• Frank Peter John Velsen

    Frank Peter John Velsen

    Aug. 12, 1930 - Mar. 28, 2015

    Frank Peter John Velsen, 84, of Gabriola Island, quietly passed away at the Nanaimo Seniors Village on March 28, 2015.

    Frank was born August 12, 1930, in the Netherlands to Pieter and Margarite (Quast) Velsen, He was raised in Indonesia where he spent most of his early childhood. He came to Canada on one of the immigrant ships, landing in Halifax in 1954.

    Frank was a prolific reader and was continually learning. He was known for his endless sense of humour and love of nature - the songs of the birds and the howl of the wolf were music to his ears. He had the ability to enjoy life wherever it took him. Frank worked at a job he truly loved at the Nanaimo Biological Station for 30 years where, in addition to other accomplishments, he pioneered new photography techniques of salmon egg development. He always looked forward to spending time with his family and friends and he always had time for a chat, a joke and a smile.

    Frank is survived by his wife, Anne Velsen (Brown); his sister and her husband, Jan Roelof & Eveline Branbergen; daughter, Christine Velsen; son; Martin Velsen, son and wife; Adam & Josee Velsen, grandchildren; Keana & Kaleb and brother in-law and wife, Doug and Kathy Brown

    He was a true gentleman, forever in our hearts! 

    At Frank’s request, there will only be a small gathering of family and close friends honoring and celebrating his life.

  • Betty M. Castell  [nee Vallieres]

    Betty M. Castell [nee Vallieres]

    Feb. 11, 1933 – Dec. 18, 2014

    It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our dear wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She will be dearly missed by all that knew her but especially by her husband and best friend of 61 years, Robert Castell. 

    Robert and Betty were married April 24, 1953 in Vancouver, B. C. They had three daughters’ Debbie, Linda and Kim. They resided in the lower mainland until the late sixties when they relocated to Gabriola Island and remained for the rest of Betty’s life. After a brief, brave battle with cancer she left us on December 18, 2014. 

    Betty’s main focus in life was her family but especially her husband Robert. They spent many happy years together: raising their family, boating and fishing, gardening and later in life RVing. 

    Betty was predeceased by her parents and grandson in 2011. She is survived by her husband Robert, 3 daughters Debbie [Don] Brown, Linda Smith and Kim [Robert] Mitchell, 6 grandchildren, 8 greatgrandchildren and extended family. 

    A life well lived leaves its gentle pattern on the hearts of all and the world is a lovelier place because one person touched it with warmth, goodness and grace. 

    We will love and miss you always. 

    A ‘Celebration of Life’ will be held at a future date. 

  • Ruth Marylynn Clements

    Aug. 31, 1953 – Jan. 28, 2015

    Ruth was born in Chemainus, BC and was the only child of the late Bill Clements and Zillah (Tomlinson) Clements. 

    When she was very young the family moved to Gabriola Island where Ruth was raised. She received her education on Vancouver Island and furthered it in Vancouver. She was an avid reader, a master seamstress and was determined to do everything to perfection. 

    She worked hard and travelled extensively; sailing around the world with her partner Ted Long. Her motto: “-don’t hold back doing whatever you want to do, just go for it – never give up!” She is sadly missed by her friends. 

    A special thanks goes out to the support staff, doctors and nurses at NRGH for their wonderful care. 

    For information about Ruth’s celebration of life please call 250-323-6600.

  • Ruth Elizabeth Munro

    Ruth Elizabeth Munro

    Jan 8, 1024 - Feb. 2, 2015

    Ruth took her inaugural angel flight on the morning of February 2nd, 2015 enveloped in the love of her children and the palliative caregivers who cared for her at her Assisted Living home in Courtenay. She was peaceful and gently made her exit. 

    Some Gabriolans knew Ruth over the last 23 years from her many visits with daughter Zulis Yalte (Joy Olsen) where she revelled in nature, enjoyed friends, the arts and just chillin’ with her family.

    Ruth was a kind, loving, and generous person who learned to get through the horrors of wartime London, England (her birthplace Jan 8, 1024) and other adversity - with courage, a song and dash of humor. 

    She worked hard as a school custodian in Courtenay to raise her 4 children and was devoted to them and her grandchildren/great-grandchildren. Ruth was always up for a spontaneous adventure and fun. She loved to dance, hike, bike, swim, golf, travel and joined several groups that focused on such activities. Through her compassionate and generous nature she quietly assisted many she came into contact with, both financially and emotionally. She was our shining star and we will so miss her.

    Thanks to all Gabriolans who shared life with our mum, you added to her enjoyment of being.

  • Frank Hackwood

    Frank Hackwood

    Mar. 11, 1930 - Jan. 14, 2015

    Frank passed away peacefully on Wednesday January 14, 2015 at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital after a brief illness.   Both of his daughters were at his side.

