Obituaries

  • Alicia Anne Rockel-Strain

    Alicia Anne Rockel-Strain

    July 21, 1983 – May 17, 2015

    Alicia passed away suddenly on May 17, 2015 with her Mum by her side, after courageously living with cancer.

    She was predeceased by her father, Keith Rockel.

    Alicia leaves behind her husband Mike Strain, wee daughter Rylee; Mum, Linda Vavra; grandparents, Bill and Barb Vavra and Stan and Laurie Rockel; cousins, Brett and Karly, as well as numerous close family members and special friends.

    Alicia enjoyed the outdoors, hiking, gardening, the ocean and spending time at the beach. Alicia loved her home and was always looking for her next interesting project. She also enjoyed shopping, antiquing, and visiting farmer’s markets. She was always on the lookout for the next great deal to bring home and work into her master plan.

    Of all the places Alicia lived, beautiful Gabriola held a special place in her heart – it was home to her. Her love of travel took her to England, where she worked as a nanny. From there she travelled all over Europe, even as far as South Africa.  Her favourite city was London. 

    Alicia was a wonderful mother to her daughter Rylee, and a loving wife to her husband, Mike. Spending time with them was her greatest pleasure. She shared a very special relationship with her Mum Linda.  Alicia received her diploma in Culinary Arts from Malaspina University and enjoyed cooking amazing delights for her family and friends

    Alicia will be profoundly missed by her family and friends.

    Memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at Sands Funeral Chapel, 1 Newcastle Ave, Nanaimo, BC.

    In lieu of flowers, if so desired, please consider making a donation to the Nanaimo Community Hospice Society in memory of Alicia.

  • Robert Roland Rawsthorne

    Sept. 15, 1932 – May 5, 2015

    Passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 5, at NRGH. Predeceased by his father (Jack), mother (Marion), his wife (Helen) and son (Tyler).

    Roland was a wonderful artist with his drawing and painting skills.

    He started out his career at MacDonald Brothers Aircraft in Winnipeg, then on to the government where he was a designer draftsman. He then went to work for Alamo Steel Structures, then Liebling Michenar Architectural Services. In 1976 he went to work for himself as a successful small designing consulting business.

    His passion was aircraft. Ultralight he enjoyed most, as well as electric vehicles.

    He is survived by his son Brian, sisters Barbara Ledingham-Smith and Jackie Bain, brother George and his wife Lou-Ann. Also his brother and sister-in-law, Charles and Pat Hawkes.

    A thank you to the staff of Royal Jubilee Hospital as well as to the NRGH and the BC Cancer Agency. A memorial service will be held at the Gabriola Fellowship Church on Thursday, May 14, at 11:00 a.m.

  • Ulrich (Oly) Stolle

    April 22, 1939 – May 6, 2015

    Ulrich (Oly) Stolle,  husband of Rita and father to Michael, Andrea and Brian, has died in Nanaimo one year after experiencing a major stroke. 

    Oly was born in Berlin.  In his early twenties, he emigrated to Calgary where he met and married Rita.  They shared their lives there for many years before relocating to Gabriola in the late 1990s. 

    It was Oly’s desire that there be no funeral or memorial services.

  • Dr. Geoffrey Harding

    Dr. Geoffrey Harding

    Dr. Geoffrey Harding, resident of Chetwynd, British Columbia, but previously of Gabriola Island, passed away on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 88 years of age.

    A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 9th, 2015 at 2:00pm at the South Peace United Church, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, with afternoon tea to follow.

    Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Kalamalka Rotary, Box 113, Station Main, Vernon, BC, V1T 6M1 in support of a project in Africa, where Dr. Harding had donated his medical equipment and books.

  • Elizabeth Moffatt

    Elizabeth Moffatt

    Peacefully passed away in hospital at Carleton Place, Ontario, on April 23, 2015, in her 95th year, predeceased by her husband of 60 years John Moffatt. Loving mother of Hope of Fort McMurray, AB, Brenda (Howard) of Nanaimo, BC, Judi, Gord (Sheila) and Cheryl (Gerry). Dear grandmother of David (Tracy), Craig, Erich (Teressa), Jason (Dana), Jesse, Jordon, Joshua (Lauren), Blake (Christa), Brandi, Lainey (Ian), Darwyn, Odessa, Tiah and Judge. Great-grandmother of 14. She will also be remembered by many nieces, nephews and friends. Predeceased by her daughter Doris, sons Bob and Stephen and her sister Gertrude Ferrier. Friends visited with the family at the Alan R. Barker Funeral Home, 19 McArthur Ave. Carleton Place on Sunday April 26, 2015, and a funeral service was held at Zion Memorial United Church, Franklin Street, Carleton Place on Monday, April 27 at 2:00 p.m. with Reverend Jim Baldwin officiating. Internment at United Cemeteries. Donations to Zion Memorial United Church or the Carleton Place Hospital Foundation would be greatly appreciated. The family would like to thank all second floor nursing staff at the Carleton Place Hospital and Dr. Janice Gray. www.barkerfh.com

  • Mary Gay Brooks

    Mary Gay Brooks

    March 12, 1943 - April 17, 2015

    Mary Gay passed away peacefully in the Palliative Care Unit at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital on April 17, 2015, with close friends by her side.

    Mary Gay was born March 12, 1943, in Sudbury, Ontario. She is predeceased by her parents Esther (Hanna) and Harry Pettibone, her step-sister Aileen (and Jim) Smith. She is survived by Bob (and Sue) Smith of Arnprior, ON, and Joanne Wright of Hamilton. She is also survived by her half-brothers, Wayne (and Nancy) Stobo of Halifax, NS, and Dennis (and Brenda) Stobo of Sudbury, ON, and half-sister Joyce (and Dietmar) Koppisch of North Bay, ON.

