Obituaries

  • Mary Snowball

    Mary Snowball

    1922 - 2018

    With a heavy heart and fond memories, we announce the passing of Mary Snowball on January 7th. Predeceased by her loving husband, Geoff Snowball, she leaves behind daughters PJ Wade and Lesley Hazeldine (Robert), stepdaughters Kirstin Snowball (Eric Baist) and Rebecca Snowball (Dean Wilkins), grandsons Andrew Kennedy (Emilia), Damon Kennedy (Jen), Luke Kennedy (Meaghan) and great grandsons Joel, Evan, Elliott and Oliver.

    Born in London, at the tender age of 17, Mary joined the WAF and worked throughout WWII at the Headquarters for Allied Forces. After the war, Mary embarked on her illustrious career in the hospitality business, started a family, immigrated to Canada and enthusiastically embraced all that her new country had to offer. She completed her career working along side her beloved husband Geoff managing the Vancouver Media Club. It was during this time, that a cash strapped friend talked Mary and Geoff into buying his 1/2 acre lot on Gabriola Island sight unseen.

    Upon their retirement, Mary and Geoff built a cosy A frame home on that 1/2 acre lot and quickly involved themselves in the Gabriola community. Mary organized the Walking Group for many years, sold Gwen’s pie slices at the Silva Bay dockside kiosk, kicked up her heels with the Line Dancing crowd, created and became an active member of the Quilting Group. Always the life of the party, Mary had a quick wit and an infectious laugh. Among her many passions were swimming and reading. A warm summer evening did not go by without Mary stretched out on her towel at Descanso Bay after a refreshing dip with book in hand and straw had on head. 

    An Afternoon Tea in her honour will be held on Saturday, January 27th from 2 - 4pm at the Hazeldine’s residence 1495 Coats Drive. All those with a funny anecdote or touching story please join us and share your memories. If friends so desire, in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation Palliative Care Facility.

  • Larry Henderson

    Long time island resident Larry Henderson passed on September 24, 2017. He was interned Thursday, Nov. 30 at Cedar Valley Memorial Gardens, Nanaimo.

     

  • Verena MacQuarrie

    Verena MacQuarrie

    Jul. 3, 1934 - Nov. 3, 2017

    Verena Elizabeth MacQuarrie, 83, passed away on Friday, November 3, 2017 at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. she was born on July 3, 1934 in Humboldt, Saskatchewan to the late Nickalos and Martha Bittman. She had three siblings, the late Mervin and Armella, and her sister who currently resides on Gabriola, Muriel Bendall.

    Verena was widowed by her first husband Clifford Scott, airforce mechanic, and also by her second husband Donald MacQuarrie, airforce navigation officer. She travelled afar and cherished all the places she visited and resided.

    More recently she settled on Gabriola Island. She managed the clothing retail at the GIRO.

    Her family will miss her dearly, especially through each holiday which she always made so special. Her decorations, festive greeting cards, and beautiful gifts will never be forgotten. Her love and beauty will be passed through the generations.

    Verena is survived by her sister, Muriel Bendall; her three children, Wendy Larose, Penny Campbell, and Dawn MacQuarrie; her three grandchildren Shyla Wilkinson, Jeremy Grounds, and Scarlett Campbell; two great-grandchildren Jordyn Grounds and Carter Wilkinson; her nieces and nephews; and the rest of her relatives and friends.

    A Celebration of Life was held at Robert’s Place on November 12, 2017.

  • Wendy Maureen Hobbs

    Wendy Maureen Hobbs

    May 22, 1922 – Nov. 20, 2017

    The family of Wendy Hobbs is sad to announce her death at her home in the Nanaimo Seniors Village on Monday, November 20.

    Wendy was a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend. She was predeceased one year ago by Dave, her husband of 71 years, and by her brothers Royston, Rod and Keith. She is survived by her sister Juanita (Jack) in Brentwood Bay, her children Rick (Cindy), Diana (Ron), Kathryn and Naida (Steve), and her grandchildren Morgan and David. 

    Wendy was born in Victoria and had a happy childhood in a large family of five children. When the second World War broke out, she joined the Royal Canadian Navy and was sent to Winnipeg for cook’s training and then stationed in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. She was very proud of her service as a WREN and drew on her cook’s training when she later raised her family on home cooked meals. She married her high school sweetheart in 1945 and they moved to Nanaimo where their four children were born. 

    Her life in Nanaimo was happy and busy at home with her children, Anglican Church activities, square dancing friends—she sewed elaborate skirts and shirts for their square dancing events—and later, membership in the Nanaimo Yacht Club. Wendy was active in the local Voice of Women group and volunteered for the Mental Health Association.

