Hearts Love 13

Iona Marie Tarrant

September 20, 1945 ~ May 22, 2021 (age 75)


Iona Marie Tarrant (nee Ludwig)

1945 – 2021

It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of Iona, aged 75 years of Dauphin, with her son Todd by her side on May 22nd at 8 p.m.

Iona was born in Grandview, Manitoba on September 20, 1945.  Iona was raised on the family farm 12 miles west of Grandview in the district of Pleasant Valley.  Like every farm girl, she grew up with a strong will and learning the importance of service to family, friends, neighbours and community.

At 17, her first job was at Husky as a waitress for Helen & Willy Hurman of Dauphin.  There she learned how to flip an egg over easy; that tells a good story.

Shortly after Iona began working at Dauphin General Hospital (CSR) which developed the majority of life long friendships.

Iona met the love of her life in late 1960, Jim “Terry” Tarrant.  They were married in 1964 and two years later followed Little Toddy.

The following years found Iona in a local Provincial Softball League, which she really enjoyed. When she retired from her Softball career she started to coach girls fastball.  Years later, while Iona was out and about these same women would walk up to her to say hi wherever she was, when Todd would ask who they were, she would always know their name and the year she coached them.  It wasn’t until later that she realized that she had become a mentor to these girls.

In 1970, besides the softball coaching, she started her 50-year Kinette career.  In February 2020, Iona was elated to be honoured by the KIN Clubs of Canada for an unbelievable 50 years of service as well as an award from the City of Dauphin, Mayor Al Dohan. The awards she received during her tenure were numerous.

Starting in 1971, Iona worked as a helper in the classrooms at Whitmore School, under the supervision of Gloria Murray, who became a life-long friend. Todd started kindergarten (coincidentally) at the same time.  She continued to follow Todd in the background helping to teach Remedial learning until Todd graduated from grade 6 at Smith Jackson, due to the undivided attention of Mr. Joseph Grodecki.

Iona loved her summers off and took on the challenge with Pop Fair and Terry (Jim – love of her life) to help build the Tarrant cabin at Dauphin Lake. It was enjoyed by Jim, Iona and Todd’s family and friends for more than 20 years. You could always tell when they were at the cabin, Iona and Terry would be playing cards with friends and neighbours and all the kids would be out playing kick the can.  During that time there were daily trips to the beach (weather permitting) for kids to play in the water where Iona taught countless kids to swim and Jim and his boat helped many of the other kids learn to water-ski.

Iona’s next challenge was billeting hockey players from the MJHL Dauphin King’s.  She was an outspoken fan that loved the game.  She could be found in her seat with the love of her life beside her making many vocal comments to help keep the ref in line. She would find herself volunteering to make sure the King’s had a proper auxiliary that did all the small things behind the scenes for merchandising and support.  She loved going to the rink, in this a special bond developed between her and the hockey players including allowing Rama Hulka to get his carpentry degree by remodeling the Tarrant home.  All the hockey players that Iona billeted and a lot of their team mates, immediately became extended family.

In 1977, two major things happened in Iona’s life, the first being the purchase of a new 1977 Dodge Royal Monaco Brougham (affectionately known as the green machine) and the second being the birth of Tootsie (Richelle Lee-Marie Healey, her Sister’s daughter), which was really good, because that coincided with Todd’s visits to Winnipeg for his braces and turned into a fun visit with Tootsie every month.

Also, very few people knew that every December Iona secretly became Kris Kringle and donned Santa’s sacred suit, and until her retirement when she so gracefully handed over the title to little Toddy who carried on her tradition of being Santa to countless kids, which he enjoyed for more than a dozen years. 

By 1983 Iona got involved with Brian White’s campaign with a 12 year tenure to follow as his office manager (problem solver).  During her time working with Brian she loved to help anyone & everyone, because she had such a sense of pride in her work, that’s what made her an essential part of the team. 

In 1985 Todd and the Safe Grad committee, mentored by Alex Paul, was the start of the first Safe Grad in Dauphin.  After preparing by visiting a Winnipeg Safe Grad planning committee, Iona started her Safe Grad journey with her fellow Kinettes and friends that lasted until 2019, due to covid canceling grad.  Iona never missed a year and her thoughts were with both graduating classes of 2020 and 2021.  During this time she helped so many young adults and their friends enjoy their graduation safely.

With boredom possibly looming in the future, Iona decided to take on another challenge by starting her own cleaning company called Maid by Iona. Her and her team of maids quickly became well known for excellence in cleaning. You could tell when Iona’s team was your maid, when you came home your house was spotless, your laundry was done and put away and if you were foolish enough to leave dishes in the sink, well those got done too.

In 2001 Iona and Todd cared for Terry (Jim) till his passing on June 25th of that year.  Shortly after in 2002 her sister Geri retired to Dauphin.  After Geri’s brief stay in the hospital Iona helped with her recovery over the next three years.  Near the end of Iona’s cleaning career she still found time for sharing caregiving with her sister Geri, for Mom (Daisy) and Pops (Robert) till their passing in 2014 and 2015.

Iona volunteered for multiple committees, boards and tasks which included the R.C.M.P Board and Citizens On Police Patrol. The programme was commended for the results of reducing crime by the Premiere Gary Filmon.  Iona continued with the COPP and RCMP Board till 2010.  All the tasks and volunteer work Iona did, were completed to her level of exacting standards of commitment.  Everything she did was done with tenacity, hard work, and kinship.

Iona was predeceased by her Father William E. Ludwig, sister Baby Lana Fair, her Mother Daisy Francis Fair, Pops (Robert Fair) and many other family members.  Left to mourn is her Son Todd Tarrant (Connie), her brother Arnold Ludwig, sisters Geri Healey, Brenda (Doug) McCorvie and Leasa Fair-Abrey, Naomi Ludwig, Richelle Healey (Michael) and there are many more nieces and nephews as well as two grandchildren Devan (Dylon) Bonk, Jay Rowsell (Lindsey), great-grandchildren, Kiara, Sophia, Sharlette, JJ and Jessie and all other extended family.

In lieu of flowers, one may donate to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or in the Name of Jim Tarrant at the Dauphin & District Community Foundation.

The family will make an announcement where the celebration of life will be held, when we can all get together, bend each other’s ear and spend some quality time together in fellowship.

Card of Thanks

A special thank you to Dr. Kish, The Clinic Staff and all her caregivers that Iona had to help her through the years with her speedy little heart and other minor issues.  They all went just a little bit further for the lady that was so special to all of us.  Also a special thank you to Sneath-Strilchuk.  Thank you so much with a huge loving hug from her family.

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