    She was educated at the Ontario College of Art and Design, University of Toronto, and completed her Masters of Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. She enjoyed a 32-year career as a teacher and visual arts consultant with the Toronto District School Board. Her favourite educational opportunities were from worldwide travel experiences.

    She fell in love with the west coast of BC while on holidays and chose Gabriola Island for her home in her retirement years. 

    She has lived here for the past 16 years and enjoyed making her own art. Many on Gabriola will remember her joyful and colourful paintings featuring flowers as seen on greeting cards, on many beautiful sets for Gabriola Players productions and, most recently, in her self-published book called My Colouring Book.

    Oh, how you will be missed! 

     Condolences may be offered at telfordsburialandcremationcentre.com or telfordn@shaw.ca.

    A private cremation ceremony was held for family. A celebration of Mary Gay’s life will be held at a future date.

  • John Hague

    John Hague

    John died March 31, 2015, after a lengthy stay in Victoria General Hospital. He was predeceased by his mother Patricia in 2014. He is survived by his father Louis, his wife Barbara and their children Cameron (Jennifer), Merran (Roy) and Jennica, and three grandchildren (Julia, Nathan and Arianna). He will also be missed by his sister Louise (Grant) and brothers Phillip (Madeleine) and David (Louise), and many nieces and nephews. 

    John was born in Edmonton where he graduated with a BA from the University of Alberta. He became a chartered accountant with, what was then, Clarkson Gordon, and spent the majority of his career with the Public Utilities Commission. It was during these years that he developed a passion for the environment and the drive to be actively involved in the democratic public process. 

    In 2007, John and Barbara moved to Gabriola Island where he remained active in politics both locally and provincially. He was passionate about protecting and preserving what he believed was the paradise around the Salish Sea. 

    He became an active participant in the development of the local Gabriola Radio Society CKGI and was a lifelong learner, regularly attending Vancouver Island University as a senior student. 

    John embraced life with humour and passion. He loved his piece of heaven here on Gabriola. 

    He will be remembered for his articulate defence of his political beliefs, his desire to protect the environment and his love of learning. All who knew John would agree that he lived with the courage of his convictions. He will be greatly missed as a loving father and husband. 

    A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 13 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the Gabriola Golf Club on Gabriola Island. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

  • Donald Louis Bickerton

    Donald Louis Bickerton

    Nov. 27, 1933 - Apr. 11, 2015

    Don passed away suddenly at his home on Gabriola. His love of life, family, golf, friends and Gabriola were as large as his family. He will always be remembered for his kindness and fun-loving wit. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. 

    Don will forever be remembered by his loving wife, Beverley, children, Debra, Douglas (Amanda) and Pat (Deb); grandchildren Kyla, Jarrod and Cole; sisters Neta and Shirley and sister-in-law Tierra; brothers Jack (Vi), Keith (Joyce); many nieces, nephews, cousins and beloved friends. He was predeceased by his parents, John and Margaret; in-laws Harry and Hedy; brother Brian and many aunts and uncles. 

    In lieu of flowers, donations “In Memoriam” can be made to the Gabriola Health Care Foundation (www.ghcs.ca).

  • Frank Peter John Velsen

    Frank Peter John Velsen

    Aug. 12, 1930 - Mar. 28, 2015

    Frank Peter John Velsen, 84, of Gabriola Island, quietly passed away at the Nanaimo Seniors Village on March 28, 2015.

    Frank was born August 12, 1930, in the Netherlands to Pieter and Margarite (Quast) Velsen, He was raised in Indonesia where he spent most of his early childhood. He came to Canada on one of the immigrant ships, landing in Halifax in 1954.

    Frank was a prolific reader and was continually learning. He was known for his endless sense of humour and love of nature - the songs of the birds and the howl of the wolf were music to his ears. He had the ability to enjoy life wherever it took him. Frank worked at a job he truly loved at the Nanaimo Biological Station for 30 years where, in addition to other accomplishments, he pioneered new photography techniques of salmon egg development. He always looked forward to spending time with his family and friends and he always had time for a chat, a joke and a smile.

    Frank is survived by his wife, Anne Velsen (Brown); his sister and her husband, Jan Roelof & Eveline Branbergen; daughter, Christine Velsen; son; Martin Velsen, son and wife; Adam & Josee Velsen, grandchildren; Keana & Kaleb and brother in-law and wife, Doug and Kathy Brown

    He was a true gentleman, forever in our hearts! 

    At Frank’s request, there will only be a small gathering of family and close friends honoring and celebrating his life.

  • Betty M. Castell  [nee Vallieres]

    Betty M. Castell [nee Vallieres]

    Feb. 11, 1933 – Dec. 18, 2014

    It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our dear wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She will be dearly missed by all that knew her but especially by her husband and best friend of 61 years, Robert Castell. 

    Robert and Betty were married April 24, 1953 in Vancouver, B. C. They had three daughters’ Debbie, Linda and Kim. They resided in the lower mainland until the late sixties when they relocated to Gabriola Island and remained for the rest of Betty’s life. After a brief, brave battle with cancer she left us on December 18, 2014. 

    Betty’s main focus in life was her family but especially her husband Robert. They spent many happy years together: raising their family, boating and fishing, gardening and later in life RVing. 

    Betty was predeceased by her parents and grandson in 2011. She is survived by her husband Robert, 3 daughters Debbie [Don] Brown, Linda Smith and Kim [Robert] Mitchell, 6 grandchildren, 8 greatgrandchildren and extended family. 

    A life well lived leaves its gentle pattern on the hearts of all and the world is a lovelier place because one person touched it with warmth, goodness and grace. 

    We will love and miss you always. 

    A ‘Celebration of Life’ will be held at a future date.