    The Hobbs family spent many happy summers at their cabin near Piper’s Lagoon, moving out to “Lazy Daze” as soon as school ended and back home each Labour Day weekend. Wendy campaigned for the preservation of Pipers Lagoon Park when the spit and headland were later threatened by development. When the lease for the cabin was not renewed, Wendy and Dave turned to boating and spent many more years cruising the BC coast in both sail and power boats. 

    Wendy loved to fish, and she canned her catch on her galley stove.

    Wendy and Dave moved to Gabriola Island in the mid 70s and Wendy truly loved island life and their home and garden overlooking Degnen Bay. 

    She was actively involved in many Gabriola organizations including the Cemetery Committee, Community Hall Board, Island Singers, Judy’s Carollers, Silva Bay Yacht Club, Garden Club, Gabriola Island Veterans’ Association and her book club. 

    In later years, she was happy to be at home knitting, feeding the birds and looking out at her view before their move to Nanaimo Seniors Village in November 2013.

    Wendy was a life-long, multi-talented artist who was always creating in one medium or another. She was a potter, painter and silk screen artist and was generous in sharing her expertise with others. She worked with leather and print making techniques. She attended art classes at Malaspina College, enrolling the first year it opened in the old hospital building on Kennedy Street. For many years she created street banners for the City of Nanaimo and taught would-be potters in her pottery studio at home. 

    Each Christmas she painted a festive scene on the big front room window of their Nanaimo home and the family waited in eager anticipation as she unveiled the hard sauce for the Christmas pudding, sculpted into a significant event from the previous year. We all hoped that our accomplishment would merit the honour of the hard sauce!

    Family life was most important to Wendy and she supported her children and grandchildren with love and acceptance. 

    She hosted countless family dinners and parties for her friends and neighbours. Her calm and generous approach to life was appreciated by her friends as well as her family. She taught us all how to live well by her example.

    The family is grateful for the loving care that Wendy received from all the staff at Nanaimo Seniors Village in the last four years, especially from Edith, Karen and Maxine. Their love and support made it possible for Mum to stay in her home until the end. We also thank Dr. Jim Mander for years of compassionate care and to Dr. Robin Love for his attention in her final days.

    Wendy will be laid to rest in the Gabriola Cemetery and her long life will be honoured at a family gathering.

  • Ann Holzwarth

    Ann Holzwarth

    Nov 1 , 1935 - Nov 12. 2017

    Passed away suddenly leaving her husband Egon after 54 years of happiness.

    In mourning daughter Elissa, son John (Tina), sister Jean Koziak (Jim) grandchildren Kendall, Alden, Tara, Aunt Frances, cousins Doug, Rob(Jan), Janet Baker, and nieces Lynn and Jill.

    Ann’s passions and talents include painting, quilting and gardening. 

    Celebration of life will be held on Nov. 26, 2017 from 2 to 4 pm at the Surf Lodge, 885 Berry Point Rd, Gabriola, BC.

  • Charles Silva

    Charles Silva

    Dec. 16, 1950 - Nov. 8, 2017

    Charles Silva has been called from his early form. On November 8, 2017 at 9:35pm pacific time he was called upon to reunite with family and friends that have long been missed. Charles purpose here as a father, brother, and beloved friend has been fulfilled. Gabriola has been such an elightenment on his life. It was the final chapter to fulfill his missions. Although he will be missed much and by many, he takes with him all that has been shared in time with all of us here.

    Charles was born on Decmeber 16, 1950 on Sao Miguel Island, Azores.

    He was a father to Tammy Silva, and Nelson Silva, a brother to Norma Da Silva, Louie Da Silva, Maria Da Silva, Aggy Da Silva, Joe Silva, and Gil Da Silva, and a once beloved wife Rita Bettencourt, and a beloved friend to all whom got a special phone call on their birthday.

    We all love you dad, and you will be missed.

    A celebration of Charles’ life was held on Sunday, November 12 at the HOPE Centre on Gabriola.

  • James Andrew Brown (Tim)

    February 26, 1923- September 25, 2017

    Tim lived, worked and loved all 94 years on Gabriola…truly his home!

    Tim was born in a log cabin at the back of Elgie Road farm. He was the first of four born to Daniel and Sarah Brown. At a very young age Tim was roaming the farm, hunting grouse or deer and completing many chores. Before he was a teenager he was plowing fields with horses, logging with horses and working on the farm. By the time he was 16 he was driving a delivery truck…perhaps the first on Gabriola. 

    In 1938 his family moved to the Horseshoe Road farm where he would remain for the rest of his life, buying the farm from his father in the 1960s.The farm on Horseshoe Road was a self sufficient family farm for many years. Sheep, cattle, chickens, hay, orchards and produce flourished in the valley.