    Frank was born in Nanaimo on March 11, 1930.  He built his first home himself in the 50’s in Nanaimo, then in the early 70’s he purchased half of his brother Allen’s waterfront property on Gabriola and built himself his forever home in Pilot Bay, which was the best place on earth to Frank.

    Frank loved life and saw the bright side to everything and often remarked what a blessed life he had. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and uncle and he treasured his family deeply. 

    He had lots of stories which he loved to share with everyone. Frank was a Fisherman, Meat-Cuter/business man, Journeyman Carpenter and in recent years, a model boat craftsman.

    Frank never touched someone so lightly that he did not leave a mark.  He smiled with his whole being and he will be sorely missed by his loved ones and those whose lives he touched.

    He is survived by Nida, his wife of 59 years, daughters: Cindy Graf (Glen), Sandra Rudischer (Herb), grandson: Lee Dunbrack (Heather), nieces: Barbara Ann Andrew (Donald), Linda Gill (Kristen, David Jr) special friend, Colin Masson

    A celebration of Frank’s life will be held at the Surf Lodge on Gabriola at 2pm Saturday Feb 21st, 2015  

    Special thanks to the Gabriola Firehall first responders, the BC Ambulance attendants, Dr. Carr and to the kind and caring staff at the Emergency and ICU at the NRGH

  • Christopher Johnathen Shepherd

    Christopher Johnathen Shepherd

    Christopher Johnathen Shepherd, better known by many as John, passed away on Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at the age of 25. 

    Chris Shepherd, Lenora LeMaitre and Caroline Kasprzyk will be holding a Celebration of Life at the Gabriola Community Hall on South Rd. 

    The service will be on Sunday, January 25, 2015 @ 1:00 pm with a Pot luck (finger food) afterwards with non alcoholic refreshments so we may all have time afterwards to chat, reflect and tell more stories. 

    Lisa Rey is looking after set up and any help would be appreciated, 250-247-8744.


  • Sylvia Edlund

    Our friend Sylvia Edlund died November 11th, 2014, and a memorial service will be held on January 25th at the Haven on Gabriola Island, BC. She had been in hospital in Nanaimo, BC for several weeks and succumbed to an infection. She was peaceful and comfortable, and supported by friends in her final days.

    Sylvia spent half of each year on Gabriola Island. She regularly took courses at the Haven including “Healing Stitches” and “Spirit of the Song”. For several years she volunteered making unique costumes for “Kids in the Spotlight”. She also contributed her beautiful textile art to the UnspOILed Coast Quilt Project of the Positive Energy Quilters.

    On January 25th there will be a memorial gathering for Sylvia in the Phoenix auditorium at the Haven, with a display of Sylvia’s quilts and costumes. You are invited to come at 1pm to see her artwork, and to stay for a Quaker-like service at 1:30, where you can share thoughts and remembrances of Sylvia if you wish.

  • Ron Nicholson

    Ron Nicholson

    May 5, 1948 - Dec. 9. 2014

    Thirty-six years ago I met my soul mate and best buddy.

    We talked about everything, we never had an argument.

    Ron passed away on December 9, 2014 at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria.

    Ron approached his hobbies with such passion. He loved his fishing and always jokingly said he was only allowed to have a plastic boat with no motor.

    Before retirement, Ron was a boom man, a creel surveyor for the Georgia Strait and a mail man for the north end of Gabriola.

    He loved to talk to people and made me strong.

    I do not know what I ever did to have this very loving, caring and kind man in my life, but I do know I loved every day I had with him and he will live forever in my heart.

    Thank you to everyone for their support and generosity in looking after me since Ron passed. This island is amazing.

    ~ Karen Nicholson


  • FLATLA, Dr. Hans D.V.M.

    December 9, 1935 – December 26, 2014

    Predeceased by his son Darold Flatla (1980) and his father Peder Flatla (1992). 

    Hans is survived by his loving wife Mariel; daughters Patricia Flatla and Linda McFetridge; his son Keith Flatla (Karen) and his mother Mabel Flatla. 

    Services to be held at a later date. Condolences may be offered at, Telford’s of Nanaimo at 250-591-6644.

  • Ryan William Cheek

    Ryan William Cheek

    On Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 Ryan William Cheek husband, father, son and brother, passed away suddenly peacefully in his sleep at the age of 30 years. 

    Ryan will be forever remembered by his wife Meghan, and their precious children, Savanah and Austin, by his parents John and Rose Cheek, and by his brother Corey (Crystal). 

    Ryan will also be forever remembered by his niece, extended family and dear friends.

    A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, December 13th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at the Coast Bastion Hotel in the Benson Room - 11 Bastion Street, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 6E4.