Obituaries

  • Thomas William Cox

    Thomas William Cox

    Oct. 25, 1922 - Oct. 28, 2012

    Predeceased by his parents John (Jack) Cox in 1957 and Lottie May (Pullen) in 1983, his son Bruce in 1966 and his three brothers John (Jack), David and Robert. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Helen (McEwan); daughter Dale Ferguson, grandchildren Garnet Ferguson and Auralee Brown (Tyler); and great-grandchildren Justus Pounds and Caleb Pounds; his brother Len (Judy) and sister Hazel Windecker and their families and numerous nieces and nephews.
    Bill, as he was known to most people, lived his life as a gentle loving man that worked hard and enjoyed his friends and family. He put his hands to any problem and usually found something to make it work for him – even if it didn’t work for anyone else. A motto he lived by was ‘accomplish at least one task every day!’
    Born and raised on Gabriola, Bill was the fifth generation of his family to spend his life on the island. The Cox farmstead where he grew up is located on Taylor Bay Road past the end of the ferry lineup in the dip of the hills. The farm had a large orchard, a huge garden and all the livestock necessary to support a large family. Bill learned to be self-sufficient from his parents and continued to practice this belief his entire life.
    At 16, Bill was employed as a full-time logger on the island and this remained his main profession throughout his life. He selectively logged two generations of timber off his own land. Many large old stumps around the island that have spring board notches cut into them were felled by Bill using two-handled crosscut saws in his youth. Bill was still logging at 76, falling his timber, skidding it out of the woods with his tractor and milling the trees with his portable mobile dimension sawmill.
    By the mid seventies Bill built a new home on his own acreage located 1 km north down Taylor Bay Road. He named the access road Brucelynn Drive after his son and daughter. At this new home he planted over 50 fruit trees and also developed a 5,000 square foot garden, both of which he worked and maintained with joy.
    He served his country in the Second World War in the Navy and developed a love of boats of all types. After the war he worked on fishing vessels when the work was available and at his first retirement bought a fishing boat of his own. He loved fishing and he and his wife spent many hours out fishing, though his wife hated boats as much as he loved them, but she went to make him happy.
    In 1987 he lost his boat in a refuelling accident that burned the boat to the waterline and his wife wouldn’t let him replace it. Instead he bought a motor home and he and wife spent time each year seeing our country and going to Yuma, Arizona in the winter months for golf and the nicer weather. Unfortunately, in 1998 Bill suffered a series of strokes that brought him down, and though he managed to regain some use of his left side he found his working days were over, as was the driving to Yuma each winter.
    During 2003, Bill and his daughter cruised the Panama Canal and in 2006, Bill and his grandson cruised the Mediterranean Sea sharing wonderful memories on both trips.
    He managed to live at home until 2006, when suffering dementia, he became unstable and so was placed in the Kiwanis Lodge where he was well cared for by the wonderful staff there.
    The family wishes to thank the Kiwanis Lodge for their many kindnesses and the consideration they gave Bill over the past six years while he was in their care.
    Bill’s wish was to be cremated and there will be a celebration of his life next year when the weather improves. No flowers by request and if you wish, a donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, in his name, can be made.