    Prior to the established fire department Tim was actively involved in fire prevention and getting together with others and their equipment for any and all emergencies.

    In the 1960s Tim was the caretaker for Weldwood lands, logging, building roads, shipping Christmas trees to Hawaii, running his own sawmill, farming and doing just about anything he could that made money!

    Tim had a great sense of humour and a strong sense of family. He was very involved with his grandchildren, which means he was always good at finding them a job and keeping them busy on the farm!  He enjoyed singing, people watching and sharing stories. He loved hosting the Rod & Gun Club annual lamb barbeque at the beach. He knew every bird and animal that lived on or near his land and had incredible long distance vision.

    Tim had awesome memories that painted a vibrant picture of Gabriola as it was through the years. He loved to share those memories, especially with family and fellow pioneers.

    Tim loved blackberries and loved to get the family involved in picking berries….he was very proud of all of the jars of jam his wife made each year!

    …AND...All of  his life Tim dreamed of a bridge to Nanaimo.

    Tim is survived by his wife Elin Brown(Nan)  his beloved dog Willie and his sheep.

    Tim will be missed by daughter Danna, her children and grandchildren.

    He is survived by stepson Conor, stepdaughter Lyn and their families.

    Numerous extended family members will miss his great stories!

    There will be no service but rather a family gathering in the summer of 2018.

  • Gwendolyn Hazel (Speed) Hales

    Gwendolyn Hazel (Speed) Hales

    Feb 24,1916 - Sept 22, 2017

    With much sadness we announce the passing of Gwen on Friday Sept. 22, 2017 at Eden Gardens Nanaimo at the grand age of 101 yrs.

    Gwen was born on February 19, 1916 in Alberta, schooled in Sussex England and returned to Alberta, later moving to Vancouver/Richmond BC

    Gwen is predeceased by her husband Roy, parents Frederick and Amy Speed, a sister and five brothers. Gwen is survived by sisters Joyce, Barbara and brother Allan and many nieces and nephews.  

    Gwen was a devoted Mother and Grandmother, she will be lovingly remembered by her son Desmond/Lynn, daughter Sylvia/George, grandchildren John/Lorna, Kathryn/Nicholas, Craig/Dorothy, Amber/Trevor, Morgan/Miranda, Bridget/Ryan and great grand children Leah and Evie.

    Gwen was a gal with many talents, a dressmaker proficient at knitting and needlework. In Richmond she was president of the PTA, learned to play the piano and theory, taught piano lessons, had a realtors licence, opened a fabric shop, learned to paint in both water colour and oil, then retired to Gabriola island were she was a member of the United church, treasurer of the WI, modelled in fashion shows, played bridge, badminton, joined the Beta Sigma Phi, and was a charter member of the Gabriola golf club

    The family wish to thank the staff at Eden Gardens for their kind and compassionate care given to Gwen and a special thanks to her dear friend Gordon.

    A celebration of life will be held at Gwen’s daughter’s home in Lantzville on Sunday October 15, 2017. From  2-4 pm

  • Tony Nunes

    Tony Nunes

    1937-2017

    Tony was born on Flores Island, in the Portuguese Azores, immigrated to Canada in 1962, and moved to Gabriola in 1975 to make his trade as a cabinet-maker. He was relied upon by all who knew him for his incisive observations and unvarnished commentary on such subjects as politics, gardening, soccer, the complexities of human behavior, and doing things properly! A true islander, he suffered a persistent exasperation with island life-- but his loyalty was restored whenever he went elsewhere. (Gabriola valued him on his own terms, and he knew it.) He passed at home, on July 17th, surrounded by his own uncompromising handiwork. Tony is survived by daughters Andrea and Melissa Nunes.

    A Celebration of Life will be held October 14, 2:30pm at Tony’s stomping grounds, Robert’s.

    Memorial donations can be made to the Gabriola Health Care Foundation.

  • Margaret McCollum

    Margaret McCollum

    January 18, 1922 – September 17, 2017

    The family of Marg McCollum are sad to announce the death of our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who left us in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, September 17.

    Born as Elvyn Emily Osolin, but always known as Marg or Margie, our mom led a long, full and interesting life. She was born in Winnipeg and came from pioneering stock, Latvian immigrants who homesteaded near Lac Du Bonnet, Manitoba. Her early years weren’t always easy. Her father left the family when she was very young, and Marg talked of feeling lonely because of the long hours her mother was forced to work. Eventually her mom, Selma, met John (Jack) Beckman, the man that Marg would call Dad for the rest of her life. Not able to divorce, Jack changed his last name to Osolin and the family moved to Lac Isle, Alberta, to allow Selma and Jack to live together as man and wife.

