Obituaries

  • Dirk Boysen

    Dirk Boysen

    1940-2020

    Our family is saddened to announce the passing of Dirk Boysen on December 9, 2020 at his home on Gabriola Island, BC due to heart failure. He is survived by his wife Eveline, brother Klaus, his first wife Alison, children Mark and Brigit, stepchildren Arnold, Karen, Colin, and Jennifer, and grandchildren Gabriela and Kai, Marcos and Nicolas, Kia and Nadege, Cole and Natalie, and Zachary. Previously departed loved ones include brother Hans-Christian and grandson Matthew.  

    Dirk was born on December 2, 1940 in Hamburg, Germany to Bruno and Sophie Boysen. At 16 he apprenticed his first job in Copenhagen, Denmark. He came to Canada in 1961, arriving in Halifax by boat, and eventually started working in banking in Toronto. In 1968 he was married to Alison Gregory in Montreal and then lived in Oakville, Ontario and Tsawwassen, BC where he raised his family while working in accounting and sales for Weldwood Canada. In 1991 he was married to Eveline Harpain on Salt Spring Island and lived in Richmond, B.C. until 1999 when they moved to Gabriola Island. There they had lived for 21 beautiful years together. 

    Dirk was very athletic, loved soccer, and most enjoyed tennis, winning club championships several times.  In his retirement he loved to travel to warmer climates, spending many winters in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. Dirk and Eveline created a wonderful garden on their island property where they enjoyed hosting their six children and their families. 

    Dirk loved the west coast of Canada and Gulf Islands. A living reef burial will occur in the spring of 2021 on Gabriola Island and a celebration of life in the summer of 2021.

  • Hill, Oliver (Bert)

    Hill, Oliver (Bert)

    February 22, 1930 - November 17, 2020

    It has taken some time for us to put words to paper after our enduring grief and loss of a great Family Man on November 17, 2020.

    Bert had been a Resident of Chartwell Malaspina Care Home in Nanaimo for the past 4 1/2 years where he was enjoying a life of great care and new experiences every day. He passed peacefully with his Care Aid and Nurse at his side, not alone, and having just heard the words of love from his beloved wife, Sandra, over the phone.

    Bert had a full and exciting life of 90 years, enjoying every minute, from the tobacco fields of Southern Ontario at an early age, taking him to the mint fields in Oregon after riding the rails with his childhood friend, Al Town.

    After several years of managing car dealerships in Ontario and Nanaimo; a Tank Commander in the Military; one of the first Reserve/Auxiliary RCMP Officers in Nanaimo, working alongside many of the Regular Members in Policing duties; Allstate Insurance Broker, as well as many varied and interesting occupations along the way, Bert settled into the Real Estate Business, managing Block Bros. and Canada Permanent Trust in Nanaimo, as well as several others, and in the 80’s as Owner/Manager of Island West Realty Ltd. here on Gabriola, initially with Marianne Kristiansen and later with his wife, Sandra, joining him for 14 of those years.

    Bert was an active Member of the RCMP Veteran’s Association; a Private Pilot and Member of COPA, the Canadian Owner’s and Pilot’s Association; an avid fisherman, golfer, dirt bike racer, RV’er and a loving father and husband. He was always thinking of others in the many decisions in his life.

    Bert is survived by his wife, Sandra, of 53 years, Sons, Dennis and Darren (Adeline) and Daughters, Darlene (Roger), Katherine (Garry), and Kristy (Dallas); nine Grandchildren: Taylor, Kennedy, Sheridan, Gavin, Carsen, Eliana, Kevin, Jessica and Abigail; two Great-Grandchildren, Aurora and Theodore. Also survived by one Brother, Archie (Grace), in Ontario and many nieces and nephews.

    Bert will be missed by all, but will remain in our hearts . . . . until we are together again.