  • Digby David Goldsmith Jones

    Digby David Goldsmith Jones

    Mar. 15, 1927 - Nov. 2, 2012

    Predeceased by his parents, William and Edith, siblings, Geoffrey (killed action in World War II), and Gwyneth in 1988. He leaves his wife Rose and his children Lesley (Les) and Geoffrey (Pam) and grandchildren William, Holly and Jane to honour his memory.
    Digby’s family settled in North Vancouver in 1917. As a boy, Digby roamed the trails of very rural North Vancouver with his father. As the years passed, from his home on Keith Road he hiked Grouse Mountain and nearby peaks with his pals. Before the original ski lift was built he and his friends hiked and skied up Grouse Mountain.
    As a young man Digby was an active member of the Royal Canadian Navy Sea Cadets Corp Lonsdale. He learned many boating and team-building skills in this great organization, which stood him in good stead for the rest of his life.
    He attended North Shore College and in later years met annually with the Old Boys of that school.
    He was an active member of the Grouse Mountain Ski Patrol until 1955.
    Digby qualified as an electrician in 1951 at Burrard Drydock in North Vancouver. He worked at his trade in Prince George with Electric Power and Equipment, and in Vancouver with Westinghouse in the Apparatus Service Department becoming foreman before joining the sales force. He later became a partner in Winford Insulations.
    An annual event in Digby’s life was his involvement with Emil and Ottar Branvold and Milly at Diamond Head Chalet in Garibaldi Park. He led many a party of ski mountaineers safely to the lodge and beyond, thrown snowmobile tracks notwithstanding. Whatever it was Digby dealt with it!
    Digby always had a place in his heart for Mrs. Law on Gabriola Island, never forgetting the love she showed him in the years following the death of his mother. Nor did he forget the island itself when he retired. Digby’s life was built around a sound Christian foundation and he continued to fulfill his belief in his faith until his death. In his life on Gabriola he had many interests: the Lions’ Club, where he was a member, introduced to him by his friend Clive Tutty; the Power and Sail Squadron where he happily lent a hand; the Lunch Bunch, which gave him a new dimension to fellowship and community service. The Sailors introduced him to the science of remote control and finer points of sailing miniature sailboats. The White Hats satisfied his joy of fine dining combined with companionship and conversation.
    An Anglican funeral service will be held on Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. at the Gabriola United Church, 2600 South Road, followed by a celebration of Digby’s life from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Silva Bay Pub. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Palliative Care Ward at Nanaimo Regional Hospital would be appreciated.
    May the wind be always at your back, brave heart.

  • Richard Wilfred Welsh

    Aug. 28, 1941 - Nov. 4, 2012

    Richard passed away early in the morning on Sunday, Nov. 4 at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, B.C. Richard was born in London, Ontario, but resided for the last 10 years on Gabriola Island. A good and generous man, he was well-known for his fondness for a good chat, his wicked sense of humour and even more for his enthusiasm for a good meal. He loved his wife and family, his dog and his computer, however, not necessarily in that order. He will be greatly missed by his large family and his many friends and neighbours.
    Richard was predeceased by his faithful dog, Jake. He leaves behind his wife, Elizabeth, his children, Jennifer, Matthew, Nicole (Mike) and Christopher (Sung hee). His grandchildren, Nicole, Nathan, Justine, Rachel and Sam will sorely miss their “Big Bad Granny and the Alligator Pond.” He also leaves behind his sisters and brother, Lynn, Karen (Ralph), Sheila (Carl) and Christopher; his in-laws, David (Sue) and Kate as well as many loved nieces and nephews.
    There will be no formal service; however, on Saturday, Nov. 17 there will be an open house at 1515 Violet Crescent from 1 to 4 p.m. Family and friends are invited to share reminiscences, love and laughter and stories of our beloved Richard.
    Donations may be made to Heart House of Victoria, B.C. or the Gabriola Land and Trails Trust (GaLTT).

