Obituaries

  • Edda Maria Halak

    Edda Maria Halak

    1933 - 2019

    Edda Halak was born in Castions di Zoppola, northern Italy, in 1933. It was a small farming village surrounded by fresh produce, olive trees and persimmons that were stored in the attic. Edda’s grandmother would ask Edda to fetch persimmons for her.

    In 1949 Edda with her mother, Adele, and sister, Rita, sailed on the ship Queen Mary to North America and settled in Trail, BC, where her father, Osvaldo Cantarutti, was already working at the mining smelter. He loved to make wine and raised canaries.

    In Trail Edda married Joseph Halak. They moved to Vancouver where Joe graduated from UBC as a medical doctor. They lived in Edmonton and Toronto, while Joe was a doctor in the Royal Canadian Air Force, then returned to Vancouver. 

    Edda later became a Real Estate agent. They had three children: Brenda, Gary and Michael. Edda was a talented seamstress who sewed and knitted wonderful outfits for her family and cooked fabulous cabbage rolls and spaghetti. 

    She had a melodic singing voice, enjoyed opera and sang along with Pavarotti’s music. 

    The family enjoyed camping and fishing trips. 

    In 2000 Edda and Joe moved to Gabriola where Edda kept up her tennis, golfing, gardening, walks to the beaches and photography, especially eagles and sunsets. “Nonna’s place” on Gabriola provided happy memories for her granddaughters Haley, Jade, Jessica and Kristal and great grandchildren Grace and Roman.

    Other family members include her other granddaughter, Kristal and great grandchildren Grace and Roman. 

    Edda passed away January 17, 2019. The family thanks all community members including Home Support, agencies helping seniors, ambulance attendants and the Red Cross. 

    Special thanks to Dr. J. Mackenzie and Constable M. Pater. 

    Also much gratitude to Bishop G. Gordon, who will celebrate the mass and funeral service for Edda on Saturday,  February 9, at 1:00 PM at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, 3380 South Road, Gabriola. 

    All welcome. 

  • Timothy Willard Nicklom

    Timothy Willard Nicklom

    Dec. 29, 1960 - Dec. 29, 2018

    Tim passed away on December 29th, 2018. He is survived by his wife Joyce of 34 years, his three daughters Ambyr, Samantha and Sara, two Grandsons Weston & Pierce, his mother Fran, brothers Rick and partner Marlene, Dean and wife Chelsea, & son-in-laws Luc and Sean. He is predeceased by his sister Jacqueline and father Willard.

    Tim was a proud father to his daughters which gave him plenty of time to become the king of ‘Dad Jokes’. His grandsons gave him an excuse to be the big kid we all loved. Between taking Weston and Sasha (his grand-dog) to the park and making silly videos with Pierce, he found happiness in the outdoors. Fishing and hunting were all passions he could never get enough of and he truly was a man who found joy in his work as a mechanic. With his great sense of humour and willingness to help anyone in need, he will be greatly missed by many.

    The celebration of life will be held on January 19th at the Bowen Park Auditorium located at 500 Bowen Road, Nanaimo, BC at 1:00pm.

  • George “Victor” Anthony (nee Mecyssne)

    George “Victor” Anthony (nee Mecyssne)

    Apr. 30, 1952 - Dec. 17, 2018

    Victor Anthony (nee George Victor Mecyssne) passed away at home on Gabriola Island, British Columbia on December 17th, 2018 with his wife Joëlle at his side. He married Joëlle in 2004, and thinking it would be great to have a simple last name, he changed his to hers and became Victor Anthony. Instead of simplicity, he ended up with three first names, and for the rest of his life, much to his chagrin and amusement, half the people he knew called him “Anthony” instead of Victor.

    He was predeceased by his father George Mecyssne and his mother Victoria Elizabeth (Drennon) Mecyssne, and is survived by his wife Joëlle Anthony, his mother-in-law Linda, father-in-law Frank, brother-in-law Erik (Mizu), and niece Ashly. An only child, he often referred to his three best friends as his brothers, Bob Deck, Andrew Smith, and Tom Mitchell of Tennessee also survive him.

