Obituaries

  • Carol Lynne (Lewis) Bickell

    Carol Lynne (Lewis) Bickell

    Dec. 7, 1941 - Jan. 9, 2020

    Born on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941, after a seven-year battle with cancer, Carol passed away peacefully in her sleep at home on Gabriola Island on January 9, 2020.

    Carol received her RN from the University of Alberta in 1962. Married Harvey Bickell in 1964 and nursed in Edmonton, Tripoli, Libya, and Calgary for a number of years. They traveled extensively in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

    Later, Carol obtained a B.Sc in microbiology and, after studying accounting, managed the office of a public company while Harvey and his crew mined gold in the Klondike and Alaska.

    Carol is survived by her brother, Jack Lewis of Stony Plain, Alberta and sister Elizabeth Lewis of Nanaimo, BC, and many, many nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

    Carol was most grateful to be cared for in her home by a fine group of nurses, especially Tanis Troutman and Susan Purser of Gabriola. Maureen Zdancewicz of Nanaimo Community Services and the Central Island Health Care team who, together, made it possible to be in her home with family and friends. Her keen mind and perfect recall were with her as always.

    A Celebration of Carol’s life to welcome all friends and family is planned at her home on Ricardo Road on the island on January 25, at 2:00pm.

  • Dorothy Arlene Fife 

    Dorothy Arlene Fife 

    Sept. 28, 1933  - Jan. 5, 2020

    It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of our sweet beautiful mother, grandmother, Aunt. 

    Dorothy Arlene Fife (nee Edwards), Arlene had the kindest soul, and biggest heart she was there to help anyone in need and was a very selfless person and devoted to her family.

    Her bright smile and her contagious laugh would lighten any mood or room.

    Arlene was predeceased by her husband Bill in 2008 and son Jim in 1989. 

    Arlene will be sadly missed by her son David (Donna) Didsbury AB, Bill (Shannon) Wainwright AB, Patti Livie (Steve) Gabriola Island BC. Many Grandchildren Laurie Waiting(Dave) Didsbury AB, Dave Fife Calgary AB, Ryan Fife Didsbury AB, Christina Fife-Zayak (Jon) Sylvan Lake AB, Angela Hepworth (Jon) Red Deer AB, Katelyn Livie Victoria BC.  Step Grandchildren Janelle Hebiert (Brett) Didsbury AB, Laura Simpson Calgary AB, Grant Friesen Wainwright AB. Melissa Glade Calgary AB, Rainbow Miller (Paul) Montreal, Jason Livie (Carolyn) Montreal.  Arlene also had 22 beautiful great grandchildren.

    Arlene was born in Olds Alberta and moved to Kingston Ontario with her parents, then moving to Vancouver which she loved. As a young woman she moved to Innisfail to look after her grandmother, that is where she met her husband Bill. 

    The family moved to Didsbury, where Arlene worked at the Didsbury Hospital for many years.

     In 2003 Arlene and Bill moved to Gabriola Island.

    It was a magical place for both of them; Arlene made many friends and a care giver at heart. She was a hero to all of her family. 

    Mom spread your wings and sore with the wind, we have another angel looking after us.

    There will be not service on Gabriola as per Arlene’s request but there will be a celebration of life in Alberta with all her loving family.

  • Enid Eleanor Halldorson

    Enid Eleanor Halldorson

    May 19, 1919 - Dec. 19, 2019

    It is with gentle sorrow that we announce the passing of Enid Eleanor Halldorson (nee Krause) at age 100 years, 7 months. Enid was clear of mind, peaceful of heart, and fearless in spirit when she made her transition at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, enveloped by the love of her daughters Rhonda Brown, Lynette Jackson, Danita Halldorson (Jeffrey Sloan), and Carma Keats, and her beloved grandson, Tomas Jackson. 

    Pre-deceased by husband Halldor Halldorson (Mindy) in 1973, and son-in-law Rick Jackson in October, 2019, Enid is mourned by Rick and Lynette’s family (daughter Angela, sons Erin, Chris, and Tomas Jackson, daughter-in law Jessica Gamez, and grandchildren Sara Smiley, Isabella and Mateo Jackson), step-granddaughter Jana van Geest-Sloan, grand-godsons Apitak Innuksuk and Nathan Sobko, three generations of Krause and Halldorson nieces and nephews, and a lifetime of friends.

