It is with heavy hearts the family of Dr. Annabella Isabella Zawada announces her sudden and unexpected passing on Thursday, October 21, 2021.
Bella was born January 18, 1978 in Krakow, Poland as the only child to Stella and Joseph Zawada. Moving to Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1984, Bella grew a fondness for school, excelling in her academics from a very young age. She was top of her class throughout her entire academic career. In high school she enjoyed cheerleading and spending time with friends. In 1999, Bella graduated from Lakehead University with a Honours Bachelor of Science in Biology. She then went on to become a Doctor of Medicine, graduating from the University of Toronto in 2003. Bella’s medical residency took place in Northwestern Ontario. She practiced throughout the region before settling in Terrace Bay, Ontario, in 2004.
She began her phenomenal career by joining the Aguasabon Medical Clinic, eventually becoming the Lead Physician. She also served as the Emergency Physician and Chief of Staff at the McCausland Hospital, an associate professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and the Regional Coroner. In 2014, Bella was recognized for her contributions by the SHIFT Young Professionals Network. She was one of the Top Twenty Under Forty recipients of the Northwestern Ontario Visionary Award. The award is to recognize young professionals who are leaders in their community.
Moving back to Thunder Bay, Ontario in 2015, to be closer to family, Bella opened the Umbrella Medical Clinic. Their mission was to provide sexual health services for all ages, all genders, and all orientations. Bella was an activist and an ally for many. She lived by the philosophies “love is love” and “equality for everyone”. Sexual health was not just a career for Bella, it was a passion.
On July 1, 2006, Bella married her husband, Sean Irwin. They welcomed their son Jack to the world in 2007, followed by their son Josh in 2009. Bella was a wonderful mother to her boys and she volunteered with their daycare and school. Her family was her greatest joy in life. Together, they loved to take beach vacations, spend time at Bella’s mother’s camp, and go on hikes with their golden retriever Carmen.
Bella touched the lives of many people from all walks of life. She was a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend, and most of all; an extraordinary woman with the biggest heart who loved to help those in need. She will be missed by many. We will always love you Bella.
Survived by her husband, Sean Irwin; sons: Jack and Joshua Irwin; mother: Stella Zawada; father: Joseph Zawada; father in-law: Brian Irwin; brother and sister in-law: Neil and Crystal Irwin; and nieces: Jordan and Paige Irwin.
Predeceased by her mother in-law, Katherine Deley.
Cremation has taken place and a celebration of Bella’s life will be held on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 at 11 a.m. in the Sargent & Son Funeral Chapel, 21 N. Court Street with Suzanne Quirion presiding. As per the Ontario Covid-19 regulations, those attending the service must provide proof of vaccination and proper identification.
In lieu of flowers, a bursary is being set up in Annabella’s name. More information will follow and will be posted to www.umbrellaclinic.com.