  • Jane James

    Sept. 7 1924 - Oct. 27 2012

    Jane James passed away on Oct. 27 at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital at the age of 88 years. Jane was the mother of Simon of Okotoks, AB; and Jeremy (Debbie) of Ottawa, ON. She was grandmother to Shannon Wolframe (Robin) of Calgary, AB; Connor James (Ashley) of Nurenburg, Germany; Meghan Bennett (Peter) of Tathra, NSW Australia; Colin James of Toronto, ON; and Erin James of Victoria, B.C.; and great-grandmother to Thomas Bennett and Owen Wolframe. She was pre-deceased in 2001 by Terry, her husband of 50 years.
    Jane was born in Kirkaldy, Scotland. She received her B.Sc. honors in zoology from the University of Glasgow in 1945, and her first job was with a zoological research station in England. From there she moved to a botantical research station in the Sultanate of Zanzibar. She met Terry in Zanzibar and they were married in the Zanzibar Cathedral on March 29, 1951.
    They moved to Kenya to manage a coffee shamba near Nakuru. The shamba was nationalized and they moved to Nairobi where she taught math and science at the Duke of York boarding school in Nairobi before immigrating to Canada in 1959. She lived in Carp, ON and Ottawa until 1964 while working for the Canadian Red Cross.
    In 1964, the family moved to Calgary where she worked again for the Red Cross and then in hematology at the Foothills Hospital.
    In 1975, Jane and Terry moved to Gabriola Island where they lived for 25 years.
    In December 2000, she moved to Nanaimo, and in 2007, Jane moved into the Lake Side Gardens retirement community where she made many friends and enjoyed having someone else cook for her.
    In lieu of flowers, donations to the SPCA or the David Suzuki Foundation would be appreciated.
    A memorial service will be held in Nanaimo at a later date. Please contact the family at jeremy.james@rogers.com for details.

  • Nicholas Small

    Nicholas Small

    Jan. 1, 1925 - Oct.17, 2012

    Nicholas Small (Nick) passed away Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 at his home in Victoria, B.C. He was born in Hrycowola, Ukraine on Jan. 1, 1925.
    He operated Gabriola Reef Dive Shop and was a former long-term resident of Gabriola Island.
    He is survived by his children: Nadia Small and Gary Small (Li), both of Gabriola Island, and George Small (Lindy) of Toronto. He is also survived by three grandchildren: Roslyn (Jon) Small and Bronwyn Small of Toronto, and Nicholas Haayer (Kellie) of Houston, Texas, as well as two great grandchildren: Liam and MacKenzie Haayer.
    Nick had an incredible life. As a young man during World War II, he managed to survive by his wits and his skill as a tailor in several forced labour camps. After the war, he married Katryn Wawryn (Sambir, Ukraine) and immigrated to Canada in 1949 with Katryn and their two-year-old daughter, Nadia. He worked at several jobs before operating his own grocery store in Edmonton. In 1951, he joined the Canadian Forces and spent his main working life as a soldier and tailor at various military bases in Canada and a posting in Lahr, Germany. He was also a veteran of the Korean War.
    After his retirement from the Army, he fulfilled his lifelong dreams of building an ocean cruising sailboat and then running a scuba diving business on Gabriola Island, incredible feats for a man who started life as the son of parents who were struggling farmers in Ukraine. He retired again at the tender age of 72 to spend more time with his family and his hobbies, including square dancing, golf and playing cards with his friends.
    Nick tried to live life to the fullest. He was honest, trustworthy and kind. We loved him dearly. He will be missed by family and friends. He asked for his family to spread his ashes in the ocean and we will honour his request. We are also arranging a marker for him at Victoria’s historic veteran’s cemetery.
    No flowers, no donations. You can view the obituary and offer condolences to the family online at Earth’s Option Cremation and Burial Services website. Visit www.earthsoption.com for complete details.

  • Kenneth Donald Capon

    Kenneth Donald Capon

    June 4, 1942 – October 14, 2012

    Our brother and friend Ken Capon passed away in Nanaimo Regional General Hospital as a result of a cardiac event.
    His focused energy will be sorely missed on Gabriola Island. He helped create the Gabriola Commons. He contributed his excellent string bass playing to many ensembles on our island, most notably the Gabriola Chamber Ensemble and the Gabriola Island Singers. He would play his bass anywhere at the drop of a hat. As well, Ken was Artistic Director of the Dancing Man Festival. He was always there for people when they needed physical help moving something heavy or doing a difficult piece of work or to organize a fundraiser.
    He will be missed by his wife Cherryl Reed, his brother John (Tawny, Jesse, (Sarah, Georgia, Elliot), Aron (Nikki), Rachel(Eli), his sister Sue Gould (Brian), and many, many friends.
    A Celebration of Ken’s Life will be held at Gabriola Community Hall on Sunday, October 28, 2012 starting at 1:00 pm.
    In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Gabriola Commons Foundation.
    Photo courtesy Victor Anthony