    Enid was born in Jansen, Saskatchewan on May 19, 1919 to father Daniel and mother Wanda Krause (nee Miller). The twelfth of thirteen children, Enid excelled as a vocalist from an early age. A voracious reader, she graduated from high school at 15, winning many awards while furthering her studies. 

    Enid joined the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II and, as “Corporal Krausie”, taught and served in the administration of the Strategic Flight Training School near Calgary. She often performed during the war, singing on the CBC, RCAF Radio, and for Victory Bond Tours across Canada.

    After the war, Enid married and raised four daughters, first in Wynyard and then in Regina, Saskatchewan, managing family demands with grace, precision and perseverance. A gracious hostess, her home was always open to family and friends. She continued performing as a soloist, choir member, and with her four daughters, while participating in Masonic fraternal organizations in Saskatchewan (Grand Marshall, Order of the Eastern Star; Queen of Anqet Temple, Daughters of the Nile; Grand Guardian, International Order of Job’s Daughters). After her husband died, Enid pursued a career as a legal secretary and certified Yoga teacher, teaching in the Kootenays, Ottawa and the Oak Bay Monterey Centre in Victoria, BC. She travelled extensively across Canada, the United States, Europe, Egypt, the Holy Land, Australia, New Zealand, and Southern Pacific Islands, and was one of the first Canadian tourists to visit China in the 1970s.

    After a number of lengthy stays on Gabriola, in 2002 Enid moved to live permanently with Rick, Lynette and Tomas. She soon took great delight in participating in island community activities, particularly at the Rollo Seniors’ Centre, where she developed lasting friendships at the Discussion Group, PHC’s Stepping Up/Stepping Out program, and monthly seniors’ luncheons. She sang in Gabriola choirs with conductors Jen Turner, Amber Handley, and most recently Leah Hokanson’s Song Keepers. For the past three Remembrance Day Cenotaph ceremonies Enid was honoured to recite In Flanders Fields as a proud representative of the Gabriola Island Veterans Association. Her “Straight Outta Gabriola” interview last February with the Gabriola Elementary kindergarten class and Ken Gurr is a cherished record of her legendary delight in engaging with children.

    A special note of appreciation is extended by Enid’s family to the Gabriola Island Home Support team of home care workers. Enid’s sight-impaired final years of life were enriched by your daily fresh air walks together, and even more by your gentle friendships. She loved each of you wholeheartedly.

    Enid was a confidante and true inspiration to many. Beautiful, brilliant and wise, with an active, open, and curious mind, she was a woman who loved life. She greeted everyone with a wide smile, joyful laugh, kind word, and arms wide open for a hug. Her steadfast Christian faith was reflected in her compassion, her extraordinary capacity to forgive, and her final message: “I love you… Love each other”. We are fortunate to have loved and been loved by this dignified and resilient woman, and are so very proud of our remarkable Enid Eleanor. We will honour her memory always. 

    Enid’s memorial service will be held on Gabriola Island, BC, on January 12, 2020, at the Rollo Centre, 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in memory of Enid Halldorson to People for a Healthy Community, in support of the Hot Lunch Program for the children at Gabriola’s Elementary School. Cheques payable to PHC may be sent to People for a Healthy Community, PO Box 325, Gabriola, BC, V0R 1X0 referencing in memory of Enid Halldorson; deposits can also be made to People for a Healthy Community referencing in memory of Enid Halldorson at Coastal Community Credit Union Gabriola Branch or online at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/11348