  • Ed Gisler

    Ed Gisler

    Mar. 16, 1950 - Dec. 17, 2020

    Shown here with his sister-in-law’s childhood teddy that she always traveled with and brought to Gabriola on a visit in 2018 is Ed Gisler, who died suddenly early on Dec. 17 at the Nanaimo Hospital of a combination of pneumonia and an intestinal infection that led to sepsis and multiple organ failure. His wife Kat was called to his bedside on Wed. Dec 16. He was able to sing his favourite song to her “You are my Sunshine,” exchange an I love you, and see and say “Hi” to each of his four children one last time on a coordinated FaceTime call. He died later that night, given Comfort Care as he wished. 

    Ed was born on March 16, 1950 in Winnipeg, Manitoba to Peter and Leona (Castonguay) Gisler. He was the third of four children. He lived in Balmertown, Red Lake Ontario for his childhood, where his father was a Diamond Drilling contractor for the gold mines up there. Ed and his brother spent many hours disappearing into the bush after breakfast and not showing up again until dinner, getting into all sorts of adventures like taking dinner knives to the town dump to watch the bears, just in case one charged (!), playing on the incredibly toxic slimes - chemicals that were left over from drilling for the gold - selling shiners to the tourists who flew in for fishing trips, as well as the muffins that their mother had left cooling on the back porch! 

    Being a big kid, he also stood up for the underdogs and made sure bullies knew they would have to answer to him. 

    Ed’s parents go divorced when Ed was twelve and his mother moved with him and his brother and one sister to Duluth, Minnesota. His older sister stayed in Balmertown. Ed’s mother worked many jobs to support them, and no matter how tired she was at the end of the day, would take them swimming. Or to a park in the winter where they would clear the snow off a picnic table and have dinner. 

    He went to high school in Duluth and worked at a local packaging company, contributing to the family income. 

    Ed didn’t finish high school in Duluth as at the age of 18 he followed his older brother into the U.S. Army, (still keeping his Canadian citizenship). His commanding officer realized Ed would have a hard time ordering men into battle instead of taking care of them, so Ed was sent to For Sam Houston in Texas to train as a Combat Medic. 

    When asked if he wanted to be deployed to Germany or Vietnam, he thought Germany sounded boring, and had never heard of Vietnam, so he chose Vietnam. He ended up service in Vietnam as a Combat Medic from 1968 to 1970. He was honourably discharged after being wounded by a nearby land mine. 

    After the army, Ed passed the GED test in the U.S., and obtained his high school diploma, met and married his first wife, and worked as a physician’s assistant in Southern Minnesota, and had two children, Jennifer (Jenny) and Michael. He then lived full time in St. Cloud, Minnesota where he joined the local Women’s Shelter board and formed a group to help abusive men change their behaviour. 

    This was later absorbed into the St. Cloud Intervention Project (SCIP), which he helped create and co-led for six years. At the same time, he attended St. Cloud University and received his Bachelor’s Degree.

    He and his wife divorced, and in 1982 he met “the love of his live” Kat MacVeagh, who had just moved with her two children, Ellie and Ben, from Northern Minnesota to St. Cloud to work as a School Psychologist. 

    Ed and Kat got married in 1985. After the ceremony and reception, they drove through the city in Ed’s repainted blue Bell Telephone van, with cans tied to the back and all the kids cheering out the windows. 

    After leaving the SCIP project Ed then started a similar project in Little Falls, Mn. Following that, he worked as a counsellor for the Mille Lacs Academy from 1991-1996, dealing with Juvenile Sex Offenders. Again, he made an impact on some of these boys’ lives. He had always wanted to get his Master’s degree. He was accepted at and received his Master’s in Clinical Social Work from the College of St. Catherine/St. Thomas in St. Paul, Mn. He continued to enjoy working with clients who presented with challenging problems. 

    Ed was always the adventurer. After Vietnam, he roamed the U.S. with cameras, hitch hiking or driving. He was a talented photographer. He walked the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island three times. 