  • John Terrence (Terry) Page

    John Terrence (Terry) Page

    Sept. 16, 1942 - Sept. 2, 2012

    It is with profound sadness we announce the passing of Terry after a brief but brave battle with cancer and fibrosis of the lungs. He died surrounded by his family and at peace. He was grateful to the many friends who phoned and visited him in his final days. Terry was born in Victoria and grew up at Silva Bay, Gabriola Island where his parents founded Page’s Store and Marina in 1943. He attended elementary school on Gabriola and high school in Nanaimo and at Qualicum College. He spent the summers of his youth working at the family fish camp and marina and later on the family fish packer plying the coast. Terry moved to Vancouver in 1964 where he met and married Bundie, his wife of 39 years. They settled in Tsawwassen where they raised their daughters, Karen and Kelly. Terry worked for a concrete company for many years until he retired in 2007. He spent his spare time stock car racing and saltwater and sturgeon fishing. They moved to Keremeos in 2008 where he spent his time completing his new home, volunteering for community events and began a passion for gardening. Terry always felt a close affiliation with Silva Bay and his Gabriola Island friends. Terry (PaPa) will be sadly missed by his loving wife Bundie; daughters Karen, who lives in Australia with her daughter Sarah, and Kelly and her daughter Alexis; sister, Gail Page, and her husband John Frederick; nephews Trevor and Dallas and brothers-in-law Jim Dien (Susan) and Bob Dien, and other extended family members, as well as friends from Gabriola, Vancouver, Tsawwassen and Keremeos who knew Terry as a kind-hearted, hard working man, always ready to help others.
    A celebration of Terry’s life will be held at Page’s Resort, Silva Bay on Sept. 16 at 1 p.m., and in Keremeos at a later date.

  • Fraser Edward Hass

    Fraser Edward Hass

    Fraser Edward Hass died suddenly Thursday, July 26 at his home on Gabriola Island at age 78.
    Born on May 25, 1934, the son of Louise and Gustav Hass, Fraser grew up in French River, Ontario. Growing up in this isolated part of the voyager route, Fraser always had a love of the outdoors. He was hunting and fishing from an early age and as a teen he helped his family out by earning money as a fishing guide on the river. He always told us when he was growing up that if you left the house with one bullet, you better come home with a partridge for supper. 
    As a young man he moved to southern Ontario and began working in construction. In the early days he was in business with his brother Ed Hass and did roads, sewer and water for many homes in Rexdale and later Georgetown. Eventually he earned his license as a hoisting engineer, and was a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers for 40 years, and was proud to have run the crane on the Toronto Convention Centre and the library at York University.
    He also played hockey as a young man and loved to watch it as an adult, especially seeing his grandson, Fletcher, who played in Victoria. He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Linda Hass (nee Mino) whom he courted by playing his guitar and singing Elvis songs, in the driveway of her parent’s home. Married in 1960 to Linda, they began their married life in Georgetown, and in 1964 they welcomed the birth of their only child, Rebecca. Later, moving closer to the cottage he loved in French River, the young family moved first to Coldwater, Ontario followed by Orillia. 
    Twenty years ago, after a meaningful holiday trip to Vancouver, they decided British Columbia was the place for them. Fraser declared, “The air smells better, the people are nicer and the beer tastes better, I don’t know why we don’t live here!” He always said the only regret in his life was that they didn’t move west sooner.
    They settled on Gabriola Island and the happiest years of Fraser’s life were spent here. He never lacked for a project at his own home or a job at someone else’s. He had great skill with yard tools and had a terrific eye for design as is evident in many of the landscaping projects he executed on Gabriola in his retirement. He is also known to many locally for his tree work – limbing and cutting. Fraser started this work at age 65, and was still working in the trees the week he died, strapping on his belt and spurs and carrying his chain saw too. Every year he would tell us he was going to give up trees, he was getting too old for it, but he never did, and inevitably another new rope for his work had to be ordered.
    He enjoyed time with many of the people on the island, often those who began as clients developed into his friends. He had a deep love of nature, an amazing kind heart and a very generous nature – if you liked it he gave it to you.
    We in his family never knew anyone who worked harder or longer or who had more grit or determination. He was in many ways as tough as nails, but he also wrote beautiful poetry, and had a good hand for word carving. He continued to play guitar his whole life, especially as a way to occupy himself when he couldn’t sleep these past years. He was self taught on guitar, piano, violin and mandolin and passed this love of music on in his family. His daughter is a professional singer of opera, and he was also the best audience for his granddaughter Clara, when she gave him concerts at his home on piano and flute.
    Fraser will be missed unbelievably by his wife, Linda; daughter Rebecca and son-in-law Michael Lenz; and grandchildren, Clara Madeline and Fletcher.
    He was predeceased by two sisters Lily and Louise and two brothers Edmond and Wayne. He is survived by his brother Gus.
    The family wants to give sincere thanks to those people who came to assist the night he had the heart attack: Simon and Jackie, the paramedics, and the first responders; and Doctor Thorne, for her professionalism and understanding and sympathy in such a difficult moment. It meant so much. Finally, our friends and neighbours, Bonnie and Zeno Woloszczak, who were indispensable that evening. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Gabriola Health Care Foundation at PO Box 295.