  • Mike Thompson

    Mike Thompson

    1934-2019

    It is with profound sadness we find we must live the rest of our lives without our incredibly sweet, kind and caring husband, father, brother, uncle & grandfather. Wife of 38 years, Joann, his sons Art, Bill (Tara) and Mike Jr. (Laura), his sister Joan Fraser and niece Bev Irvine (Den McGinnis), his step-children Laura (Mike Jr.), Randy Miron (Trish) and Adele Garofano (Mark). 10 grandchildren Kris Henry, Ken Thompson (Erin) Kyla Shelefontiuk (Jason), Kris Heckert (Tash), Jena Rostas (Jason), Jesse Kirbyson (Jeremy), Katrina Dobson (Andrew), Mike Thompson III (Rhea), Jessica & Brent Thompson. 16 great grandchildren Rhiannon Henry (Dylan), Tyra Henry, Bradley & Kolton Thompson, Nathan Heckert, Lira Llarena, Holly Ross, Kinslee & Presley Heckert, Ruby & Evie Rostas, Jeff & Jordan Kirbyson, Aydian & Ashton Dobson & Karsyn Samson. Great, great grandson Carter Speidel. Mike spent his life loving and protecting his family and serving his community. He spent 12 years working at the CPR and then put on a suit & tie and joined the insurance business. Mike & Joann founded Coastal Insurance Services in 1983 and retired to Gabriola Island in 2001. Mike was born in New Westminster and raised in Pitt Meadows. He moved to Port Coquitlam where he spent most of his life, raised his sons and served on City Council for 14 years. Mike was an avid coach of sports, including fastball and competitive bowling. He travelled to all Canadian Provinces, most of the United States and many foreign countries but he spent his last days in his most loved place by the sea on Gabriola Island. He will be SO, SO missed. Arrangements for a Celebration will be in Port Coquitlam on a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Hospital Foundation in your community. Mike would have loved that.

  • Bernard William Wohlleben, P.Eng. 

    Bernard William Wohlleben, P.Eng. 

    January 25, 1935 - November 17, 2019

    Bernard was born in Vancouver, B.C., January 25, 1935, the eldest son of Kai and Mildred Wohlleben (deceased). He is survived by his sister, Ann Fales (David Reid), dedicated caregiver brother Stephen Kai Wohlleben (Mary), daughter Fabienne Synnott (Jérôme Lacroix), step daughter Tammy Lee Lofstrom (Randy), and exwife Judy Burrows, six grandchildren, seven nieces and nephews and several great nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, wife Tina Dykstra, brother Kenneth Wohlleben and sister-in-law Sandy Wohlleben.

    Bernard attended the University of British Columbia and earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree. 

    His engineering career included extensive travel in Quebec, Germany and Northern Europe while employed by ALCAN. He returned to Vancouver and established Xerion Metals, specializing in innovative industrial furnace design and manufacture. In 1989 he and Tina retired to Full Moon Farm on Gabriola Island, B.C. 

    Bernard was a passionate world traveller, speaking five languages and using all available modes of conveyance (cargo ship, motorcycle, schooner, bus, airplane, foot, etc.) to explore the world. He was an accomplished sailplane pilot and parasailed in the Alps on his 75th birthday! He was a valued Lion’s Club member and a regular participant in the Spanish Conversation Group and the Tango Club on Gabriola. He will be missed by many.

    The family is planning an informal Memorial gathering for the spring. Bequests in the memory of Bernard can be forwarded to Lions Foundation of Canada.

  • Richard Wayne Jackson

    Richard Wayne Jackson

    Oct. 17, 1947 –  Oct. 31, 2019

    It is with profound respect and love that we memorialize the life of Richard Wayne Jackson. Rick died peacefully at age 72 on October 31, 2019 at his forest home on Gabriola, enveloped by the love of his wife Lynette, daughter Angela, and sons Erin, Christopher, and Tomas, his brothers Don and Jay, mother-in-law Enid, daughter-in-law Jessica, and grandchildren Sara, Isabella, and Mateo. He is deeply mourned by his vast network of extended family, friends, and national and international colleagues.