    When he and Kat met, he brought her and their four kids out to Vancouver Island - where his dad lived in Cedar -  in the blue van, refurbished to sleep all of them. He introduced them to Long Beach and the Greenpoint Campground, where he and Kat still visited once a year until Covid prevented it. In 1986 they bought their cabin on Gabriola, back when beachfront was affordable. They drove out every summer until 2000 when they retired here, and had their lovely house built but Ian Johnson, owner of Kiwican Construction. 

    Until an accident in 2010 chopping wood injured his back, Ed was known to chop the summer firewood for Jim Demler at the Descanso Bay Campground, volunteer with Kat for Meals on Wheels, pick up day old bread from the old bakery at Twin Beaches and deliver it to the food bank, and volunteer with a few families to do therapy with their kids, while Kat worked with the parents. 

    Ed was a regular at GIRO, and was known for his fantastic yard sales. He was a collector of all things great and small, odd or beautiful and had an eye for the unusual. 

    He is remembered by many on the island as the guy who gave them or their kids the perfect small rock for a special occasion or for no reason at all, or started them collecting stamps, which was another of his passions. Before Peripheral Neuropathy from Diabetes affected his hands, he carved walking sticks and painted watercolours. 

    Ed always seemed to be able to bounce back from whatever illness or injury happened to him. so it was a shock to his family and friends that he wasn’t able to come back from this last one. 

    He is survived by his wife, Kat, daughters Jenny and Ellie, sons, Michael and Ben, brother Les, sisters Georgina and Pam, six grandchildren and one great grandson. Except for Georgina who still lives in Balmerton, they all live in the States so until they can gather on the deck overlooking the water, Ed’s Celebration of Life will have to wait. Those who knew him have their own memories. 

    Thank you to all who have reached out with calls, cards, flowers or cookies! 

    What an amazing community we live in. Anyone wishing to donate in Ed’s name, can do so at woundedwarriors.ca

  • Cecily Ann Danenhower

    Cecily Ann Danenhower

    March 19, 1919- Dec. 19, 2020

    A feisty adventurer and lover of birds, biscuits and gravy, and good British mysteries, Cecily passed away peacefully at the age of 101 on December 19, 2020.    

    Cecily began her beautiful life in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She developed a life-long passion for music and the arts while being raised in Southern California by her mother, a talented organist who played for silent films in Hollywood theatres. After completing a degree in Biology, where she was one of very few women in her class, she trained as a Medical Technologist in Oregon. While working there during World War II she met her husband Harold and eventually they had four children together - all of whom she was incredibly proud of. Cecily built her life around her family; when she found herself at the beginning of the Vietnam War with three draft-age sons, she packed up and moved to Canada from Santa Barbara, California. She lived in Salmon Arm, 108 Mile House, the Okanagan, Victoria, and Vancouver before settling on Gabriola.   

    Cecily relished her life and all the curiosities it had for her to explore. In the early 70’s she loaded the family up and they spent half a year in a VW camper van touring Europe. After that, all of Cecily’s spare pennies went to travelling; she explored six out of seven continents in her lifetime. Her explorations of the world included trips to Greece, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, and Australia with her son Thom, some fabulous birding adventures to Mexico and South America with her daughter Joanne, and wild road trips all over the United States and Canada with her sons Peter and Fred.  

    In her later life, happily living on Gabriola Island, Cecily could be found strolling through the woods, enjoying theatre productions and the arts, and having fun with the SUSO seniors group she loved. Age never was a limiting factor for her, as she began writing a historical, mystery trilogy about her native New Mexico at the age of 96, drove a car until she was 99, became a local celebrity at the Farmer’s Market while selling her copper enameling until 100, and proudly still lived on her own at the time of her passing.  

