• Sylvia Van Straten

    Sylvia Van Straten

    February 27, 1945 to April 5, 2012

    My lovely wife and best friend passed away peacefully on April 5, 2012. She was 67 years old and, unfortunately, struggled with Alzheimer’s for many years.
    She is survived by her husband Jim, three sons, Nico, Joal and Sam, plus her daughter Yosha.
    She has four grandchildren, Atom, Silas, Asia and Sarah, plus two sisters, Carol and Linda, both in Ontario.
    Sylvia was part of the hippie scene on Gabriola in the early ’70s and later was proprietor of Gabriola Natural, a vitamin and herb store in the mall.
    She was a beautiful loving being who touched the hearts of many.
    A Celebration of Life will be held in her honour at The Haven in the Phoenix Auditorium on April 21 from 2 to 5 p.m.
    In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer Society of B.C. are requested.

  • John Alan Proudfoot

    John Alan Proudfoot

    July 20, 1934 - March 20, 2012

    It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John Alan Proudfoot on March 20, 2012. John was born in Delia, Alberta on July 20, 1934, the son of Adam and Evelyn Proudfoot. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Philles (Timmy), daughter Kathy (Bruce) Otjes of Calgary and son Alan (Doreen) Proudfoot of Nanaimo; four grandchildren Shannon, Ian, Lin and Ben; his brother Les (Evelyn) Proudfoot of Penticton, B.C.; brother Andy (Ivy) of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta; sister Sheila of Regina, Saskatchewan and several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his mother, father and brother Donald.
    John had retired from the BC Corrections Branch as Deputy Director and Director of Programs at Nanaimo Correctional Centre having worked in Kamloops, Clearwater, Campbell River and Victoria before moving to Gabriola in 1990. He spent his retirement years keeping busy delivering newspapers and putting up posters around the island. He also worked for Loomis and Coastland Wood industries on security for a short time and as a volunteer at the Gabriola Golf Club. Special thank you to the doctors and nurses at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and the wonderful care he received at the palliative care unit the last two weeks of his life.
    No service by request.

  • Dorothy Leubkert

    Dorothy Leubkert

    It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dorothy.
    She passed away peacefully on March 11, 2012 at the age of 81 at her home after a bout with cancer.
    She is survived by her husband Klaus, her son Brent and his wife Jen, granddaughters Danielle and Kiana and her daughter Christa.
    Dorothy was known for her great sense of humour and was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother and will be greatly missed by her close and distant family and many friends.
    At her request there will be a service at the United Church on Thursday, March 29 at 1:30 p.m.
    In lieu of flowers, please send any donations to the Gabriola Community Medical Centre or to the charity of your choice.

  • John Joseph O’Connell

    John Joseph O’Connell

    April 8, 1956 - March 10, 2012

    John Joseph O’Connell died peacefully on Saturday, March 10 at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital after just two weeks of illness although he had been diagnosed with melanoma in 2008. He was lucky not to have suffered long and he received excellent nursing care and volunteer support in the palliative care unit.
    He was comforted by many visits, phone calls, emails and well wishes from his friends and family from far and wide.
    John was born in Fall River, Massachusetts on April 8, 1956. After training as a chef at Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island, his work opened up opportunities for a marine career, which led to extensive travel in the U.S.A., Europe, Asia and, eventually, Canada where he gained much respect for his culinary talents. Simultaneously, he expanded his creative abilities to include traditional wooden boat building and craftsman carpentry. 
     John was an energetic, gregarious and sociable man with a huge sense of humour. He was inclusive and hospitable, enjoying community and sharing his love of woodworking, cooking, music and baseball. Sweet, gentle and kind, he created deep and lasting friendships, providing empathy and special connections with all who were lucky enough to know him. In his caring and love, John touched us with a depth of understanding, openness and an interest in sharing knowledge and wisdom with the perspective of an honest, deep and loving soul.
    John is survived by his wife Janice, her children James, Joel, David and Michael, and his siblings Anne, Maryellen and Danny.
    A celebration of John’s life will be held on Gabriola at the Net Loft, 1960 Murray Road on Sunday, April 8 from 3:30 p.m. with a potluck at 6 p.m. followed by music to 9 p.m.

  • Reid, Alistair Donald

    Reid, Alistair Donald


    Alistair was born and grew up in North Vancouver, B.C. His summers were spent on Gabriola Island swimming, boating, beach prowling and helping his grandmother prepare the cabins for the family’s summer migration.
    He moved to Gabriola full time in 1997 and lived there until going into full-time care at Kiwanis in Nanaimo.
    His employment with Nalley’s Canada started at the bottom and ended at the top as vice-president.
    He was a lifetime member of the BC Chef’s Association and also the BC Hotel and Restaurant Association.
    A gentle caring man, he will be greatly missed by his wife, her son and daughter, his father, brother, sister and their families.
    Our thanks to the staff at Kiwanis who did a super job of caring for Alistair.
    A Celebration of Life will be held April 1 at 1 p.m. at the Gabriola Golf Club. Donations may be made to the Gabriola Health Care Society if desired.
    God speed you home....

