Obituaries

  • Gerald (Gerry) Sayers

    Gerald (Gerry) Sayers

    July 4, 1937 to June 19, 2015

    Gerald (Gerry) Sayers, July 4, 1937, to June 19, 2015, passed away peaceful in Victoria General Hospital comforted by the presence of his loving family. He was the beloved husband of Grace, his wife of 52 years, and caring father of his two sons, Jeremy and wife Catherine, and Christopher; he was also the doting grandfather to Christopher’s two sons Garrett and Rowan. He is survived by his sisters Innes Roberts and husband Brian, Millie Sloan and her husband Bill, and many nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind numerous cousins in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, where he was born.

    Gerry graduated from Queens University Belfast in 1961 with a degree in Civil Engineering and immigrated to Canada the same year. After several years working on diverse engineering projects in Ontario he moved his young family to BC, establishing his own engineering and consulting company in Vancouver. 

    He retired from his successful career in 1997, moving to Gabriola Island where he enjoyed the rest of his life in beautiful surroundings.

    Gerry was blessed with a keen intellect and enquiring mind, which led him to many pursuits throughout his life. As a young man he attained his pilot’s license as a volunteer with the Queens University Air Squadron. His first love was flying and later in life he applied his interest to airflow over a sail rather than a wing. Many enjoyable years were spent on his sailboat with friends and family, exploring the BC coast.

    Injuries from his earlier athletic pursuits precluded continuation of his accomplished squash game in middle age, but he learned to enjoy the game of golf in later life. He was an avid reader and as a consequence possessed a prodigious general knowledge. In addition, he had an abiding interest in current affairs and was continually abreast of the issues, expressing his views with great pragmatism.

    Gerry always held a genuine interest in peoples’ lives, and this, together with his amiable nature, considerate manner, and not the least, conversational skills, resulted in a wide circle of friends from all walks of life.

    Gerry was a kind, generous man, and there are many people whose lives will be diminished by his absence.

  • David Lloyd Dewinetz

    David Lloyd Dewinetz

    Dec. 16, 1941 – June 7, 2015

    It is with great sorrow we announce the sudden passing of David at his home on Gabriola Island. He was born in Canyon Creek, Alberta, to John and Violet Dewinetz and grew up in his hometown of White Rock, BC. He is pre-deceased by his parents and his brothers Mel, Gordon and Kenny. He is survived by his loving son Troy (Katharine), Troy’s mother Lori, his former wife Bernice, his brothers Don (Jody), Richard (Evelyn), and Bill (Joan), his sisters Judy, Yvonne (Mike Meyer), and Dianne (Dave Swansburg), many nieces and nephews and a multitude of friends that loved him. 

    David’s remarkable work ethic led him to have a very successful 45-year career in the grocery business. Starting as a clerk for Super Valu, he worked his way up to Vice-President of Kelly Douglas. He later owned and operated his own supermarkets where he mentored and started many employees on their own career paths in the industry. Guided by a faith in God and his own generous heart, he found much happiness volunteering in the communities in which he lived. He was a loving father that was always there for his son. David enjoyed being social and spending time with friends and family. He had a soft spot for children and animals, and enjoyed cars and Elvis. His BBQ salmon was legendary. He was an excellent fisherman, enjoyed golfing, and coaching and watching hockey. He is still waiting for his Canucks to win the Cup.

    A Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 PM on June 23rd, 2015 at Victory Memorial Park Funeral Centre, 14831 28th Avenue in South Surrey. A small Celebration of Life reception will be held on Gabriola Island on Saturday, June 27 at 1:00 PM at the Gabriola Golf Course. 

    In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of BC or a charity of your choice. Condolences may be offered at www.victoryfuneralcentre.ca

  • Peter Heinz Max Lissack

    Peter Heinz Max Lissack

    March 31, 1928 – June 8, 2015

    Peter passed away peacefully at home on Gabriola Island with family by his side. He considered his 26 years living on Gabriola the best years of his life. He was a dedicated parishioner at Our Lady of Victory, which included being a former lay presider and member of the church council. Under the umbrella of the island’s Agricultural Society, he founded the Gabriola Garden Club in 1991. Starting with only 12 members, it currently boasts over 150 dedicated green-thumbs. 

    Over the years, Peter contributed many humorous articles to our island paper, regaling the locals with antics of his many pets. As a youngster in Berlin, Germany, Peter enjoyed biking extensively throughout the city and could frequently be found visiting the Tiergarten and local zoo. By age 16, he was sent to join the war where he was captured by the Russians. After returning from the Eastern Front, Peter apprenticed in agriculture. In 1951, upon completion of his apprenticeship, Peter immigrated to Canada. His first employment was on a farm in New Brunswick followed by landscape gardening in Montreal. In 1952 Peter headed west to Vancouver. After an assortment of jobs, he acquired his first service station in 1954. An interest in machinery and mechanics led him to a 33-year association with Shell Canada until his retirement in 1987. 

