Obituaries

  • Brian Hoag

    Brian Hoag

    It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Brian Michael Hoag on Sept. 27, 2018. 

    Brian is survived by his loving wife Dianne (nee Warner), his beloved sons Ian (Deb) and David (Moon Hee) and his devoted sister Shirley and brother Bill. He was predeceased by his parents June and Wilfred Hoag.

    Brian was born and raised in Toronto and spent 27 years in Guelph Ontario. 

    He truly enjoyed his job with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and on retirement, moved to beautiful Gabriola Island.

    He was a man with a generous heart and had a great love of birds, animals, and nature. His family, reading books, bird carving, writing, and taking photographs were his joys.

    He will be kept close in our hearts and always cherished.

    Donations in Brian’s name may be made to GROWLS.ca

  • HawkOwl (Moira Mulholland)

    HawkOwl (Moira Mulholland)

    HawkOwl (Moira Mulholland) - born in 1927 before women were “persons” - died Oct 16th 2018.

    What a woman! A staunch feminist, never afraid to speak up for the underdog, human or not. 

    Outspoken, funny, generous, deeply curious and unaware that she touched and changed many lives. The creator of beautiful, varied sculptures, powerful and tender.

    HO’s chief joy was her being with four-footeds, going to enormous lengths to help each new one feel welcome and safe. Her resourcefulness was stunning, making furniture, clever systems for recycling without getting wet, making her own salves.

    And what an amazing life: drama school in England with Harold Pinter; studying the ancient Noh drama in Japan and acting, in Japanese, as well as becoming a celebrity on a TV English-teaching programme; teaching theatre at UBC till discovering inner work with Ben and Jock at Cold Mountain (before The Haven); teaching mask work at Kayte Summers’ and Anthony Holland’s theatre school in Vancouver and here at The Centre.. HO adored and was helped and loved up by her brother and sister-in-law, Ken and Marg, her niece Kathy, (her chief wonderful care-giver in her last weeks at home) and her partner Carolyn, and devoted nephews Michael and Terry and their partners Dorothy and Diane.

    HawkOwl, you will be missed by many more of us than you believed possible.

    A small private celebration will be held at a later date.

  • Mike Johanson

    Mike Johanson

    Mar. 6, 1962 - Oct. 24, 2018

    Mike was a loving father, husband, brother and friend. 

    He will be forever remembered by his wife Leona of 24 years, daughters Stormy, Sabina, Winter, son Dakota, brother Steve and uncle Edward. 

    Mike was born in Quesnel and spent his childhood in Dawson creek. 

    He called many places home before he and his young family moved to their home on Gabriola in 2003. Mike was a talented carpenter who built, renovated and repaired island homes. 

    Many island residents may remember Mike and his tie dyed shirts during the time he was co-owner and operator of Handy Dad’s Construction. 

    While his kids were young Mike spent time coaching them in the Gabriola Youth Baseball league. He also spent many years playing softball on the island, and the Four Twenties baseball team was honored to call Mike (aka “yellowpants”) a teammate. He was in his element spending time fishing and enjoying the outdoors with his friends and family. 

    A private Celebration of life for Mike will be announced to friends and family at a later date.

  • Mervyn O’Donnell-Sweeney

    Mervyn O’Donnell-Sweeney

    Oct. 13, 1943 - Oct 13, 2018

     

    It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Mervyn O’Donnell-Sweeney after a lengthy illness. Merv died on his 75th birthday as he wanted…in his own home surrounded by his family at a time of his own choosing.

    He is survived by Annette, his wife of 46 years; two sons David and John; two daughters, Alanna and Patricia and two grandsons Connor and Hayden. Also grieving his loss are his two sisters, Daphne in Ottawa and Avryl in England, numerous nieces and nephews and a large contingent of in-laws that loved him . He is predeceased by his parents Charles and Rosaleen O’Donnell-Sweeney and his brother Aiden.

    Merv was born in Dublin, Ireland on October 13, 1943 and moved to Canada with his mother in 1957 at the age of thirteen. He attended school in Toronto; married his first wife Sue at a young age and began a career with McLean Hunter in the advertising business. David was born in Toronto, the family moved to Vancouver and a second son, John was born in 1968. The marriage ended in 1971. 

    In 1972 Merv met Annette when they were both attending Vancouver City College; Merv as a photography student; Annette in journalism. It was to be the beginning of a lifelong melding of spirits. They were soul mates from their first meeting who fed on each others energy, respected each others strengths and learned to work together to achieve everything they ever had. 

    Before moving to Gabriola Island in 1974 Merv worked in the advertising department of newspapers in Prince George, Campbell River and Vancouver. Merv and Annette published a tourist magazine (The North Island Traveller), that was sold on the BC Ferries and jointly produced a newsletter for the BC Association of Non- Status Indians in Vancouver. 