    Cecily was predeceased by her husband Harold and her best friends from 5th grade Mowe and Dixie. She is survived by her children - Joanne, Thom (Jean), Peter (Laurie) and Fred (Nancy), her three granddaughters – Jessica, Melanda and Natasha, and her niece and nephew, Stephanie and George. We will never forget how much Cecily deeply enjoyed life and will miss her immensely.   

    So long Cecily, and thanks for all the good times! 

    In lieu of flowers, please send donations to People for a Health Community (SUSO program) at www.phcgabriola.org

    Earlier in 2020, Cecily was interviewed for two videos about senior’s well being.  These can be found at the following links.  

    Telus video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=93MdAzYMsf4

    Island Health Video:  www.islandhealth.ca/news/stories/seniors-find-strong-social-connections-and-improved-health-adult-day-programs. 

  • Richard Eddie Bernard

    Richard Eddie Bernard

    July 13, 1946 - Nov. 26 2020

    Rik passed away after valiantly surviving strokes and seizures for six years without complaint and always a smile. He finally succumbed to kidney cancer. Throughout his life he had the ability to adjust and adapt to the challenges he encountered. 

    Rik was born in Edmonton, the eldest male of twelve siblings. As a child he knew what it was like to be hungry and would make sure he was at the table on time. As a teenager he worked at various House of Pancakes restaurants while attending school, saving his money to buy his first car, a ’57 Ford. After graduation he attended NAIT for instrumentation but never completed his diploma. In 1968 he moved to Kelowna for a job at the Longhorn Restaurant. It is there that he met and fell in love with his future wife, Connie Haber, a waitress home for a summer job after her first year at SFU. 

    After marrying they settled in Burnaby so Connie could continue university. Rik got a job at the Leon Hotel in Port Moody, becoming chef. Soon a son, Todd, was born. Rik’s philosophy was don’t change your life for a child but make your child a part of your life, and that he did. Within two years Rik bought a brand new house in Richmond. There he worked as head cook at the International House of Pancakes, and as a sous chef at the Top of Grouse restaurant seven days a week. When Connie received her degree it was now his turn and he decided to join the “enemy.” 

    He attended BCIT full time in Environmental Health.

    Rik was never wanting self attention so was humbled when he won an award for his paper on the importance of hand washing. He secured a job with Vancouver Coastal Health rising from health inspector to senior environmental health officer until his retirement in 2006. His bosses and colleagues highlighted his common sense approach, intelligence, sense of humour and his smile. Some of his colleagues remained his friends.

    Rik was always busy whether it was remodelling the house or landscaping the yard. His creativity, patience, talent and attention to detail was noteworthy. He often helped friends and neighbours with their projects. 

    When he bought a cabin on Gabriola in 1991 he totally renovated inside and out with Todd, at times, helping along side his dad. Rik was always resourceful and devised a large hidden cistern to catch roof water before cisterns became common practice. Memorable times by many were spent at the cabin over the years. However, as retirement neared for both Rik and Connie, they decided that this spot was where they wanted to be. So with much sadness the cabin was demolished and their dream home was built. 

    Rik was instrumental in the design and was able to read blueprints with ease. Most of the interior design and finishing was done by Rik with the usual preciseness that was in his nature. The landscaping had his unique flair. 

    Rik did find time for more leisurely pursuits. Early on, snow skiing and camping were a family enjoyment. He loved cars and attended races and car shows. Always loving boats and the ocean he had many good times sailing with friends. In 1988 he bought a new Harley Davidson Softtail and spent many years enjoying rides - in BC, across Canada, California, and to Sturgis in South Dakota - always with Connie on the back. Travelling and cruising brought him to every continent except Antarctica. Music was an ongoing part of his life. Many live concerts and performances from rock, blues, to classical were thoroughly enjoyed. Background music was part of his home environment.