    Married in 1963, Peter and his wife, Sue, raised their family in Vancouver before moving to Gabriola in 1989. Predeceased by his parents, his sister Anita and brother Karlos, he is survived by his wife Sue (nee Lawrence), son Stephen (Melissa), daughter Kathryn (Barry) and granddaughters Isabelle Lissack and Ruby Nelson. He will be greatly missed. 

    Funeral mass will be held on Saturday, June 20, at 1:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Victory church (the log church at Silva Bay) followed by a reception at the Gabriola Golf Club from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

  • Albert James Reed

    Albert James Reed

    Feb. 11, 1942 – June 1, 2015

    Albert Reed of Gabriola Island, BC, passed away on June 1, 2015. Albert was born in New Westminster, BC, on February 11, 1942.

    He is survived by Gail, his loving wife of 50 years, son Eric and his family Angela, Hailey, Jaycie and Holley, daughter Lee Anne and her family Rich, Abbey and Zach, brother Dave and sister-in-law Paula. His nieces Elizabeth, April and Sarah, nephew Mike, his cousins and his many friends on Gabriola Island, in Deep Cove, on the Lower Mainland and across Canada, will also deeply miss him.

    Albert was a brilliant engineer and scientist, a great teacher and mentor, a loving husband, father, gramps and uncle. His life was defined by his intellect, wisdom, humour, his outreach to others and his gift to develop strong lasting relationships both professionally and personally. 

    He loved working for the Gabriola community through dedicated service with the Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department.  

    Albert was passionate about The United Church of Canada. He saw no contradiction between being a scientist and a person of faith. He lived his faith and spoke up for justice.

    For his entire life, he always role modeled the following wisdom:

    When you encounter difficulties, go ahead.

    When there is merit, give it to others.

    Learn from those who know more and

    Help those who know less.

    Celebration of Albert’s life will be held on Saturday, June 20, 1:00 p.m. at Gabriola United Church. Reception will follow at Gabriola Fire Hall.

    Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to The United Church of Canada, Mission and Service Fund: www.united-church.ca/

    Thank you to the Gabriola First Responders and ambulance crew and to the nurses at Nanaimo Regional Hospital whose compassionate care provided a gentle cocoon for our family.

  • Felicitas Metz

    Felicitas Metz

    October 4, 1927 - May 13, 2015

    It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Felicitas (Feli) Metz who was our dearly loved mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend.

    Feli passed away as she wished, peacefully at home on Gabriola Island, with family by her side on May 13, 2015.

    A resident of Gabriola for 37 years she will always be remembered for her sweet laughter, kind generous heart, her love of nature and all its creatures, as well as the beauty she found in the simple pleasures such as a walk in the woods, the singing birds, and playing a great game of cards. Feli’s family and friends alike will miss her competitiveness and amazing card counting skills, often knowing before you, what you held in your hand.

    Resting now in her favorite place by the ocean at Berry Point she will forever live on in all our hearts and in the birds’ song.

    Feli’s family also wish to extend deep gratitude to the medical team and home support for helping us honor her wishes to live out her final days comfortably at home on the island.

  • Dorothy Ursula Graham

    Dorothy Ursula Graham

    July 5, 1924 - May 27, 2015

    It is with great sadness that her family announce Ursula’s passing. 

    Ursula passed away peacefully at Peace Arch Hospital with family at her side. Ursula is predeceased by husband William (“Bill”) and son David; and survived by son James (Candice), grandchildren Sarah, Jack and Leah, sister Margaret, nieces, nephews and their children. 

    Ursula was born in Portsmouth, UK. After enduring WWII in London she followed her sister Margaret to a new life and excitement in Vancouver and here she met her loving husband Bill. 

    Ursula was a tireless contributor to the activities at her son’s school including organizing the Candy Store at the annual May Fair much to the delight of her sons. She was an active member of Beta Sigma Phi where she made many wonderful and longtime friends. 

    Later Ursula and Bill’s retirement took them to Gabriola Island where dinner parties became sport and many friendships blossomed and endured. 

    Ursula’s strength, resilience, energy, humour, and positive attitude touched all around her and she will be greatly missed. 

    Ursula’s ashes will be spread at her cherished Gabriola Island to join with those of her dear husband Bill’s. 

    A Celebration of Life will be held at 4598 W. 1st Avenue, Vancouver on June 7, 2015 from 1pm to 3pm. 

    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division.

  • 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.