November 9, 1949 – March 20, 2019

It is with wonderful memories and heartfelt sadness that the family of Norma Lois Soetaert (nee Rigney) of Riveire Qui Barre announces that she passed away at the age of 69 years on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. She will be missed by her loving husband, Phil; her children, Sheila (Brian) Reed, Neil (Marina) Clark, Chris (Amber Segarac) Soetaert, Tom (Darla) Soetaert, Craig (Jacqueline) Clark, Ron (Amy) Soetaert; the jewels of her heart, her 16 grandchildren, with whom she shared her many passions by making quilts, stitching and scrap-booking; her siblings, Donald (Heather) Rigney, Joyce (Bob) Anderson, Marsha (Rob) Paradis; as well as numerous extended family and friends.

Norma was predeceased by her parents, Ray and Dorothy (nee Cummings) Rigney of Bon Accord, Alberta.

Norma grew up on the family farm near Bon Accord, Alberta and was the eldest of Ray and Dorothy’s four children. Norma was very active in the local 4-H club where she participated in gardening, sewing and beef projects for many years. When she was 17 she moved to Edmonton and attended the University of Alberta where she graduated in 1971 from the faculty of Education. Norma then married and moved to a farm just outside of Namao, Alberta where she raised her three children, Sheila, Neil and Craig. Norma taught at Namao Elementary School and later at Sturgeon Composite High School teaching foods and sewing. In 1988 she began teaching in St. Albert, Alberta at Paul Kane High School where she stayed until her retirement from teaching in 2010. During those same years she was a 4-H leader of the Namao Buttons, Bowls and Bolts club where she led many young people, teaching them to sew and cook. In 2006 Norma met Phil Soetaert and over the next few years they were married, expanding her heart to include Phil’s children, Chris, Tom, and Ron. Following the marriage, Norma joined Phil in Riveire Qui Barre area where she has enjoyed the past few years on the very busy family farm. During this time, she worked for the department of Education developing curriculum for the CTS and apprentice areas of Alberta Education. After she “retired” she did some private work for the Pulse board, developing many interesting new recipes. In the past few years she truly retired and spent much time in Mesa, Arizona where she loved being with Phil. Norma looked forward to going to Mesa to enjoy the heat and could often be found in the sewing room continuing to work on her latest project. Norma courageously battled cancer over the last few years with the support of her husband and family.

Norma has been described as someone who loved life, her family and always had a project on the go. She was always taking classes and learning about new things while also inspiring and teaching many people from young to old. All her talents can be found throughout her home and in her children’s homes in the scrapbooks, stitched pictures and hand made quilts, a true legacy. She will be missed by so many.

The family extends many thanks to the staff at the Cross Cancer Institute for the care and compassion they provided.

Celebration of Norma’s Life

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
at 1:00 pm
Sturgeon Alliance Church
4910-52 Street
Gibbons, Alberta

Memorial Donations

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in memory of Norma to
Alberta Cancer Foundation
710-10123 99 Street NW
Edmonton, AB
T5J 3H1


Alzheimer Society of Alberta & Northwest Territories
14925 – 111 Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta
T5M 2P6