    A chance visit to Gabriola ended up being the ticket to paradise for the couple. For fun, they made a very low ball offer on a small cottage on Harrison Way. The offer was accepted and from that day on their roots on Gabriola began to grow. Every weekend they made the commute from Vancouver to their little cottage and moved here permanently in 1974.

    They knew they would have to find a way to make a living and so began a lifetime of entrepreneurial enterprises that would keep them on Gabriola for the rest of Merv’s life. First the couple managed to obtain a fish processing licence and set up a salmon smoking operation in the basement of their house. 

    When the 8’ x 10’ snack bar at the ferry came up for sale, they managed to scratch together the money to purchase it and operated it for approximately a year and a half. Negotiations began with the Coates family to find a new location and the Sweeneys were given the opportunity to lease and renovate the house behind the snack bar. 

    That began the adventure which was The Beanery Restaurant. It ran as a busy family restaurant for 10 years. In 1984 the restaurant was converted to The White Hart Pub which they ran for six more years before selling it in 1990. Five years later the Sweeneys changed directions and built and operated the Wild Rose Garden Centre for 11 years.

    Merv had a tremendous sense of humour and an adventurous spirit which led him to many interesting experiences over the years. Against all good advice he plowed forward into all sorts of adventures with a combination of intuition, fearless determination, a lot of hard work and a good dose of learning by doing.

    Following the sale of the garden centre The Sweeney’s began a new adventure, driving to Mexico and living in their camper van for the winter . They were lucky to do that for eight years before Merv’s illness made that long drive impossible.

    Merv loved to make people laugh. Throughout his final journey he lightened the burden for every person he came into contact with. His quick and sassy Irish wit stayed with him right up to the end. 

    He was a born entrepreneur but he always claimed he was a poet at heart. He used his wonderful way with words to express himself in letters and small poems that are treasured by those who were lucky enough to receive them.

    Nothing gave him greater satisfaction and contentment than his home and his garden. Having a stable home base and the means to keep his children and friends loaded up with fresh food from the garden gave him such joy. 

    He spent hours tending the soil, weeding, breathing in the fresh air and appreciating the good fortune that brought him here to Gabriola almost 45 years ago.

    Merv believed strongly that everyone wanted and deserved the same things in life …food, shelter, respect and mostly love. 

     He was an exemplary husband who held no clearly defined ideas about the roles that make a marriage work. He never parceled responsibilities into categories like “men’s work” and “woman’s work”. Playing three hands of poker to determine who did what, was a long standing tradition that amused many people. He often told people the secret to having a long and happy marriage was having a sense of humour and the willingness of both partners to do 75% of the work. 

    Although he had such an easy and engaging way with people Merv was a very private person. He was seldom seen at social gathering places on the Island. An afternoon beer with friends at the White Hart( aka Skol Pub) was one of the few excursions he made into Gabriola’s social scene. His idea of entertainment was much more centered around good friends enjoying good food together and the sounds of laughter filling the room.

     He was a kind and sensitive man all of his life. He could easily be brought to tears by hearing some of his favorite music. He touched the lives of so many people with small words of encouragement and acts of kindness. 

    Merv was a brave man. The courage he showed during the last two years since he accepted his inevitable end was an inspiration to all who knew him. His ability to accept his fate and to embrace every moment that was left to him with such dignity and incredible good spirit was a huge comfort . When it became clear to him that he was no longer able to physically handle so much of the work that had kept him busy over his lifetime he simply accepted that as his new reality. He contributed in any small way he could and that made him happy.

     He fought a long and valiant fight, holding on to every good moment he could capture and he will be forever missed.

    There will be a celebration of his life at The Skol Pub on Sunday, November 4 at 3:00. Please come and share stories.

  • Nancy Lea Crozier

    Nancy Lea Crozier

    Mar. 9, 1953 - Sept. 1, 2018

    Nancy passed away peacefully at her home on Gabriola Island surrounded by her family and friends.

    She is predeceased by her parents Lois and James Crozier, brother William Arthur, and sister Judith Marion.

    Nancy is survived by her son Jack Clancy, daughter Galena Clancy, and her dog Clancy, brothers Kenneth (Veronica), Richard (Linda), Robert Scott, and sister-in-law Chris, nieces and nephews Jenness (Justin), Mitchell, Aliesha, Joanna (Nic), Kelsey (Jessie), Graham, Hayley (Tom), Michael (Daniela), Jennifer, and Tom, great nieces and nephews Piper, Harlin, Arya, and Cedar.

    Nancy has asked that we have a party and enjoy life in her honour. The party will be held at The Gabriola Community Hall at 2200 South Road on Saturday September 15 from 4pm-8pm. 

    Nancy was an accomplished sculptor as well as an impassioned activist and has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Mary Frances Mossop Vocational School https://mossopweavingschool.wordpress.com

    Special thank you goes to Nancy’s compassionate and generous care team Jenness and Cindy, Dr. Claire Gibbs, Dr. Maciek Mierzewski, Dr. Francois Bosman, Simon Ellis (Island Pharmacy), the Gabriola home care nurses, Dr. W. Mark Wigmore and all the health care providers at NRGH.

