:30 pm. Visitation will be from 12 noon until 2:00 pm the same day. Reception to follow. Rachel has chosen to be cremated.
In Memory of Rachel, donations to Peterborough Hospice or the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated by the family.