1948 – 2018
Connie Ann (Lutes) Tanaka passed away peacefully on Friday, August 31, 2018, at the home of good friends Kandice and Rod, her caretakers during her final days.
She was born and raised in Moncton, NB, daughter of the late Douglas and Rose (Ewanchuk) Lutes. After high school, with $20 and a train ticket in her pocket, Connie moved to Toronto where she worked for CBC in the Audience Relations Dept. It was in Toronto where she met and married her late husband, Mitsugi Tanaka. Her exposure to people from a myriad of cultures and abilities during the twelve years she spent ‘growing up’ in Toronto would come to shape the rest of her life.
After returning to Moncton, Connie worked as Coordinator of the Multicultural Association of Moncton (MAGMA) and as Executive Director of the NB Multicultural Council. She participated in many research studies that often involved the position of immigrants and minorities in New Brunswick society. She published an article based on this research in the Harvard Education Review in 2001. Connie was passionate about the importance of immigration to Canada and she dedicated much of her life and energy to helping new and marginalized Canadians feel welcome and supported.
Connie also worked as a Human Service Councillor for adults with mental and physical disabilities and as a Production Co-ordinator in the New Brunswick film industry.
Connie loved all animals, gardening, cooking, crafts, feeding people, milking goats, camping and being close to nature. She had a particular fondness for crows, strange people, long silences and obvious kindness. She was a tarot-reader, a candle maker and an author. Connie felt blessed to be on this earth and thanked the Goddess each day for her many gifts.
Connie is survived by her sister Lynne (David) Short, Surrey, BC; brothers Garth (Debbie) Lutes, Hopewell Cape, Grant Lutes, Dieppe, Tim (Sandra Panun), Moncton. She was predeceased very recently by her sister-in-law, Wendy Vibert.
Connie also leaves to mourn, close friends Mindy, Steph, Anne, Ed, Kandice, Rod, Elaine, Line, Louisa, Manju, Paul, Ron and Willi, as well as many other friends gathered throughout her lifetime.
The family would like to thank Dr. Mark Waite and Dr. F. Schweiger, who helped give her some quality of life throughout many years of a chronic illness, and the staff of The Moncton Hospital Oncology Department.
As per Connie’s request there will be no funeral or memorial. She has been cremated and her ashes will be scattered in places dear to her. The family requests that donations may be made in Connie’s name to Fortunate Felines Cat Rescue Centre in Moncton, NB. https://fortunatefelines.wixsite.com/fortunatefelines or a charity helping children in poverty.
The family invites you to sign an online book of condolences at: www.funerairepassagefuneral.ca.
Funeral arrangements under the professional care of
Passage Funeral Co-operative and Cremation Centre
3754, Route 134
Shediac Bridge, NB
Tel: (506) 532-1050