  • George Edward Noseda

    George Edward Noseda

    George Edward Noseda passed away June 6, 2012 at the Nanaimo hospital at the age of 74, with his loving wife, Marlene, son and daughter at his side.
    George and Marlene were married 49 years. George leaves behind his daughter, Dunia (Duane), his son, Kevin (Shelley), and grandchildren, Candis, Kalindy, Libby, Mataya and Hannah, and two great grandsons, Kansas and Calum. He also leaves behind his brothers, Pete and Francis (Sally), his sister, Kath (Graham), and nieces, nephew and great nieces and nephews.   
    George loved his island home on Gabriola and his dog Jess and their many walks. George was a city born Londoner who pursued his dreams and became a carpenter, cabinetmaker, farmer, furniture maker, wood turner, craftsman, sailor, boat rebuilder and so much more. George was always working, creating and building. Many islanders will likely remember him from the farmers’ market, as he was one of the four original people to start up the weekly market. We will very much miss his sense of humour, our conversations full of laughter and that little twinkle in his eye.
    No service upon request as the family will hold a private reunion next summer to scatter the ashes. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Nanaimo SPCA.
    The family would like to thank Dr. Thorne, nurse Kellie, the staff at Nanaimo hospital, Gabriola Ambulance, Gabriola First Responders and also Simon and Hetty.

  • Dr. Richard Dale Hardy

    Dr. Richard Dale Hardy

    Aug. 18, 1953 - July 3, 2012


    Born Aug. 18, 1953 in Tofield, Alberta, Richard left this world suddenly on Tuesday, July 3 after suffering a heart attack.
    Richard is survived by his loving children, (in photo L-R) Jesse, Katrina and Lulu, and their mother, Laura. He is also survived by his loving sisters, Donna, Diana and Gerry.
    Richard loved his children more than life itself. He will be remembered as an incredibly caring and generous person who always put others before himself. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Nanaimo Brain Injury Society and a volunteer with the Gabriola Commons.
    Richard was a commercial pilot for several years and went on to become a successful chiropractor. He was affectionately known by his patients as “Dr. Dick”, which spoke volumes for his wicked sense of humour.
    Richard loved diving, reading, basking in the sun, fishing, crossbow hunting and afternoon naps.
    A celebration of Richard’s life will be held on Tuesday, July 17, from 4 p.m. on, at the Gabriola Commons.
    In lieu of flowers, please donate to www.mssociety.ca, or the Gabriola Food Bank.
    Thursday July 12, 7pm, Island of Peace Yoga at 620 Gallagher Way will be hosting a reading from Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita for Richard Hardy. info: tim@islandofpeaceyoga.com