    A Nashville native, he made his living around the edges of the art world starting in 1985, working as a musician, actor, and photographer, occasionally all in the same week. He appeared on national television performing his music, and toured 48 of the 50 States and Europe. In 2000, The Nashville Ballet choreographed six of Victor’s songs into a new work called Short Stories, which had its world premiere at the Tennessee Performing Arts Centre. In the 1990s and early 2000s, he could often be seen playing venues like The Blue Bird and The Radio Café with his band The Ragtops. 

    For more than fifteen years, he worked on and off as a musician and performer at the Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville, Tennessee, his last role being Burl Sanders in Smoke on the Mountain. Before immigrating to Canada, Victor recorded three CDs in Nashville as Victor Mecyssne (Personal Mercury, Hush Money, and Skinnybones). 

    After moving to British Columbia, he recorded Mystery Loves Company featuring all new songs and several local musicians he’d come to know and love. In 2014, Victor became a Canadian citizen and at the ceremony the judge encouraged the candidates to share their home culture with their new one, which led to Victor recording Those Nashville Blues, a collection of pre-World War II songs he’d learned back in Tennessee.

    Victor’s greatest wish after moving to his new country was to see it by car, to explore it, to get to know it and its people. While he never made the trip all the way across the country, in 2016, he did do a Home Routes House Concert tour with Joëlle of northern British Columbia and it was a highlight of his time here in Canada.

    It is only fitting that Victor ended up living in the West as he’d had a fascination with it from early childhood. This interest eventually led him to a take a course and then volunteer at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He spent one amazing summer working at the youth camp there which changed his life forever. He was also an environmentalist and lover of the work of The Nature Conservancy of Canada and felt it was so important to protect our wild lands. In lieu of flowers, Joëlle requests donations be made either to the Allen Youth Center at the Pine Ridge Reservation http://okini.net/index.cfm or The Nature Conservancy of Canada http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/

    Events to remember Victor:

    Portland, Or – 5th January, 2019, The Kennedy School, 1-4pm

    Nashville, TN – TBA

    Gabriola Island, BC – TBA (end of January or early February)

  • Frieda Bohm

    Frieda Bohm

    Dec. 6, 1935 - Dec. 13, 2018

    Born in Poland. Moved to Canada in the early 50’s and lived in Sudbury, Gabriola Island and Nanaimo. Daughter of Anna (pre-deceased) and Adolf Jokat (pre-deceased). Loving wife of Rudi Bohm (pre-deceased June 7, 1998), wonderful mother and mother-in-law to Harry & Laura, and Astrid & Tom, fun-loving Omi to grandson Lucas and granddaughter Sarah. From a family of many sisters and brothers, Erna, Elsie, Helen, Adam, Ludwig (pre-deceased), Edward (pre-deceased), Emil (pre-deceased)l, Anna (pre-deceased), Marianne (pre-deceased). Sister-in-law, Aunt, Great Aunt. She easily made friends wherever she went and was not afraid to brighten someone’s day with a joke, a smile and a hug! She worked full time as an RNA in Sudbury and moved to Gabriola Island with Rudi in 1994. Always had time for a road trip, an adventure, and a song. Independent and strong with a great sense of humour. She is now with her loving husband, family and friends that have passed. Many thanks to the staff of Berwick On The Lake who became a family to us and took great care of Frieda during her last few months.  There will be a celebration of life in the Spring of 2019, location to be determined. Please give someone a hug and a smile in lieu of flowers! She will be dearly missed.

     

  • Muriel Boulton (nee Kyle)

    Muriel Boulton (nee Kyle)

    Oct. 25, 1926 - Nov. 20, 2018

    Muriel Boulton passed away November 20th with her family by her side, after a short battle with cancer. She will be dearly missed by her husband Nelder and daughters: Molly Cameron (Kevin) of Bradford, Ontario and Laura of Gabriola, and her 3 granddaughters Emma, Bronwyn and Ruby.

