NOVEMBER 22, 1940 – OCTOBER 21, 2016
Mom died suddenly, peacefully and way too soon. She leaves behind in each of us — loving husband Jim (next year would’ve been their 50th anniversary), daughters Shelley Lowery (ex Jamie) and Tricia (Marcus Pollard), grandkids Alexandra, Amelia and Nathaniel, stepson Kendall and so many wonderful friends and extended family members — a legacy of love, beauty, humour, acceptance and courage. Mom had an ability to see the positive in everyone and everything, even when times were tough, as they were for her, and for us, this past year. Born and raised in Vancouver, mom was proud of the fact that she’d seen the great rock ’n’ roll legends of her time – Elvis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and more. She swore she had won a Twist contest as a young woman and, given the slightest encouragement, would break out a few dance moves in our kitchen, much to our embarrassment (and secret delight). As teenagers we rolled our eyes at her near-constant singing, but as adults we’d grown to love her flowery renditions of ‘You are My Sunshine’, ‘Happy Birthday’ and the touching, personal and funny songs she made up for Nathaniel and Amelia who – for most of her childhood – referred to mom as ‘Gramma Glitter’ in honour of her love of all things sparkly. Though she was an only child, mom had an incredibly strong sense of family. She grew up close to her doting grandparents, her aunts and uncles, and alongside cousins Norma (Forsyth) and Gwen (Buchanan). Vacations with her mom and dad (and close family friends, the Swensons) were frequent and mom always brought a school friend along to share in the adventure. After graduating from John Oliver Secondary – or J.O. as mom referred to it – she and her parents moved to Ladner, where she worked, got married, had two beautiful girls (that’s us) and then, after marrying our dad, led a short nomadic existence which saw us residing in Powell River, Campbell River, Victoria, Abbotsford and, finally, Port Alberni. Upon moving to Sproat Lake in 1970, mom continued to build an amazing family of close friends — parents of kids we grew up with, dad’s co-workers, our neighbours, those she worked with as a medical office assistant and even those who were patients! Many of those relationships have lasted decades and we know that you are feeling as lost as we are at mom’s passing. Mom is predeceased by her parents, Reg and Win Wall, niece Colleen Shields, with whom she had a special bond, and her longtime friend June Van Bergen. We hope that somewhere, her spirit is free. She lives on in our hearts, our memories and the stories we share. We want to thank everyone who supported mom throughout her life, but in particular over this past year. Special thanks to friends Marge James, Joan Roach, Judy Sibbald, Colleen Chatwin, Dick and Jane Visee and to the wonderful staff at Stanford Place and Rainbow Gardens who cared for mom so well. A gathering for friends and family will be held Saturday, November 26th from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Arrowsmith Room at the Best Western Barclay Hotel in Port Alberni. Mom loved animals of all kinds and, in lieu of flowers, donations in her name would be gratefully accepted at the Alberni SPCA.