  • Jacques Linden Lynch

    Jacques Linden Lynch

    It is with heavy hearts that we announce the death of our hero and best friend, Jacques Linden Lynch of Gabriola. Jacques died peacefully on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, surrounded by loved ones, after his battle with cancer.
    Jacques was born in Laval, Quebec on April 20, 1946. He moved to the West Coast in his teenage years where he met his wife and decided to do his schooling to become a boilermaker.
    He dedicated his life to his family and his work. He was meticulous with any project, which made him a great mentor to many. At home, he was always a soft, gentle and loving man who made sure he had time for the family and had a special connection with the kids.
    Jacques is survived by his wife, Randi Lynch, his daughter Jennifer, her partner Tom and their two children Emma and Jane; his daughter Tina, her husband Guy and their two children Bianca and Gill; and his sister Lillian and her daughter Carol.
    Jacques’s wishes were to have a private family gathering to celebrate his life, a beautiful life that he worked so hard to create.
    In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to any of the individuals participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer or to the Gabriola Health Care Foundation.
    The world will miss you, but we have you in our hearts and we know you’ll always be near.

  • Gordon (“Gordie” or “Gord”) Burns McPherson

    Gordon (“Gordie” or “Gord”) Burns McPherson

    December 27, 1930 to February 19, 2012

    Gabriola has lost one of its proud, passionate and colourful citizens. Gord McPherson, who recently attained his 81st (‘nine squared’ as he said) year, loved the island and its community. He came first as a frequent visitor, then was a full-time resident for more than 10 years in the house that he and his wife, Sas Selfjord, built on Berry Point Road.
    He is also survived by his older brother Victor, five children, three adopted children and an ever growing number of grandchildren and great grandchildren.
    Gordie spent many happy hours fishing these local waters, as if each trip was his first. He was constantly upgrading his gear, laying crab traps and delighting in feeding scraps to his eagles, his face beaming under his crumpled trademark Tilley hat.
    Born in Calgary, he moved with his family to B.C. and grew up in Burnaby and White Rock. After high school, Gord attended UBC where he completed three years of undergraduate studies, followed by two of the required three years of medical school. He was later awarded a Bachelor of Science degree. His career, like his academic life, was diverse and eclectic. He worked, among other occupations, as a high school teacher, cabbie, investment advisor and occasional house builder. He also worked for IBM, teaching computer programming to their trainees after obtaining the highest aptitude score of all applicants.
    Gordie was also an avid golfer. He left a bucket of golf balls at the side of his sundeck, studiously hitting them into the edge of the forest on the property – a property he was constantly and lovingly upgrading into his 80s. He also left behind a chess board at the Skol Pub where folks could hone their skills in matches with him. And after virtually every Tuesday night poker game there, on returning home he would say to Sas with an infectious laugh, “Isn’t it wonderful to live in a respectful community where people listen!”
    His hobbies and passions also included a lifelong interest in handicapping horse races, with skills that he learned from his grandad, Charlie Kraft. He taught himself to count cards at blackjack and enjoyed his occasional trips to Reno to make withdrawals. In later years, Gord began to write as a hobby. He spent a lot of time reading and contemplating philosophy and the meanings of life. He took up collecting and writing down aphorisms, many of which he has left behind, scattered throughout his many pages of notes. One of his favourite expressions was reporting that his children “raised me, but lovingly.”
    His family is holding a Celebration of the Life of Gordon McPherson at the Surf Lodge, Wednesday, Feb. 29 at 2 p.m., 885 Berry Point Road, Gabriola, B.C. Please RSVP at In lieu of flowers, please give donations to Gabriola Health Care Society:

  • Wood, George Josiah

    With deepest sorrow the family of George Wood announces his passing on Jan. 3, 2012 at the age of 91.
    He will be terribly missed but always lovingly remembered by his wife Phyllis of 64 years, son Christopher (Zena), daughter Leslie (Ian), four grandchildren and extended family members. Gabriola has been his home since 1979.
    A gathering to remember George will take place on Jan. 21 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Gabriola Commons, 675 North Road, Gabriola.

  • Fred John Amor

    Jan. 16, 1946 - Dec. 27, 2011

    The boating world has lost an icon.  Fred passed away at home on December 27 after a long battle with liver cancer.  He is survived by his wife Nancy, sons John and Duncan, brothers Norman, Lorne, John and mother Betty Cliburn.  Open house is to beld on Saturday, January 7 from 11:00 A.M to 4:00 P.M. at 345 Larch Road.

  • Penelope Marjorie Clark (Harrison)

    April 23, 1947 ~ Dec. 17, 2011

    We sadly announce the unexpected passing of Penny on Saturday, December 17, 2011.
    Survived by her loving husband Rod of 45 years, daughter Kim McLeod and son Kevin Clark (Kaycee), grandchildren Zena, Camryn, Dylan and Carter. Sisters Lynne Smith (John), Jaqueline Clarke, many nieces and nephews and long time friends.
    Born and raised in Nanaimo and long-time resident of Gabriola Island. She loved her home on Gabriola where she enjoyed looking out over the ocean and all the beauty that the island offered.
    Through the years she generously opened the door of her home to people and wanted to help them move forward with their lives and just “be happy”, always offering a place for the “kids to hang out and have fun”. She was most proud of her children and grandchildren and especially loved Rod – her companion and soul mate.
    To all those who knew Penny, she will be very deeply missed.
    Upon Penny’s request, there will be no service and the family will hold a celebration in her honour at a later date.  Flowers gratefully declined, donations may be made in her memory to the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation, BC Cancer Foundation or a charity of choice.