    She was born in 1926 on the farm of her parents, Glen and Agnes Kyle, near Dunkirk, Saskatchewan and was the 6th of 7 children. In 1945 she moved to BC, and in 1953 graduated from the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing. After graduation she travelled and worked in Hong Kong, London and New York. She returned to BC in 1962. In 1966 she married Nelder Boulton and began life on Gabriola Island where they raised 2 daughters.

    Over the years she volunteered with various organizations including the Gabriola Museum, Meals on Wheels and GIRO. She enjoyed many activities including yoga, meditation, reading and any crossword that she encountered. Travel brought adventure into her life with many trips taken throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

    She will be missed by friends and family. At her request, there will be no service.

  • Randy Warren Nicifore

    Randy Warren Nicifore

    Jan. 18, 1952 – Nov. 23, 2018

    With broken hearts we announce the untimely death of Randy Warren Nicifore, who lost his battle with cancer on Nov. 23rd. 

    Randy was pre-deceased by his father, Frank Nicifore, his mother Moneca Tayler, his step-mother Linda Gee, and his cousin/brother-of-the-heart, Brian Portfors. 

    He leaves behind the love of his life Chris Bowers, his sister Diane Wellman (Bill), step-sister Angela Colabella (Dom), step-brother Michael Gee (Kim), sister-in-law Jacquie Leitch (Kevin Murphy), mother-in-law Muriel Wiens, nephews Stephen and Noah, nieces Maya, Emily, and Niamh and brothers-from-other-mothers Doug (Loren), and Cal (Elaine). 

    He also leaves behind special aunts and uncles, numerous cousins, and many cherished friends.  

    Randy was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and attended school there. 

    He left Calgary shortly after high school to travel abroad, and had many adventures along the way.

    Upon returning to Canada, he lived in Victoria, Vancouver, and Calgary before settling on Gabriola Island in 1995.

    Randy’s wealth was measured by the love of his family and many friends.

    The exemplar of a “people-person”, his superpower was engagement. He had no time for superficial relationships, and if necessary was prepared to cajole everyone he met until they responded to him – even if it just meant trading good-natured insults.

    He adored his nieces and nephews, and filled their hearts with the assurance of his eternal love and support.

    A born artist, Randy brought that sensibility and creativity to his work as a contractor – especially to his commitment to designing and building “small perfect buildings”.

    He was well-respected by everyone in his family and the community. He had an innate sense of justice, a great sense of humour, and a wealth of knowledge about living and loving.

    Thanks are owed to everyone who helped to support Randy and Chris during Randy’s illness.

    So thanks are extended to those who brought food, checked in on a regular basis, and offered hugs to Chris while she was out in the community; to Dr. Mackenzie for conducting the orchestra of intervention for Randy’s cancer and refusing to conduct a 10 minute medical practice; and to Jessica for her kindness and willingness to go the extra mile.

    Special thanks go to friends and neighbours: Cheryl and Mick, Laurie and Heather, and Rob and Patti, who made the road so much easier for Randy and his family in their walk towards Randy’s inexorable death.  

    There will be a celebration of life for Randy in the spring.

    In lieu of flowers please send donations to the SPCA.

  • Ted and Mike James

     “Brothers Forever, Gone Fishin”

    James, Ted (Edward Thomas) 

    Sept. 13, 1946 - Nov. 5, 2018

    Ted was born in  Port Alberni September 13, 1946 and passed away at the age of 72 in Nanaimo November 5, 2018.  

    The best memories of Ted will be from over 30 years at T & T Texaco on Gabriola Island.

    He loved his island life: helping others, driving the fuel, fire, tow trucks and ambulance and fixing all sorts of vehicles.

    He shared his life over many beers, hunting, fishing and enjoying friends.

    After a few years in Prince George he returned to Nanaimo to be with family.

     

    James, Mike (Michael Gerard)

    July 20, 1938 - Nov. 16, 2018

    Mike was born in Port Alberni July 20, 1938 and passed away at the age of 80 in Nanaimo November 16, 2018, days after his brother Ted.

