• Terrence Ronald Hanna

    Terrence Ronald Hanna

    June 10, 1927 – July 16, 2017

    It is with heartfelt sorrow that the family announces at the age of 90, the peaceful passing of Terrence (Terry) Hanna with family at his bedside at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. 

    Terry was predeceased by his parents and two older brothers, Maurice and Brian.

    Survived by his wife of 66 years, Emily (nee Bobyn); son, Shawn (Murielle); daughters, Kathleen and Patricia; six grandchildren; eight great grandchildren; and brother, Kenneth (Marilyn) and 4 nieces, and 3 nephews. Dad loved life and felt blessed to live so long. He was thrilled when many family members celebrated his 90th birthday with him recently.

    Terry was born in Vancouver where he resided until 1967. For 47 years he lived on False Narrows, Gabriola Island. 

    Terry was very proud of his family roots which extended to Alert Bay, his mother being one of many direct descendants of Okaui Kahoomana (George Kamano) who was recruited in the Sandwich Islands by the Hudson Bay Company to man the trading post at Fort Rupert in 1854. Komano Island in the Queen Charlotte/Johnstone Strait Region of the Central Coast of British Columbia was named after George Kamano.

    Over the years, Terry went from towing logs on a tugboat in the war years to salesman for various companies. Terry was a business owner, bus driver, log salvager on Gabriola Island and had lots of stories to regale one and all with.  After his retirement, Terry and Emily enjoyed travelling across Canada and the USA. Terrence was very involved in the community representing Gabriola as a trustee for the Islands Trust (1976-1978) ushering in the first Community Plan for the Island. He also served as President of the Gabriola Island Ratepayers Association.

    Terry was an excellent story teller and had a talent for captivating his audiences with his love of history. He was set in his ways being endearing in one moment and driving us mad in another. Dad was an adventurer including Emily and his young family on many road and boat trips. In later years his children and grandchildren have many fond memories of the waterfront property on Gabriola Island. Invitations were always open to both immediate and extended family members. We have amazing memories of countless family get-togethers bearing great food, great company, great laughs, great bonfires and great love for one another. He enjoyed sharing his knowledge of the sea with his children and his grandchildren.  He took immense pleasure in teaching all of us how to be safe on the ocean. Dad believed their haven on Gabriola was a true blessing in life. He was extremely grateful for the peace, pleasure and tranquility that their home on beach provided them for so many wonderful years.

    A celebration of life will be held in September for family and close friends.

    Condolences can be sent to the family through

  • Shirley Newton

    Shirley Newton

    May 21, 1923 - June 16, 2017

    Sadly we announce the passing of our beloved Mother. Mom was born in Plenty, Saskatchewan. She passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, on Friday morning June 16, 2017, North Vancouver. 

    She was delighted to have just celebrated her 94th birthday!

    She is survived by her daughters Trish, Elaine and Anne, son in law Ralph, and her grandchildren, James, Rebecca, Megan, Emily and Eric and great grandson Bryce. Many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her loving husband Richard John 33 years ago. 

    Shirley’s passion was art and many of our walls are graced with her beautiful paintings to remind us of her. 

    She will be remembered for her love of family, sense of style, loyal friendships and easy going manner. 

    She loved reading, music, nature, playing bridge and dear friends. 

    Shirley’s family would like to thank staff at Lions Gate Hospital, Dr Bayfield and the staff at Amica in Edgemont for the loving care and compassion Mom received in her last month of life. 

    A Life Celebration for Shirley will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 6, 2017 at Boal Chapel, 1505 Lillooet Rd. North Vancouver, B.C.