    Born in St. Thomas, Ontario on October 17, 1947 to mother Lillian Grace and father Charles Edward Jackson, Rick began his life of dedicated public service at the age of 17, when he joined the Royal Canadian Navy, followed by a posting to Chile in the service of the Canadian international diplomatic corps, where he experienced first-hand the destructive trampling of human rights by the Pinochet regime.  He subsequently devoted his life to promoting  the human rights and inherent dignity of all peoples, both nationally and internationally, serving as the International Director of the Canadian Labour Congress, the head of the Immigration and Refugee Board for Western Canada, and Global Expert on Refugee Determination in Latin America for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

     During his international career Rick had the great privilege of conversing with some of the world’s top political and organizational leaders.  He led international delegations in dialogue with several heads of government including Mikael Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, and Nelson Mandela. In 1989 Rick organized and hosted the visit of Nobel Laureate Lech Walesa to Canada, and was with Mr. Walesa when the world first celebrated the news of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  As the former head of the Immigration and Refugee Board for Western Canada, Rick managed seven courts and supervised more than 18 independent immigration adjudicators (judges) responsible for deciding more than 3000 matters per year.  Many of the innovations Rick put in place during this assignment became national practices and continue to assist the Canadian government to improve its effectiveness in dealing with immigration backlogs. 

    In later years Rick extended his international efforts as the Americas Representative for the International Association of Refugee Law Judges, which promotes the development and application of international legal standards to the refugee determination processes of countries worldwide. He was recognized by the United Nations as their Global Expert in Refugee Determination for Latin America, and successfully created and led a multi-nation initiative promoting fair and efficient standards for refugee determination and treatment in Central and South America.

    In addition to his devotion to public service, Rick had a passion for mentorship, and for 40 years effectively facilitated positive and lasting change in others by applying state-of-the-art human change technology to maximum effect.  Intimately familiar with the core competencies, challenges, and creative possibilities of effective personal and organizational leadership, Rick supported leaders in many fields to excel while sharing his first-hand appreciation for the stresses associated with rapid change in the 21st century.

    Rick Jackson was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, a gifted public speaker and raconteur, an international advocate for fairness and equality, a tireless champion of human rights, and a powerful voice raised in support of the inherent dignity of every person, and particularly the most vulnerable among us. He infused his work and relationships with his unique blend of humor, compassion, and acceptance, and exemplified his personal conviction that self-responsibility is the key to positive transformation.  He continues to be deeply loved and cherished by his beloved wife Lynette, his devoted family, and all whose lives have been blessed by his presence and grace. 

    A memorial service will be held on Gabriola Island, BC, on December 1, 2019,  at the Rollo Centre, 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the Jackson family asks that donations be made to the Rick Jackson Memorial Fund, at the Gabriola Ecumenical Society (gabriolaecumenical.com), a non-profit organization that encourages and nurtures spiritual questing and fosters inclusive community. Rick dedicated his life to exploring  the challenges of our times with imagination, creativity, and with respect and compassion for all creation and the world is a better place for all of his contributions.  This, too, is the mission of the Gabriola Ecumenical Society.   Cheques payable to the Gabriola Ecumenical Society may be sent to the Rick Jackson Memorial Fund, 610 Rollo Road, Gabriola, BC, V0R 1X3; deposits can also be made to the Rick Jackson Memorial Fund at Coastal Community Credit Union Gabriola Branch or on line at https://gabriolaecumenical.com

     “Good night sweet prince:

    And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!”

    ~ Shakespeare

  • Tom Carter

    Tom Carter

    On Sept 12, Tom passed away suddenly at home. His partner in life and love Sharon Arscott would like to invite those who know us to drop by our home for a gathering to remember Tom and help send him off on his next great adventure.

    Please join us on Saturday, October 12 from 2pm to 5pm at
    1157 North Road.

  • John Bateson

    John Bateson

    Apr. 18, 1939 - Sept. 22, 2019

    After 80 years of good living, John Bateson has sailed on to distant shores.  He will be remembered well by his wife, Elaine, his family in England, including daughter Lin, Alasdair,  grandchildren Della, Darius and Damien, his family of nieces and nephews in BC and his many friends on Gabriola and around the world.

    John’s journey began in Leigh, England on April 18, 1939.  He grew-up in the south of England and joined the Royal Air Force when he was 17.  He served in the Middle East and Malta. 

    John trained as an architectural draftsman in England, but decided to emigrate to Canada in 1966 where he went on to have an interesting and varied career in sales and business, including owning and operating an electronics store in Vancouver. Later he established Travel Canada Inc. with Elaine, where they travelled together across North America promoting tourism destinations in Canada.