    Rik could be quite content by himself creating and inventing some things practical and sometimes ideas beyond many people’s understanding. Although he had a quiet demeanor when strong words were needed he was direct, meaningful, and persuasive. His sense of humour, especially after a few drinks, would often catch people unaware. His generosity was shown in many thoughtful and unexpected gifts to Connie and Todd; a helping hand to family and friends; charitable lotteries and, even in his death, donation of his eye tissue to give sight to those in need. 

    Rik will be forever loved and remembered. He is survived by his loving wife and best friend, Connie for 52 years of marriage, son Todd, eight brothers and sisters, in-laws and numerous nephews and nieces. 

    Thank you to the VIHA Gabriola caregivers who made it possible for Rik to have some quality of life in his Gabriola home for much of his last six years. 

    Also appreciation to the Gabriola paramedics for attending to Rik’s care numerous times. Due to Covid restrictions there will be no celebration of life at this time.

  • Nicholas John Rushton

    Nicholas John Rushton

    June 15, 1947 - Dec. 4, 2018

    Much belated but not forgotten, we remember the life of Nicholas Rushton, known by almost everyone as Rusty, who embarked on his great adventure to the other side at approximately 5:00 am on December 4, 2018 in Nanaimo, BC. He was in the company of his eldest daughter, Chelsea Rushton, and some of his closest friends and allies, including his trusty tablet and Raspberry Pi. Rusty was a man with many plans and although he departed this earth at the tender age of 71, his spirit lives on all over Gabriola, and wherever his daughters may roam.  

    Nicholas was born in Bedfordshire, England, a town that he could not speak of without also mentioning its infamous prison, which once hosted the acclaimed English writer John Bunyan. Nicholas was the firstborn child to Jean McFall and John Rushton, followed by his younger brother Phil Rushton (who somehow managed to keep all his hair). Some of Nick’s earliest and fondest memories were being strapped into the child seat on his father’s bike, where they would ride around the town together--an activity that Nicholas pursued for the rest of his life and passed on to his daughters. 

    When Nicholas was a young nipper, his family relocated to the nearby town of Dunstable. When John began work at the West Street Baptist Church, Nicholas wasted no time exploring every nook and cranny of the building and assisting his father with repair work around the church, which is where he got his first taste and affection for tools and helping people with odd jobs. Around this same time, during one of Nick and Phil’s adventures into the attic of their family home, he discovered his father’s old Navy notebooks from when he was a radio operator and engineer. This fortuitous day kicked off a life-long love for all things radio, especially amateur, or ham radios, and resulted in Nicholas making a dedicated radio room in every home he has lived in since, including the unofficial Radio Shack headquarters that he created on Gabriola. 

    Nicholas followed in his father’s footsteps: at the age of 16, he joined the Royal Navy, which he served for sixteen years, and in which he studied electrical engineering and eventually became an Electrical Artificer. During his time in the Navy, Nicholas embarked on all kinds of weird and wonderful adventures--including to a number of highly classified locations. Legends say that it was on one of these adventures where Nicholas transformed into Rusty, although the exact inspiration of the nickname is not fully known, even by Rusty himself... 

    After his adventures in the Navy, Rusty moved to Canada to work in seismic exploration and later met his wife, Susan Julius, whom he wed in Calgary in March 1986. He studied Geology at the University of Calgary as he established himself professionally. By the time his two daughters, Chelsea and Stephanie, were born, he was ensconced at Pulsearch Consolidated Technology, Ltd., which, as it happens, was the first company in Canada to commercialize an automatic vehicle location system using the satellite signals from the then brand new Global Positioning System. This explains his constant and sustaining near-fanatical obsession with the latest and greatest GPS devices. Rusty transitioned from Pulsearch to Nowsco Well Service, Ltd., where he assisted in the development of a lucrative pipeline “pig” technology that could detect leaks in pipelines and prevent spillage, and from Nowsco to BJ Services, a firm he served for many years in a senior role before retiring in 2008.