  • Sherry Fossum

    Sherry Fossum

    1943 - 2017

    Sherry passed away May 15th at Burnaby General Hospital due to complications from frontal temporal dementia. Sherry is lovingly remembered by her husband Larry of 47 years, daughters Tiffany (Anthony) and Marissa (Rick) and grand-children: William, Jack, Isabel, Zoe and Sarah. Sherry was born in Vancouver in 1943 and grew up attending Churchill high school, always knowing she wanted to become a nurse. In 1966, Sherry graduated from Vancouver General Hospital Nursing School and had a very successful 25 year career in nursing and hospital administration at VGH, Calgary General, Victoria General, Surrey Memorial and Peace Arch Hospital. She spent the next 20 years as the General Manager of Whitecliff Retirement Residence White Rock. Sherry deeply enjoyed her time at Whitecliff as it allowed her to combine her care and compassion with her administration skills. Sherry was a proud Rotarian of over 25 years and an active member of the Semiahmoo Rotary Club. She believed strongly in Rotary’s motto of service above self. While her career and community work were important aspects of Sherry’s life, she always managed to find time for family. Sherry always thought ‘the glass was half-full’ and was able to lift others spirits with her positive attitude and bubbly personality. While Sherry lived in White Rock for over 30 years, she also enjoyed 10 years of visiting “the property” on Gabriola Island. Building their dream home on Gabriola in 2010, Sherry and Larry had been living full time on Gabriola until moving to Burnaby in April 2017. The family would like to deeply thank Sherry’s best friend Lori Amdam for her love, support and guidance through a very difficult journey. Aunty Lori has a special gift of wisdom combined with compassion that she shared with the entire family. The family would also like to express its appreciation for the superb care Sherry received from the Gabriola community health care workers Eileen, Jan, Susan and Stacy. A Celebration of Life will be held 10am-12 noon, Tuesday, July 4th at the Rotary Field House, 2197 148th Street, Surrey, BC. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Gabriola Health Care Foundation, PO BOX 295 Gabriola Island, BC, VOR 1X0, or

  • Viviane Johnson

    Viviane Johnson

    Viviane Johnson died peacefully at her home, surrounded by family, on May 25, 2017, at the age of 63, after living with cancer for 2 years. Viviane is survived by her spouse, Don Smardon; former husband Gray Switzer; children, Eric Switzer and Denea Maughan ((nee Switzer) Tyler Maughan); and granddaughter Isla Maughan. She graduated from UBC in 1976, after which she enjoyed a career as a Nutritionist/Dietician. She was a loving and spirited partner, mother, nana, and friend. We are grateful for all the community support she received during her illness. There will be a celebration of life June 17, 2017, at Viviane’s home on Gabriola, from 1-4pm. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Viviane’s life. 

  • Maureen (Marine) Alaine Elliott Visser

    Maureen (Marine) Alaine Elliott Visser

    It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of a long time dear friend, Maureen (Marine) Alaine Elliott Visser. 

    Marine passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in her sleep in the wee morning hours on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. 

    She was 50 years old.

    Marine was a long time Gabriola resident mother-of-two and loved by many. 

    She was passionate about art especially painting and loved to play the guitar and sing. 

    She is survived by her son Forest Visser; a sister in Australia, Noreen; and her son-in-spirit J. Shaw Nixon; as well as many friends and community members.

    Marine was predeceased by her mother Carol, and her daughter Meagan, whose tragic death left Marine with a grief too difficult to bear. We will miss you Marine and hope you find peace with your mother and daughter.

    A gathering to celebrate her life will be held at the Gabriola Commons on Friday May 12 between 4 and 6 pm.

    Please join us in remembering this kind soul, who was an advocate to those who needed it most, and a gentle, honest human being.

  • Mary Dodds

    Mary Dodds

    Nov. 29, 1925 - Apr. 7, 2017

    Mary was born in Sorrento, BC, the fifth of seven children. Meeting him as a young girl, love rekindled after his wartime service, and in 1945 she married Halsey Dodds. Three boys were raised and Halsey’s career with the Dept. of Transport took the family to Port Hardy, then Sandspit for many happy years, followed by Prince George. As the boys finished school, Mary upgraded her own high school education, obtained her teaching certificate at Simon Fraser University and became an elementary school teacher. Their move to Gabriola Island led to a multi year position at Gabriola School. After her retirement, former students would often tell Mary how influenced they were by her caring and compassion. 

