Obituaries

  • Tammy Elliston (Slade) 

    Oct 23, 1968 – Aug 18, 2021

    Tammy passed away suddenly at home on Gabriola Island on August 18, 2021 at the age of 52 years.

    Tammy was born in Comox, raised on Hornby Island and spent most of her life in the Comox Valley. She is predeceased by her mother Ginger in November, 2020 and is survived by her father Sidney Slade and step-father Jimmy Billingsley.

    Tammy leaves behind her husband Chris and their sons CJ (Isha) and Dustin, grandchildren Layla and Dominick, sisters Lee, Sidney, Pam, Shirley and Linda, and numerous nieces and nephews. She will also be missed by her many friends and her co-workers at Nester’s Market.

    No service by request – a private memorial will be held at a later time.

  • Andrea Eva Viola Georgiev

    Andrea Eva Viola Georgiev

    We are sad to announce the death of Andrea Eva Viola Georgiev on August 19. Andrea is survived by her husband, Georgi Georgiev, their daughter, Geneen Georgiev, and their son, Stefan Georgiev-Tosheff.

    Andrea was born in Hamm, Germany, the younger daughter of Almuth and Erik Lutkenhaus, both artists. At the age of ten, with her mother and sister, Andrea arrived in Ontario. 

    Andrea admired her mother, Almuth, who became a very well-known Canadian sculptor.

    Andrea met Georgi who was working closely with Almuth. They married, and in 1987, they left Toronto and came to live in Gabriola where they have been ever since. She loved her life on the island where she painted, did photography, made jewellery, wrote songs, performed music, and when she had time, danced the tango.

    Andrea was an adoring mother who dedicated her life to her children, encouraging them to realize their artistic and creative talents.

    After her children left the nest, she reclaimed for herself the creativity that she had always nurtured and inspired in her children and others. 

    The family would like to thank Andrea’s many kind friends whose love, care, and extraordinary support in the last two difficult years meant so much to her. She understood how much she was truly loved.

    An Exhibition of Andrea’s art will take place on Gabriola in the early autumn.

    In her words:

    “Blessings I send to all who are dear,

    “And close to my heart.

    “You know who you are.

    “Whether you’re close or far.

    “I send you love.”

    www.evergreencremationcentre.com

  • Dorothy “Brenda”Ducharme

    Dorothy “Brenda”Ducharme

    June 23, 1932 - Aug. 6, 2021

    It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Brenda. 

    Born to Tom and Elsie Taylor of Malvern County, United Kingdom. Loving wife of 63 years to Bob. Caring mother to Debbie, Christine, and Tim (LJ). Grammy to Alycia and Justin. Sister to Mary. Aunt to Sue (Rick), Bob (Kerry), and Mary (Frank). 

    When Bob retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in 1971, they moved the family to Gabriola Island where they found a welcoming community and built their dream home. Mom loved her garden and spent many hours nurturing it. 

    In 1989, they moved to their new home in Nanaimo where Mom toiled to transform her backyard into a beautiful English oasis. She was an avid collector of Lilliput Lane houses, and was well known for her collection. She will be missed by all her friends and family. 

    A private service will be held at Luther Court. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Brenda to Luther Court Society https://luthercourt.org/donate-now/ where Brenda and Bob have lived since 2019. 

    Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 

  • Donald Kerr Smillie

    Oct. 10, 1940 - Aug. 15, 2021

    Don passed away at Trillium Care Home in Parksville after several years of declining health.

    Don was adopted at birthy by parents Jim and Pat Smillie.

    He grew up and went to school in Nanaimo.

    He was a logger and bridge man on Gabriola, Valdez, and many other parts of BC. He was a resident of Gabriola for 50 years or more.

    He was one of the last of the Grandé crowd, and lived in the hotel for a year while logging with Daven S on Valdez.

    He will be missed by old friends.

    A gentle Giant. 

    Rest in Peace.

  • Alexander McConnell

    Alexander McConnell

    30 Sept. 1926 - 27 July 2021

    We are sad to announce the death of Alexander (“Eric”) McConnell at the age of 94. He lived happily on Gabriola Island for 34 years and died peacefully at home on July 27th. Alex is survived by his wife, Eileen, his daughters, Moira (Peter) and Janice (Dirk), his son Andrew (Tammy), and his grandchildren Jared, Rylan, Natasha and Tristan, and his sisters Pearl, and Yvonne (Cecil) and his brother Douglas (Joan).