    The Depression was hard on the family and Marg experienced poverty in a way that is hard to imagine today—the kind of poor where her parents were in such deep debt to the doctor that it took them years to pay it back—the kind of poor where they couldn’t afford to bury a deceased child until the ground thawed in the spring. Like many people who survived the Depression, Marg came away from that time knowing what a dollar was worth and how to take care of it. She also understood what it meant to have a publicly-funded medical system.

    Always bright and good with numbers, when Marg finished school she moved to Edmonton and trained as a bookkeeper. When World War II broke out, career options expanded for women and Marg was featured in the Edmonton Journal as one of the first of three women hired to work at the post office. 

    In 1943, she married Ken McCollum who was serving as a flight engineer in the RCAF. After the war, she and Ken moved to Lac St. Anne where they ran a general store, gas station and post office. By this time, Marg had two very active little boys and she used to laugh when she talked about trying to keep an eye on Kevin and Don while still selling stamps, pumping gas and even cutting meat. As anyone who knows Kevin can attest, she had her work cut out for her.

    Marg’s husband, Ken, always wanted a farm of his own and in 1953 he found a quarter section of land on Gabriola being sold for back taxes. Marg, who was always game and never afraid of hard work, followed him with the two little boys and a new baby (Gary) in tow. When she arrived, there were two ferries per day, no electricity and the nearest neighbour was 3 km away. It was almost urban compared to some of the places where she’d grown up. She rolled up her sleeves, dug a big garden and got to it. That first summer she hand-pumped water, carried buckets into the big field on what is now Buttercup Road and then found out about Gabriola deer. Marg loved gardening, and till almost the end those “GD” deer drove her crazy. As her three boys grew up, she not only cared for them but she volunteered for 4H, was involved in the Women’s Institute and the Aggie Hall and picked salal to supplement the McCollum’s income. She also knew how to put a large pot of venison stew on the table and stand back while her boys ate.

    Once her boys were grown, Marg began a career in real estate as Gabriola’s first resident realtor. She was an ethical woman whose natural warmth and genuine interest in people led her to be very successful in her field. In 1981, Marg was Century 21’s top realtor in BC. Real estate also led her to an unexpected discovery. In the early 1970s, Marg was showing a couple of clients around Gabriola when they began chatting. They discovered they were all of Latvian ancestry and as the conversation progressed it became apparent that Marg’s clients knew her biological father and were able to give her his contact information. After over 50 years, she finally knew what had happened to her father. She was able to speak with him on the phone, but he died before they could meet. 

    In 1983, Marg lost her husband Ken. During this difficult time, her career and her grandchildren gave her focus. She also loved golf and was one of the founding members of the Gabriola Golf Club and, along with others, put up $12,000 and a whole lot of sweat equity to get the club started. 

    It was through the golf club that she met John Hood. It was giggles at first sight. They golfed and laughed and square danced and travelled at every opportunity, truly living life to the fullest. She was his “Margarita” and he treated her like a queen. In 1997, John passed away and Marg was widowed yet again.

    Well into her eighties, Marg continued to golf, garden and travel. In 2007, she moved to the Lion’s Garden Homes and was active as treasurer and was also on the Garden Committee. She missed her garden terribly when she first moved, but Marg was a social person, always loving a night of laughter and socializing with “the gang.” At the Lions, many of the gang members were right down the hall, and she rarely missed a chance to catch up at Happy Hour.

    During the past three months as Marg’s heart failed, she became increasingly worried about having to move off Gabriola, her home for nearly 65 years. The care and support she received from her neighbours at the Lions, the Gabriola Home Support and her family helped to keep her in our community and we are very grateful that she was able to stay here until the end. 

    Thanks also to Dr. Bosman and the ambulance crew for their professional services and their kindness to our mother during the last part of her life. 

    So that is the story of her life, but who was Margaret McCollum? Well, for Marg, it was all about family. Her strong and generous character formed the fabric of our family and in the words of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren she was:

    • inspirational, truly inspirational

    • loving

    • kind, generous and caring

    • had a great sense of humour

    • loyal, strong and dutiful to her family

    • a powerful force

    • persevering

    • stoic

    • fair

    • dynamic

    • determined

    • joyful!

    • hilarious

    • effervescent

    • loved a good joke

    • attentive

    • positive

    • stubborn

    • tactful

    • youthful

    • fair

    • Inclusive

    • Supportive

    • Understanding

    • she made you feel special

    And so ends an era. We have lost our remarkable mother, grandmother and great-grandmother but she’ll never be far away. She has left us a legacy of love, a deep and unwavering love that will continue to wrap all of us in its arms. And what a gift that is. 

    With deep gratitude and love Mom, 

    Your boys, Kevin, Don and Gary McCollum and their families.