    Rusty’s unwavering composure, patience, sharp intellect, love of adventures, zest for life, big hugs, and frequent use of Britishisms such as “swimming costume” (bathing suit) and “roll around baskets” (shopping carts) are some of the shining qualities Chelsea and Stephanie remember him by. Without fail, he could turn his daughters’ simple science or math homework into a four hour-long space odyssey. He worked to expand their imaginations and sense of adventure however he could. They wanted a treehouse? He built them one. Chelsea asked for a bunk bed? He retrofitted a twin IKEA bed in his basement workshop. Steph felt left out that she didn’t also get a bunk bed? Don’t worry, Rusty accidentally found a giant hole behind her bedroom drywall that he built out into a secret nook accessible by ladder. He didn’t get mad at thousands of things his daughters did, like when they completely killed all the grass in the backyard when he bought them a trampoline, which they used with a sprinkler and dish soap in the summers. Or the aftermath of countless house parties hosted by high-school-aged Stephanie while he was travelling far and wide on business, which he dealt with in a most calm and understanding way. 

    When he was home, Rusty delighted in taking his daughters on all manner of world-learning expeditions, including biking, hiking, camping, sailing, ethnic dining, deal hunting at garage sales, listening to Eric Clapton and the Blues masters, and any trip possible into a science center, observatory, IMAX theatre, decommissioned mine, or museum related to dams, railways, computers, maritimes, etc.; activities that his daughters enjoyed--or not--to varying degrees and which have shaped them, for better or worse, to this day. When Chelsea and Stephanie were nine and seven, respectively, he brought them on their first overseas trip to England, inspiring them to become the world travellers they both are today. 

    The last great love of Rusty’s life was quite possibly Tatiana, a 34-foot long wooden Herreshoff yacht that Rusty found for sale in Gabriola’s Silva Bay on his first ever trip to the Island with a crew of old Navy mates in 2001. Tatiana kept him tethered to coastal BC for several years prior to his retirement--a place where he could pause, refresh, and reconnect with his joie de vivre on the off-hours from his increasingly stressful professional life. When he engineered his retirement in 2008, Rusty found his forever home on Gabriola, where he wasted no time in building an incredible community of amazingly interesting, loving, and devoted friends, and pursued his hobbies amongst an abundance of natural beauty. Rusty became an active member of the Gabriola Ham Radio Club and the Gabriola Linux Group, in which he practiced the lost art of morse code and built open source computers from scrap hardware he found at the Gabriola Island Recycling Organization, where he also sat on the board of directors in his last years. His other favourite Island pastimes included sailing, radio astronomy, electrical engineering, fixing things, explaining how things work in no less than 30 minutes, buying old electronics on eBay, and above all, spending time with his friends and family. Perhaps Rusty’s most admirable traits were his loyalty to those he cared about, and his ever-readiness to help someone in need in any way he could at the drop of a hat. 

    Rusty is survived by his brother Phil Rushton, his niece and nephews in the Rushton Clan, his pals still living in all corners of the earth and especially on Gabriola, by Tatiana, who lives on in his backyard with mast high, and by his daughters, Chelsea and Stephanie, who remember him with love, appreciation, awe, and a foundational understanding of the market value of vintage ham radio equipment. 

    Rusty lays to rest in the Gabriola Community Cemetery in a 100% biodegradable and DIY burial, and welcomes friendly visits anytime. We gratefully acknowledge Darlene Mace for the beautifully painted driftwood that marks his site. Donations in Rusty’s memory can be made to the Radio Amateurs of Canada Scholarship and Grant Program, or to Wikipedia--his number one source of free, open-source online information. 

