Rita Cyprien passed away peacefully at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre on Saturday, August 31st, 2019, after battling stage IV colon cancer for nearly a year. Rita was born in Fort McMurray to Edward and Celine Cyprien. Rita grew up in Fort Chipewyan with her 11 brothers and sisters, of which she was the youngest female. This is where she met her husband, Stephen Morton, and where they had their son, Jason Cyprien. Rita moved with her family to Nova Scotia for approximately a year, before returning to Fort McMurray, to pursue a better life and employment opportunities. She completed her GED and a business program at Keyano College, which led to her 29 years of employment with Syncrude Canada. While working, Rita also completed an online event planning program offered by Mount Royal University. During this time, Rita and Stephen also had a daughter, Alannah Morton. Rita’s son, Jason, gave her three grandchildren: Lincoln, Quentin and Stephanie.
Rita spent her free time giving back to the community. She volunteered with the Oil Barons organization for 15 years, for which she was awarded the Oil Barons Volunteer of the Year in 2018. Rita also volunteered for the United Way and the Northern Lights Regional Health Foundation’s Festival of Trees and Spring Fling for many years. As the training coordinator, Rita planned and organized many events for the Syncrude Fire Hall. Rita also organized events for the Fort McMurray Giants, and offered her home as a billet family for 4 years. For all this and more, Rita was awarded Volunteer of the Year in 2018 from the Regional Aboriginal Recognition Awards.
Rita is survived by her husband, Stephen Morton, her son, Jason Cyprien (Kirsti), her daughter, Alannah Morton, her three grandchildren, Lincoln, Quentin, and Stephanie, her siblings, Archie Cyprien (Donna), Dorothy Cyprien, Bertha Cyprien (Maurice), Betty Cyprien (Baby Joe), Flossie Cyprien (Bruce), Christina Simpson, Paul Cyprien, Peter Cyprien, John Cyprien, Gary Cyprien, and many nieces and nephews.
Rita was pre-deceased by her father, Edward Cyprien, her mother, Celine Cyprien, her brother, Bruce Cyprien, her niece, Stephanie Marcel, and nephews, Richard Courtorille and Bradley Marten.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, September 7th, 2019 at 2 p.m. at the Shell Place, Grand Ballroom C.
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