    He worked 40 years between Queale Electronics and Gough Electric, was a devoted volunteer with the Catholic Church and choir, Knights of Columbus and is now Silent Key VE7 JME with the Nanaimo Amateur Radio Association.  Predeceased by wife Joan (nee Lindsay).  He leaves to mourn daughter Christine, sons David (Beckie), Brian (Joanne), grandchildren Nicholas (Heylee), Cody (Susan), Delaney and Cooper. 

    Ted and Mike were predeceased by parents Kit and Jerry James, baby sister Maria.  They’re survived by siblings Vic (Gail), Irene Ollenberger (Paul), Richard (Diane), Kathy Hobbis (Richard), Monica Murray (Allan), and Stephen (Helena).

    The family will honor Ted and Mike with a double interment in spring 2019.

    Sincere appreciation to caring and compassionate people.  Smiles, looks, deeds, words and actions are true gifts, thank you.

    Condolences at www.mem.com

     

  • Jocelyne Boulanger

    Jocelyne Boulanger

    Jocelyne Boulanger, a long-time resident of Gabriola Island, last week conceded her final debate in her four-year-long argument with cancer.

    A nurse, educator, artist, and  stalwart supporter of Gabriola’s Farmers’ Market, she was born in Ryland, Ontario. After she trained as a registered nurse, she moved to British Columbia and worked for seven years as an emergency room nurse at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

    Passionate about education, she was an instructor in the nursing department at Malaspina College, and rose to become Director of Nursing at the college while simultaneously earning her Masters’ Degree in Nursing. She also taught in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the University of Victoria; created the province-wide curriculum for teaching Licenced Practical Nurses; and was an educational consultant to private institutions for many years.

    In what was perhaps her most satisfying work, she later became a home support worker on Gabriola Island, returning to what she considered the fundamentals of nursing: caring for people.

    Jocelyne was a vocal and feisty advocate for her French-Canadian culture, and relished speaking with friends and family in her native language.

    A talented watercolourist, she also built split-rail fences, shovelled concrete and was a pretty  good carpenter as well. She was also an active participant in the Gabriola Farmers’ Market, getting rave reviews for her mustards, chutneys and flavoured vinegars. She is survived by her extended family in Ontario and by her close friends Margaret, Joan, Laurie, Jan, Michael and Robbie.

    Waiting for her at the Rainbow Bridge are Cricket, Bonnie, Maggie, Molly, Lady, Caitlin and Missy.

    At her request, there will be no funeral or memorial services.

     

  • Virginia (Gini) Thompson nee Simmons

    Virginia (Gini) Thompson nee Simmons

    Dec. 2, 1931 - Nov. 4, 2018

    Gini was born in Valentine, Nebraska, on Dec. 2, 1931 and is survived by her adoring husband, Allan, two loving sons, Brent and Paul and four Grandchildren.  Gini was second youngest and was cherished by her seven siblings. 

    Gini loved her Island home, living life to the fullest; spending hours each day in her little garden, swimming and treasuring evening sunsets. 

    But it was Gini’s Faith that was foremost in her life as she shared her love for Jesus, and wasn’t afraid of being rebuked, alert to opportunities to share that love and the message of Salvation for eternal life through Christ. 

    After a very short illness, Gini passed peacefully, on November 4, 2018 with the assurance of that Saving Grace. 

    She will be deeply missed by her many loving friends and family.

  • Brian Hoag

    Brian Hoag

    It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Brian Michael Hoag on Sept. 27, 2018. 

    Brian is survived by his loving wife Dianne (nee Warner), his beloved sons Ian (Deb) and David (Moon Hee) and his devoted sister Shirley and brother Bill. He was predeceased by his parents June and Wilfred Hoag.

    Brian was born and raised in Toronto and spent 27 years in Guelph Ontario. 

    He truly enjoyed his job with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and on retirement, moved to beautiful Gabriola Island.

    He was a man with a generous heart and had a great love of birds, animals, and nature. His family, reading books, bird carving, writing, and taking photographs were his joys.

    He will be kept close in our hearts and always cherished.

    Donations in Brian’s name may be made to GROWLS.ca