  • Joscelyn Ann Hurst

    February 16, 1933 - December 9, 2020

    Joy was an amazingly strong and brave woman who loved and was deeply loved by dear husband Donald L.Hurst (predeceased). She was the eldest daughter of Florence Joscelyn & William Edgar Cayley and sister to Marion Cayley. She was a loving mother and role model to her three daughters Deborah Doherty (Allan) of Ottawa, Ontario, Joscelyn Gagnon (Antony) of Ancaster, Ontario, and Elizabeth Hurst (Michael Richards) of Gabriola Island, B.C. and wonderful Grandma Joy to her grandchildren Beau Doherty (Courtney), Alison Doherty, Jean Gagnon (Genna), Rebecca McWilliam (Eric) and Lindsay Richards (Taralynne) and her great-grandchildren Thea, Elodie, and Henry. 

    Joscelyn shared her love and knowledge of music and languages with family at home and touched so many others throughout her teaching career, musical theatre productions and travels. Don and Joy were also the “second parents” for many people, opening their hearts and home to those needing love or support.

    Joy plunged into the many adventures that she shared with Don (and sometimes the family) that took her from small town Ontario throughout North America, Europe, South America, Asia and Australia. Her final years, after Don died, were spent on Gabriola Island where Joy lived surrounded by nature in a cabin in the woods lovingly cared for by EJ, her husband Mike and their son Lindsay.

    We are deeply saddened by her loss, but immensely grateful for all that she gave to her family.

    We are creating a virtual space where we can all chat on December 19, 2020. Please contact visitation@jag.on.ca for information and to register.

    A Celebration of Life, as per her wishes, will take place at a later date when we can all safely gather.

    If so desired, memorial gifts may be made to one of the charities below, or to a music or arts organization of your choice.

    Nanaimo Regional General Hospital

    https://nanaimohospitalfoundation.com/donate/

    People for a Healthy Community, Gabriola Island. 

    https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/11348

     

     

  • Strasdine, Dr. George Alfred

    Strasdine, Dr. George Alfred

    1933-2020

    It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn the passing of Dr. George Alfred Strasdine, of Gabriola Island, on November 21, 2020, at the age of 87.

    He will be lovingly remembered by his children: Kim (Mike), Chris, Michael-Ann (Mark), Sandy, Phil (Val), Cheryl (Andrew), Doug (Kelly) and stepchildren Erik (Kathi), Barbara (Svend), Kath (Ted) and Michael; his 16 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren as well as his two sisters, Sharon (Greg) and Susan (Philippe), and their children.

    He is predeceased by his wives from his three loving marriages: Rita Broadhead (m. 1955), Marion Hannah (m. 1969) and Yetta Lees (m. 2000); his grandchildren, Caleb and Philip; and his parents (Fred and Sally Strasdine).

    Born in Edmonton in 1933, George obtained his B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. from UBC, specializing in Microbial Biochemistry. During that time, he worked at the Royal Alex Hospital in Edmonton and the Division of Applied Biology in the National Research Laboratories in Ottawa. At the age of 22, George married his first wife, Rita Broadhead, and their 3 children were born from 1956 to1963.

    George was employed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon during the early 1960’s. He then worked as a Research Scientist for the Federal Research Board at the Vancouver Technological Laboratory from 1965-1979 and for the Fisheries Technology Division of B.C. Research from 1979-1990, both located next to the UBC Campus. He also taught at UBC in the late 1980’s. George married for a second time in 1969 to Marion Hannah and adopted her 4 children in 1970.

    In the 1960’s, George purchased a lot on Rowan Way, on Gabriola Island, where he and his family would enjoy summer vacations for 12 years, until he sold the property. George & Marion subsequently purchased a 10-acre lot on Cooper Road in 1980 which they named the Stone Barn Farm and where George resided until June 2019. In the early years, while commuting to Vancouver to work four days a week, George enjoyed working on his hobby farm and caring for its many types of animals in his free time. It was his delight to have his 7 children come from the mainland to help him from time to time. Once retired, George acquired a real estate license in order to assist Marion and 3 of her colleagues with setting up Gabriola Village Realty. After Marion passed away in 1998, following a long and courageous fight with lung disease, George married for a third time in 2000 to Yetta Lees, a Gabriola Island resident and talented fabric artist. 