    He joined the Jib Set Sailing School, where he became an instructor and met Elaine.  John shared his passion for sailing with his students as they learned to safely sail and navigate the waters around the Gulf Islands.    Eventually he operated a flotilla sailing operation based in Maple Bay on Vancouver Island.   Later, he taught offshore sailing as well as doing offshore yacht deliveries.  John and Elaine moved to Gabriola Island in 1984 where he operated a private boat moorage facility in Degnen Bay.   

    It wasn’t always smooth sailing, as a heart attack in 1990 ended John’s dreams to fly again.  He never got to pilot the aircraft he built together with his great friend, Peter Donahoe.   Instead, he became an avid model aircraft builder and flyer, which he enjoyed with his friends in the Gabriola Balsa Busters Flying Club.  John loved spending time with his many friends on Gabriola and Vancouver Island, including the members of the Friday Lunch Bunch, the Old English Car Club and the Gabriola Cruisers. 

    Elaine would like to thank Dr. Francois Bosman and the staff of the Gabriola Medical Clinic for the all the good care over the past few years, the paramedics on Gabriola Island and the Emergency Department staff at Nanaimo General Hospital. 

    Please join us as we raise a glass to toast John on his final voyage.  A “Going Away” party will be held Saturday, October 26 from 3 to 5pm at the Gabriola Golf and Country Club.

  • Christine Jean Swanson

    Christine Jean Swanson

    May 1942 - September 2019

    Christine Jean Swanson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in May of 1942. She spent her early years at Freshfield RAF base near Liverpool where her father was a flight instructor. Her mother had been fashion artist in New York City and was a print collector and dealer. Chris emigrated to Canada in 1947, and has lived in Montreal, Southern Ontario, Saskatchewan, California, Arizona, and Vancouver. Since 2014 she lived on Gabriola Island. She had always wanted to live in British Colombia.

    Christine was, like her father, a passionate nature-lover. Fearless and free-spirited, she especially liked traveling and camping around British Colombia. Seeing wild birds and animals really delighted her. She loved her cats and birds very much, and the family home was like a zoo of rescued wild and domestic animals like raccoons, crows, opossums, foxes, and even a peregrine falcon. Chris loved to play the guitar and sing gently.

    Chris was an accomplished artist. She attended Ontario College of Art and graduated from Ontario Teachers College, working in graphic art for the Toronto Library and elsewhere. She was a very creative person and expressed herself often by drawing or sketching with pencil, chalk, charcoal, and crayon. Her artwork was ethereal and warm. She lived to draw.

    Chris loved her family very, very much. She was a warm, caring, and genuinely good-natured soul. She is survived by her children Michael and Adam, and her husband and caregiver, Lorne, and will be dearly missed by all of them. There are no words to describe this kind of loss.

    Christine was avidly interested in aboriginal cultures from around the world, including Native American, and collected art, stories, and literature about them. She was a highly sensitive and spiritual person, a tradition in her Scottish family, for whom dreams, visions, and premonitions had great significance. 

    A memorial event will be held on Gabriola Island. The time and place will be announced shortly. You are invited to come and pay your respects.

  • Joy (Joyce) Carol Olsen

    Joy (Joyce) Carol Olsen

    May 7, 1951 - August 9, 2019

    We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Joy Olsen, born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. 

    Joy made her transition cocooned in the peace, love and beauty of her home, on Gabriola Island, BC.

    Pre-deceased by her former partner: Paul Murray, granddaughter: Ocean and step-father Russell Clarke, Joy is survived by her life partner: Zulis Yalte, Gabriola, daughter: Danica (Austen), grandchildren: Kai, Fjor, step-grandchildren: Chloe, Hunter, Amber all of Albany, Western Australia, father: Louie Olsen, mother: Joyce Clarke, brother: Byron (Lana), sisters: April (Rob), Rose (Greg) and a large extended family of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and life-long friends, all of Saskatchewan. 

    In Saskatchewan Joy grew up loving nature and worked as a lifeguard and camp counsellor. She completed Secretarial training and worked for Sask Tel, Prince Albert. At age 20, Joy’s flying lessons developed into a life-long passion for planes and flying. Her first airline job was with Norcan Air. At 22 Joy holidayed in BC, fell in love with the sea and beaches and made the coast her home for the rest of her life. 

