Myrtle Margaret Spencer

October 29, 2021
Myrtle drifted off on October 29, 2021 as she never lived: silent in a chair in her living room as her husband of 68 years Edward and two of her four sons chatted away, uninterrupted. Never one to shy away from expressing an opinion or striking up a conversation with strangers in the grocery store, Myrtle was always able to make her voice heard – even before Edward got functional hearing aids.
Myrtle came screaming into the world in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island in 1927 to George and Margaret, and shortly thereafter moved to Port Alberni which remained her home for her entire life. She and Edward first met in their grade 1 class at Alberni Elementary, attending school together until Edward left to join the workforce. After she finished high school in June 1945, Myrtle briefly moved down island to Victoria to attend St. Joseph’s School of Nursing, where she learned to be a surgical nurse.
She worked at West Coast General Hospital for five years before marrying Edward and having children. Though she was only paid for those early five years, Myrtle remained a nurse her entire life, terrorizing many a (grand) child with a firm hand, a needle, and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.
Myrtle was a devout follower of the United Church of Canada who rarely swore, unless she was talking about her knitting group, Stitch n’ Bitch, or whoever was currently Prime Minister. She was a teetotaller who made a very potent rum ball, which she kept ready in the freezer along with a supply of homemade shortbread, and Nanaimo bars in case of any dessert emergency.
Knitting was Myrtle’s beloved hobby. She was always occupied knitting a bonnet for a neighbour’s grandchild, finger puppets for her teacher daughters’ classrooms, Easter chicks, and thousands of dish cloths. Myrtle’s biggest knitting project was Edward’s socks – he hasn’t worn a store-bought pair for 68 years.
Perhaps the greatest gift from Myrtle was her miraculous purchase of 198 ft of waterfront on Sproat Lake. Here, she and Edward built two log cabins for family and friends to enjoy. The lake was host to weddings and family reunions and beloved by all who visited. A consummate host, Myrtle always welcomed everyone. If unexpected guests arrived, pork chops were cut in half. If hitchhikers couldn’t make it to Tofino, they were invited to camp on the lawn. If someone asked how the water was that day, Myrtle was sure to let them know it was wet.
Myrtle was loved to the end by her husband of 68 years, Edward Spencer, children Mary (Jim) Head, George (Ann), Geoff, Jim, Margaret (Brian) Hutcheson, and Brian (Julie), as well as fourteen grandchildren, five great-granddaughters and extended family.
She was predeceased by her brother George and son Brian Charles, as well as many members of her extended family and beloved friends.
Please join us for Myrtle’s Celebration of Life on Saturday July 23rd from 2-4pm at Myrtle’s favourite spot (10071 Blower Road).
We invite you to bring your bathing suit, towel, and memories of Myrtle to share.

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