    Settling fully into his retirement in the new millennium, George was able to dedicate more time toward his pastimes, varied as they were, from the macro (star-gazing with his telescopes) to the micro (staring into a microscope and puttering in his lab). He also travelled extensively with Yetta until her unfortunate and sudden passing due to bile duct cancer in 2013.

    George had a fine voice and love of music, a passion for fighter jets and a talent for sketching. He was an exceptional cook, being the chemist he was, enjoying such microbiological passions as making wine, pickling herring, curing sauerkraut, smoking fish and making ice cream. He will be fondly remembered for his razor-sharp wit, writing skills, extensive family chronicling and keen intellect. May he rest in peace.

    The interment of his ashes at the Gabriola Community Cemetery and a Celebration of Life will take place at a later date when it is safe to do so.

    We are very grateful to the Gabriola Home Support Society for the care they provided for several years, enabling George to remain in his home as long as possible. Our appreciation also extends to Dr. Bosman and the staff at the Gabriola Medical Clinic for their dedication to their work and their patients. And finally, we’d like to thank the staff of the Stanford Seniors Village in Parksville, where George resided for the last year of his life, for their compassionate care and kindness. 

  • Steven Redburn

    Steven Redburn

    Oct. 30, 1953 - Sept 10, 2020

    Steve lived large and on his own terms. A gifted artist, he was passionate about all things that matter, from politics to great food. 

    He was well known for his amazing life adventures and ability to survive them, so it was ironic that it was an undetected aneurism that suddenly claimed him. 

    Steve grew up in Stoney Creek, Ontario but by the time he was 15 he began seeking more exciting horizons and spent that summer hopping freight trains west to fight forest fires in BC. 

    Later, after graduating from high school he was eager to explore the world and its cultures and over the next ten years he would travel the globe, living in far flung places, from England to India, Australia to Israel and many countries in between. 

    It was during this time, in 1973 that he moved his home base to Canmore Alberta where he established himself as a restaurateur as part owner of the Sherwood House. 

    As beautiful as the Canadian Rockies were, when Steve visited friends on Gabriola island, he knew this was where he wanted to spend the rest of his life. 

    And he did. 

    In 1988 he moved to the Island, semi- retired and spent the next ten years  studying arts, philosophy and political science at Malaspina College. It was there he met Julia, a fellow student who would become his wife and life partner. They spent 27 wonderful years together and during that time Steve worked at the Surf lodge as a chef, waiter, and prep chef. He loved it there and was highly regarded by staff and customers alike. 

    Steve made many friends along his life’s journey and loved entertaining and cooking for them. His house was always full of guests coming over for dinner or just to chat and everyone has a least one favourite “Steve Story.” 

    He was a smart, fun person with a huge laugh and a wicked sense of humour but he was also passionate about politics and a major advocate for women’s rights. 

    He is survived by his mother, Mary, brother Marcus (Kim), niece Tayler and nephew Evan as well as his wife Julia Jefferson and her large family.

    Due to Covid-19 there will be a private celebration of life on Sunday, September 27, 2020.

  • Horst Heinz Loeffler

    It is with great sadness that the family of Horst Loeffler announce his passing on Tuesday, October 6th, at the age of 85. Horst was predeceased by his loving wife and excellent bridge partner, Vera Loeffler (nee Hopkins).  

    “Onkel Horst” will be lovingly remembered by his nieces Christine and Anita, his nephews Mark and Peter, and his cousins Elfie and Jurgen.

    In his youth, Horst was an avid rugby player.  He was also a grand sailor, often sailing to Alaska in summers and then wintering down in the Baja. After a career as a computer programmer for both the city of Maple Ridge and New Westminster, upon retirement Horst and Vera moved to Gabriola in 1995 where they were active members of the community.

    No funeral services will be held but the hope is that those of you who knew him will raise a glass of Barolo in his memory. Prost.