    Alex was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland on the 30th of September 1926, the eldest of five children, to Robert and Mary McConnell. At the age of 18 he enlisted in the British Navy serving in the Fleet Air Arm in WWII. In 1947, when his wartime service ended, he attended Queen’s University, Belfast studying geography. While there Alex was in the Officers’ Training Corps and was part of the University Team who shot at Bisley in 1949.

    After graduation he accepted a position in the Southern Rhodesian Government (now Zimbabwe). While travelling to Africa by ship he met his future wife, Eileen, and they were married there in 1953. They spent 11 years in Africa working in many different parts of Zimbabwe. The family left Africa in 1963 and emigrated, again by ship, to Canada. After a stint teaching high school geography, Alex joined the Federal Civil Service and worked for the Government of Canada in community development and economics in many remote locations throughout BC before finally working in Vancouver until he retired in 1987.

    After retirement Alex and Eileen moved to Gabriola and built their house. Always travellers, they visited many parts for the world including sailing in the fjords of Norway, walking on the Great Wall of China and visiting Australia and Zimbabwe. Alex was involved in various organisations on Gabriola over the years. He greatly enjoyed being in the Fencing Club and for many years helped to teach adults and juniors the sport of Fencing.

    Another favourite activity was Scottish Country Dancing. He and Eileen were members of the Nanaimo Scottish Dance Group for many years, sometimes going to Care Homes to entertain the residents. Alex was also a member of the Gabriola Veterans’ Association and always participated in the Remembrance Day Services.

    When Alex and Eileen came to Gabriola, they joined the United Church (now Christ Church Gabriola). He was a very active member of the congregation for many years and especially loved being in the choir. He was also a founding member of the Gabriola Ecumenical Society.

    A Memorial Service will take place on Gabriola, hopefully in the early autumn. 

    For friends wishing to remember Alex, a donation to the People for a Healthy Community on Gabriola Society would be gratefully accepted. 

    The family would like to thank neighbours and friends for their support and kind wishes.

  • Susanna Maria van Gorkum

    Susanna Maria van Gorkum

    Dec. 4, 1934 - Aug. 3, 2021

    Susanna Maria van Gorkum (nee Ouwerkerk) passed away peacefully in Richmond, BC on August 3, 2021. She is survived by her children, Helen, Jack, and Frank; and her grandchildren, Kayt, Maddie, Mitchell, Beverley and Kayla. She was predeceased by her husband, Steven Frederik in 2010.

    Susan immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands in 1965 with her husband and three children. They first settled in Quebec, then moved to Ontario, and finally settled in British Columbia, moving to Gabriola in 2003 from Langley. Susan spent 17 happy years on Gabriola before moving to Steveston BC last July to be closer to family.

    Susan and Steve had read a series of articles published in the Vancouver Sun in 2002 about best small places to live in BC. They visited several of the locations and fell in love with Gabriola. They loved the ocean, the wildlife, and the birds. Susan was especially proud of the work she and Steve did in helping establish the Dragon’s Garden at The Commons. 

    Susan also loved making baby quilts which she donated to refugee families through a family support program. And those who knew her always looked forward to receiving one of her hand stitched cards.

  • Harold Jenner

    Harold Jenner

    Sept 1934 - July 2021

    A Memorial Service to celebrate the life of Rev. Harold W. Jenner will be held at the Gabriola Community Hall on Wednesday, August 25 at 2pm. 

    For those unable to attend in person, a livestream of the North Van Service on Saturday August 21 at 1:30 is available- link and details can be found at www.lynnvalleychurch.com.

    In lieu of flowers, please share stories of how you knew or remembered Harold via the LV United website provided.

  • Patricia Mary Murray

    Patricia Mary Murray

    February 19, 1929 - May 20, 2021

    Patricia Mary Murray (married name Maika) was born on February 19, 1929 in Bournemouth, England. She died peacefully on May 20, 2021 in Kamloops, B.C. She is survived by her children—Paul (Heather), Patrick, Timothy (Leigh Ann), Christopher, Frances and Julia Maika; her grandchildren—Nobalee, Allan, Zoë, Samantha, Josephine, Aliyah and Rosie; and her former husband and father of her children, Dominic Maika.

    Patricia loved Gabriola Island, where she lived for close to 30 years and volunteered for Friends of the Library, the Gabriola Players, was a member of three book clubs and had many like-minded literary friends. She lived a full and long life in which her family, literature, academic achievement, opera, cooking, theatre, style, and art played major roles. Her response to everything was to read.

    Mummy, we will miss you immeasurably and always.

    Memorial details will be announced after July 1 when restrictions on gatherings ease.