  • Gerald Eugene Musselman

    Gerald Eugene Musselman

    Mar. 31, 1934 - Sept. 1, 2018

    It is with sadness and tears that our family announces the passing of Gerald Eugene Musselman.

    Gerry passed away on September 1st in Maple Ridge, BC at age 84 after a more than 2-year battle with cancer. He fought hard! While we are sad, we are so grateful to have had this larger than life character with a big heart in our lives who made us laugh so often over the years! “Big Grampa” who was born in Birch Hills, Saskatchewan on March 31, 1934 leaves behind his wife Doris of 62 years, his 2 children: Charlene (Glen) and Greg (Arlene), 6 grand children: Matthew (Ashley), Sara (Ryan), Tia, Brody, Linnea, Amelia, and great grand son Hank who met his great grandpa a few weeks ago!

    He also leaves behind his sisters: Bernice, Irene, June and Ila, lots of nieces, nephews and many friends from Saskatchewan to Gabriola Island! Gerry worked for Lafarge Cement for more than 40 years. He loved to fish, golf and most of all his family. We are going to miss him so much! Thanks to everyone for your prayers and support!

     

  • Peter Eastick

    Peter Eastick

    1925-2018

     

    Peter Eastick lost his short battle with bone cancer on August 2. 

    He leaves behind his wife Jacinthe and his sister Ann. 

    Many Gabriolans will perhaps remember him as a member on the Advisory Planning Commission in the eighties; or as a member of the Concerned Citizens for the Protection of the Environment on the issue of clam over-harvesting; as a pheasant farmer or maybe for his many years as a volunteer ‘cashier’ at GIRO; or for his series of World War ll  articles in the local papers; or then again for his spearheading the formation of a Gabriola Veterans Association which lead to the erection of a Cairn for the community to assemble and remember on November 11.

    Many will simply remember him for his joviality, his tenacity, stubbornness, courage, his wry sense of humour and for his zest for life.

    Peter’s wishes were that there would neither be a service nor a celebration of life. I am sure that in our own way we would celebrate the relationship each of us had with him, privately.

    He is greatly missed by those who knew, loved and enjoyed him.

  • Zenon Woloszczak

    Zenon Woloszczak

    Nov. 4, 1947 to July 15, 2018

    Zenon peacefully passed away in the Nanaimo Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit. 

    Zenon lived on Gabriola for over 35 years and helped many people in his ultimate man-job using his Kubota digger and through his landscaping and gardening expertise. 

    His work helping people meant he left a little piece of his heart in the gardens of Gabriola, the Island paradise that he loved. 

    Zenon and Bonnie raised their three children Zayen, Vanessa and Ileya on beautiful Gabriola. 

    Zenon’s family will be having a small, private celebration of his life. Donations in his name, in lieu of flowers, to the Nanaimo Hospice would be appreciated by his family, who are deeply thankful to all staff at Hospice and Palliative Care for providing a superior level of care. 

    Thank you to Gabriola’s fabulous health care professionals at Gabriola Medical Clinic, BC Ambulance Service and Home Support.

  • Neil Rich

    Neil Rich

    Aug. 8, 1946 - May 19, 2018

    Neil passed away in the presence of his family at his home on Gabriola. He is survived by his children Ian, Kia, Mya, and Kym, and their families. 

    Neil was born in London, England, moved as a child, with his family, to Toronto, and then came west to BC as a young man. After retiring from his industrial x-ray and concrete coring company in Richmond, he moved to Gabriola in 2010.

    Neil was an avid boater his whole life and enjoyed exploring the Gulf Islands and coastal inlets. He always had a project on the go, whether building his house or boat, or fixing his classic cars. He was involved with the Gabriola Cruisers Auto Club and the dog play group. You could find him riding his ebike in the 707 with his dog Keelu.

    A Celebration of Life will be held at his home on Gabriola on August 26 from noon - 4 pm. Please RSVP to celebrateneilongabe@yahoo.com

  • Raymond (Ray) Charles Beauchamp

    Raymond (Ray) Charles Beauchamp

    1949-2018

    A resident of Gabriola Island since 2011, Ray passed away recently at home. He is survived by his wife Gayle, sisters Susan, Monica, and Lois and brothers Mark and Colin.

    Ray and Gayle especially enjoyed Gabriola’s scenic seascapes, fine pubs and restaurants, and the various open stages and jams with their gracious hosts.

    Ray and Gayle were grateful for the empathy and quality care provided by Dr. Jim Mackenzie and staff and by the nurses, doctors, and other staff at Nanaimo Cancer Clinic.

    Messages of condolences can be sent via Sands Funeral home at sandsnanaimo.ca.