    Everywhere Mary lived she planted colorful flower gardens. Their home in Degnen Bay was featured in garden tours. Her condo balcony at Cameron Island and even Origin at Longwood were blooming opportunities. 

    Quilting was also a passion and travels often led to fabric stores. Mary created lifelong friendships in the Gabriola Quilters Association. Her hand-stitched pieces grace the homes of family and friends and even more were donated to charities. 

    Mary was blessed with a loving, giving spirit. She was predeceased by her husband Halsey and three siblings. Her surviving brother passed one week after Mary. She will be deeply missed by her two surviving sisters, three sons, Bruce (Jeannette), Mike (Carole), and Steve (Linda), six grandchildren, ten great grandchildren, extended family, and many friends.

    Our sincere appreciation goes out to the wonderful caring staff at Origin at Longwood and we thank Dr. Balfour and Dr. Baillie for their wisdom and support.

    A small local memorial gathering will be held in the lounge at Origin at Longwood April 26th at 2PM. A family Celebration of Life will be arranged at a later date.

  • John Herbert Hall

    John Herbert Hall

    Jul. 21, 1937 - Mar. 17, 2017

    John Hall died peacefully on March 17, 2017, at the Palliative Care Unit at Nanaimo Hospital. His wife, Joyce, daughters Karen and Sandy, sister Iris, grandchildren and great grandchildren together with a few of John’s closest friends were all able to be with him during his final hours, and have found much comfort and support at this difficult time.

    John was known throughout Gabriola as an active member of the community, including among other things being a member of the Ratepayers Association, the Power Squadron and the Bridge Club during his 20 years’ residence here. John was always willing to help neighbours with their computer problems, as IT was a favourite pastime, together with travelling, fishing and in past years, sailing.

    John was an accomplished engineer, having worked in the natural gas industry, retired early after using his skills to build his own boat and then his home here on Gabriola. He was very happy here, having moved to Canada at the age of 18 from his birthplace in London, England, and then taking Canadian Nationality. His cheerful and helpful outlook will be sadly missed by all the family and friends who knew him. No service by request.

  • Jesse Thomas Preston

    Jesse Thomas Preston

    Jesse Thomas Preston, aged 36, passed away on February 14, 2017 while traveling in southeast Asia. Cause of death was blood poisoning from an infection.

    Jesse was born and raised on Gabriola, attending Gabriola Elementary School, NDSS and Malaspina College before finishing his education in Audio Visual in Vancouver. He lived and worked in Vancouver as an A/V technician as well as operating his own DJ business.

    Energetic and outgoing, Jesse was passionate about music and travel. He will be remembered with love and affection by his many friends around the world.

    He is survived by his mother Judy Preston, brother Graeme Preston, and step father Mike Hoeinghaus of Gabriola, and father Paul Preston of Nanoose.

    A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise funds for a memorial bench in English Bay where he lived and spent many hours on the beach with friends. 


  • Linda Olsen

    Linda Olsen

    Apr. 15, 1933 - Feb. 21, 2017

    Linda Olsen (nee Staf) was born on April 15, 1933 in Chilliwack, BC. She was the youngest daughter of Hilda and Carl Staf, Swedish-speaking immigrants from Finland, and sister to Ruth and Bernice. They lived on a farm in Aldergrove, selling the wood they cleared from the land, milk from the cows they kept, and for a time, the wool from the Angora rabbits they raised. Linda moved to Abbotsford after high school to work as a clerk for the family welfare office. She also sang with a band on weekends in the Abbotsford and Matsqui area. She spent many weekends in the summers at Cultus Lake with her sisters Ruth and Bernice and their friends, and many weekends in the winter skiing at Mt. Baker, Washington. She moved to Vancouver while in her early 20’s to sing with a professional, touring women’s quartet, The Velvetones, and to work as secretary to Dr. Gordon Shrum in the Physics Department at UBC, where she met her future husband, Bill. 

    She married in Vancouver in 1957, moving to Chalk River, Ontario in 1958, shortly after their first child, Greg, was born. The family settled in Edmonton, Alberta in 1960, where Liz was born three years later, and David nine years after that, in 1972. Linda was a devoted mother and always a source of fun, love and support to her three children. She always actively helped and encouraged them in their interests, and was a friend to their friends. Over the years, she worked in secretarial and administrative positions, and never lost her love for singing and the arts. 

