Vera (Dot) Stephen

Vera passed away peacefully at Saanich Peninsula Hospital on March 17, 2015. She was the daughter of Charles Rycroft and Beatrice Rycroft (nee Shaw) of England, and is predeceased by her husband William (Jock) and survived by her son John and daughter-in-law Seona.

Vera was a kind, caring person, yet possessed a will of steel. Having drawn the attention of Jock by tossing a “rock cake” at him in the mess hall while serving in the WAF in England, she married in 1946, and with only $300 between them, moved to Port Alberni in 1953 pursuing the “Canadian dream”. There, Jock served in the MacMillan Bloedel Alberni Pacific Division until he retired. While in Port Alberni, Vera’s caring side emerged, serving in a number of positions with the Klitsa Rebekah Lodge No. 59. Her steely will is exemplified through surviving double arm fractures, and a fight with cancer. Vera was also very talented, diving into handicrafts, particularly knitting, and in earlier years crocheting. Even at the tender young age of 12 she was awarded prizes for her crocheting and other needlework. Her pursuit of those skills carried through to her latter years during her residence at the Peninsula at Norgarden, where she participated in the local knitting group, the “Crafty Grannies”, raising thousands of dollars for Canada Comforts, and producing dolls for African children. Although she may have at first appeared somewhat reserved, Vera could always be counted on to liven up an event, and often appeared in fantasy dress and ridiculous costumes.

All the while, she lived life true to the creed of the Rebekah Lodge – Friendship, Love and Truth. For her volunteering efforts and desire to help others while at the Peninsula, Vera was nominated for “Senior of the Year”, a celebration of active seniors developed by the BC Senior Living Association.

Seona and I extend our gratitude to the staff at the Peninsula at Norgarden for contributing to Vera’s joy during the past nine years. Vera leaves behind many friends, and of those, we especially thank Lois Robertson, Joyce Ball, Chuck Gibson, Don and Toni Gainor, and her hairdresser, Pat, for the happiness and camaraderie that you brought to Mom’s life. You made her final years very meaningful and happy, and for that we are truly grateful. We also thank the staff at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital, Palliative Care Unit for their care and attention during Vera’s last months, and to Dr. Linda Wilson for her exemplary care and counseling.

At Vera’s request, a service will not be held.

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