  • Dorothy Helen Harbour Wilson

    Dorothy Helen Harbour Wilson

    September 10, 1924 - June 17, 2021

    Helen died peacefully at her residence in Nanaimo, B.C. in the early hours of Thursday, June 17, 2021 with her daughter Mary by her side.

    She was born in Sandy Beach, Quebec, the fifth of ten children, where her father ran a general store. Her Mom died when Helen was just seven, leaving the eight surviving children in the care of father, grandfather and auntie. 

    Near the beginning of the second world war, the Gaspe Peninsula faced a teacher shortage. Helen completed Grade 10 by correspondence and began teaching in her late teens, working in several small communities on the coast.  She travelled home to Sandy Beach whenever she could, and it was on one of those trips that she met Walter Wilson, a Navy shipwright. They met at a dance put on by the Y in Gaspe for the troops. She tripped over his feet while walking towards someone else – he always said it was an accident. They were married in June of 1945. 

    Once war ended, Helen and Walter moved to the farm at Fleming, Saskatchewan, where he had grown up. They raised three children (Barry and Ellary, now deceased, and Mary) and enjoyed welcoming family and friends as they drove west or east across Canada. They farmed until Walter was in his eighties, and Helen continued to live there until Walter’s death in 2000. 

    She then moved, with her son and grandson, to the west coast to live with Mary and her husband Robbie Huston in New Westminster. When we moved back to Gabriola in 2005, she and Ellary came with us.

    Helen’s life contained considerable tragedy. The brother next in age to her died the year after her mother did, and her eldest brother Will was killed in Germany in WWII. She lost a child at birth, and both her sons died before she did. Throughout her long life, her faith was vitally important to her. She was an attentive member of St. Martin’s Anglican Church, applauding when the church became Christ Church Gabriola in collaboration with the United Church congregation. 

    She enjoyed welcoming friends to our home, presiding over a Wednesday afternoon tea that ran almost every week for nine years. She was a great communicator. At one time, she had a list of 19 friends and family she called across Canada, ranging from her sisters to the woman she shared a desk with when she started school in Sandy Beach. 

    She loved her connection to Robbie’s family, attending weddings and welcoming new babies with gentle enthusiasm. She and Barbara Huston, Robbie’s mother, had always been friends, but they became closer in the four years Barbara lived with us.

    In later years her health declined. With the wonderful support we received from the Gabriola Homecare staff, and with the support of Dr. Tracey Thorne, Helen lived with us until fall of 2019. Then she moved to Dufferin Place in Nanaimo, where she received loving and gentle care.

    She is survived by her daughter Mary Wilson and son-in-law Robbie Huston, Robbie’s family, her daughter-in-law Faith Swanson, her sister Mabel Adams, brother Ted Harbour and sister-in-law Marie, her grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, and many nieces and nephews, and friends.

    We will welcome friends to an informal tea in celebration of her life on Sunday, July 11, from 2-4 p.m., at Robbie and Mary’s home. 

    Please call (247-0242) or email (mary.gabriola@gmail.com) if you need directions.

  • Leonard Cuthill

    Leonard Cuthill

    Leonard Cuthill ended his 95+ prosperous years peacefully on June 3, 2021 at Delta Hospital while recovering from complications following a stroke.

    Len was preceded in 2019 by his beautiful wife of 67 years, Patricia nee Webster, who was the love of his life. Together they lived life to the fullest, best friends forever, enjoying the love of their two children and four grandchildren. Len is survived by daughter Elaine (Alan) Husdon, son Don (Sydney), and beloved grandchildren Tait, Anne, Adam, and Sam. 

    Born and bred in Vancouver, BC to Scottish parents, Douglas and Constance Cuthill, Len graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and worked as an accountant for Westeel Rosco and latterly for Krakenbaum Industries. Golf was Len’s early passion. He practically lived on the golf course in his early years both as a caddie and player at the old Quilchena course. He discovered Gabriola Island in the 50’s and eventually purchased a piece of paradise on Pilot Bay in 1958. Sixty-three amazing years and many memorable occasions and adventures later, the property is still the family retreat. 

    Len was a true gentleman through and through. He will be remembered for his wisdom, wit, and sense of humor. Travel, playing bridge, many friends, and most especially enjoying time with his grandchildren kept Len young at heart. 

    The family would like to extend sincere and heartfelt thanks to the many nurses, doctors, and staff of Delta Hospital for their kindness, excellent care, and professionalism in Len’s final days.

    In lieu of flowers, donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. at heartandstroke.ca would be gratefully accepted. 

    We Love you Dad xo