    In her late 40’s, feeling restless and eager for a new challenge, Linda decided to return to school and attend university. She obtained her high school matriculation by correspondence and then enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts program at the University of Alberta. She received her BA in 1984 and her MA in Political Philosophy in 1993, at the age of 60. Her master’s thesis, entitled “The Politics of Religion in Leviathan” was a beautifully written and scholarly work, and a real source of pride for her children, and for Linda herself.  

    After university, she worked for the Alberta Purchasing Management Association (AIPMAC) and was very proud of her accomplishments there, being charged with setting up the brand new provincial office. 

    As she was preparing to move to Gabriola Island in 1997, she was told that any of the 950 members of the association would write her a reference letter, should she need one.

    The west coast and island life always appealed to Linda, and she was happy to return to a more temperate climate and build a home, which she helped design, on Gabriola Island. 

    On Gabriola, Linda was the proprietor and host of Island B & B, a dedicated member of the Gabriola Lions Club and an avid supporter of island arts and culture. 

    We were very proud of her for carving out her own spot on the island and making it look so easy. She always conveyed to her kids that this was their home too. She made many friends on Gabriola through her volunteering efforts and warm demeanor, and loved living there.

    In 2011, she met her beloved Phil, who became a constant companion. They enjoyed regular visits back and forth between Gabriola and Phil’s home in Sidney, sharing a love of literature, poetry and the performing arts. Two years later, shortly after her 80th birthday, Linda suffered a heart attack and a resulting stroke, which meant she could no longer manage on her own, and island life was no longer possible. 

    The last few years were spent with Phil in Sidney, who lovingly cared for her and made sure she was able to attend her scheduled weekly activities, such as the stroke recovery group and Sidney Lions Club meetings, which she enjoyed and always looked forward to. They also regularly attended plays, movies and concerts together until mobility limitations posed too much of a challenge. Phil, your devotion to and love for Linda was very evident and so much appreciated.

    Linda passed away on February 21, 2017 after a very brief illness. Though we miss her more than words can say, her spirit resides in her children Greg (Susan), Liz (Jack), David (Tracy); grandchildren Sophie and Harlan; sister Ruth (Jim); dear friend and soul mate, Phil; and, in the other family members and friends she left behind. 

    We thank you, Linda, for your grace, your generosity, your intelligent reflection, your sense of humour and optimism, and for a life so well lived. May you rest in peace.

    A celebration of Linda’s life will be held on May 6, 2017 at 2 pm at McCall Gardens – Royal Oak at 4665 Falaise Drive, Victoria. To offer condolences, please go to

  • D. Maureen Neylan

    D. Maureen Neylan

    It is with utmost sorrow that we write to inform you of the death of D. Maureen Neylan who passed away peacefully in her home on Gabriola Island on Feb 15, 2017 at the age of 79. She is survived by her loving son David, and her daughter-in-law Ece Neylan. 

    A longtime resident of Vancouver, Maureen was born in Toronto and raised in Burlington. A graduate of Bishops University, she went on to study social work at the University of Toronto and worked as a social worker, and later director, in the Children’s Aid Society and Children’s Foundation in Vancouver. 

    A passionate sailor in her younger years, Maureen was one of the first women to join the RVYC. Throughout her life she remained committed to charitable work and was active with several organizations, including the Heart & Stroke Foundation, until her later years. An avid reader, Maureen spent her last years researching and writing on early childhood education and rehabilitation and was an outspoken advocate of home schooling. 

    She is a Founding Board Member of the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), one of her proudest legacies. Throughout her life she prioritized her honesty and integrity above all else. 

    In memory of her life, her family hosted a small drop in at Roberts Place this past Friday, to pay tribute to the passing of this colorful soul who has called Gabriola “home” for upwards of a decade.

    In lieu of flowers, the family kindly asks that donations be made to the BCCLA.