    Joy began working for Pacific Western Airlines in Vancouver in 1974, met Paul and In 1976, gave birth to the light of her life, Danica. Joy and Paul surrounded Danica in such a loving environment that Danica describes it as magical. 

    PWA, absorbed by Canadian Airlines, was taken over by Air Canada. Joy remained employed in the Airline industry for over 35 years. She worked in various areas: Reservations, Lead Staff Trainer, Health and Safety officer and Ground Crew. Joy was strongly involved in the CAW union. Concurrent with working, Joy became a Girl Guide Leader and then a GG Commissioner for 15 years. She loved teaching and leading the Guides on wildlife adventures. Joy, with her family and friends enjoyed nature, the Vancouver beaches or for many winters, extended family holidays in Mexico. 

    The birth of grand daughter Ocean was a highlight for Joy. Sadly Ocean left the world early. Joy’s relationship with Paul dissolved and she moved to Commercial Street in Vancouver. She was happy in that Cosmopolitan environment with new interests and friends. She rekindled an interest in Pottery that began with lessons at age 12. Joy devoted herself to hand building sculptural forms in porcelain clay at the Trout Lake Recreation Centre and taking night courses at the Emily Carr College of Art in Design in Drawing, and Painting. During that period Joy was thrilled with the arrival of grandson, Kai. She was committed to being with her new grandson and family every year, including after their move to Australia. 

    In 2002 Joy met Zulis and they became Life Partners in 2006. Upon retirement in 2007, Joy moved to Gabriola to join Zulis in a life of exploring nature and creating art in their shared studio and creative community. Joy thrived and she and Zulis cherished each other and their life together. 

    Joy studied with master potters, was in several prodigious art shows and became an accomplished ceramic artist (and glaze maker) in her own right. (www.joyolsen.ca). 

    Joy maintained a connection with Saskatchewan potters. This dovetailed with renewing Prairie family and friend ties when Joy bought a prairie summer cottage that she and her brother creatively reconstructed. 

    Always curious, Joy studied the diversity of natural forms, thought, cultural practices and creative expression. She was an accomplished chef, gardener and seamstress and enjoyed sharing food, cooking, singing or fabric projects and social times with family and friends. Joy further inquired into: spiritual and self awareness practices, the nature of clay bodies and chemical reactions, the nature of relationship and embodiment, women’s empowerment and feminism to nam]e a few. 

    Joy contributed to empowering people both through her union work, quietly through various venues in her community and through her art. Joy’s art offered nature ‘a voice’ by drawing awareness both to nature’s diverse strength and beauty, as well as it’s fragility. 

    In 2011 Joy was diagnosed with cancer, Melanoma. She approached it from many angles until in Jan 2019, when it became Metastatic and aggressive. Family and friends drew near and Danica returned with her new baby Fjor who gave Joy many heart warming moments and laughter. Joy met her illness with an extraordinary grace, valour, determination, humour and a warm appreciation for all who supported her.

    Joy is remembered as a kind, loving, gentle soul with an at times, irreverent humour that would surprise and delight. She touched many lives through her work and diverse interests. 

    The legacy Joy leaves in addition to her daughter/grandchildren, is one of love, kindness and inspirational art. 

    You are Forever in our Hearts Joy.

    Fly Free Bright Spirit!

     A Celebration of Life will be held on Gabriola Island at the Netloft, 1960 Murray Road, October 19, 2019, 2pm, doors open 1:30. 

    Donations may be made to: The Gabriola Commons (http://www.gabriolacommons.ca/donations.html) or The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre: https://www.niwra.org/

    Sincere thanks to our loving friends/family, Drs Mellisa Gillis, Victoria and Nanaimo Cancer clinic teams, Cline Medical clinic, Alden Clinic, the Nanaimo Palliative Care team, The Gabriola Ambulance crew and Loan cupboard, HC nurse: Maureen, Brenda Moffatt RMT, Gabriola Hospice and the wonderful caregivers who so lovingly tended Joy. 

    We are forever grateful.