Obituaries

  • John Bateson

    John Bateson

    Apr. 18, 1939 - Sept. 22, 2019

    After 80 years of good living, John Bateson has sailed on to distant shores.  He will be remembered well by his wife, Elaine, his family in England, including daughter Lin, Alasdair,  grandchildren Della, Darius and Damien, his family of nieces and nephews in BC and his many friends on Gabriola and around the world.

    John’s journey began in Leigh, England on April 18, 1939.  He grew-up in the south of England and joined the Royal Air Force when he was 17.  He served in the Middle East and Malta. 

    John trained as an architectural draftsman in England, but decided to emigrate to Canada in 1966 where he went on to have an interesting and varied career in sales and business, including owning and operating an electronics store in Vancouver. Later he established Travel Canada Inc. with Elaine, where they travelled together across North America promoting tourism destinations in Canada.

    He joined the Jib Set Sailing School, where he became an instructor and met Elaine.  John shared his passion for sailing with his students as they learned to safely sail and navigate the waters around the Gulf Islands.    Eventually he operated a flotilla sailing operation based in Maple Bay on Vancouver Island.   Later, he taught offshore sailing as well as doing offshore yacht deliveries.  John and Elaine moved to Gabriola Island in 1984 where he operated a private boat moorage facility in Degnen Bay.   

    It wasn’t always smooth sailing, as a heart attack in 1990 ended John’s dreams to fly again.  He never got to pilot the aircraft he built together with his great friend, Peter Donahoe.   Instead, he became an avid model aircraft builder and flyer, which he enjoyed with his friends in the Gabriola Balsa Busters Flying Club.  John loved spending time with his many friends on Gabriola and Vancouver Island, including the members of the Friday Lunch Bunch, the Old English Car Club and the Gabriola Cruisers. 

    Elaine would like to thank Dr. Francois Bosman and the staff of the Gabriola Medical Clinic for the all the good care over the past few years, the paramedics on Gabriola Island and the Emergency Department staff at Nanaimo General Hospital. 

    Please join us as we raise a glass to toast John on his final voyage.  A “Going Away” party will be held Saturday, October 26 from 3 to 5pm at the Gabriola Golf and Country Club.

  • Christine Jean Swanson

    Christine Jean Swanson

    May 1942 - September 2019

    Christine Jean Swanson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in May of 1942. She spent her early years at Freshfield RAF base near Liverpool where her father was a flight instructor. Her mother had been fashion artist in New York City and was a print collector and dealer. Chris emigrated to Canada in 1947, and has lived in Montreal, Southern Ontario, Saskatchewan, California, Arizona, and Vancouver. Since 2014 she lived on Gabriola Island. She had always wanted to live in British Colombia.

    Christine was, like her father, a passionate nature-lover. Fearless and free-spirited, she especially liked traveling and camping around British Colombia. Seeing wild birds and animals really delighted her. She loved her cats and birds very much, and the family home was like a zoo of rescued wild and domestic animals like raccoons, crows, opossums, foxes, and even a peregrine falcon. Chris loved to play the guitar and sing gently.

    Chris was an accomplished artist. She attended Ontario College of Art and graduated from Ontario Teachers College, working in graphic art for the Toronto Library and elsewhere. She was a very creative person and expressed herself often by drawing or sketching with pencil, chalk, charcoal, and crayon. Her artwork was ethereal and warm. She lived to draw.

    Chris loved her family very, very much. She was a warm, caring, and genuinely good-natured soul. She is survived by her children Michael and Adam, and her husband and caregiver, Lorne, and will be dearly missed by all of them. There are no words to describe this kind of loss.

    Christine was avidly interested in aboriginal cultures from around the world, including Native American, and collected art, stories, and literature about them. She was a highly sensitive and spiritual person, a tradition in her Scottish family, for whom dreams, visions, and premonitions had great significance. 

    A memorial event will be held on Gabriola Island. The time and place will be announced shortly. You are invited to come and pay your respects.

  • Joy (Joyce) Carol Olsen

    Joy (Joyce) Carol Olsen

    May 7, 1951 - August 9, 2019

    We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Joy Olsen, born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. 

    Joy made her transition cocooned in the peace, love and beauty of her home, on Gabriola Island, BC.

    Pre-deceased by her former partner: Paul Murray, granddaughter: Ocean and step-father Russell Clarke, Joy is survived by her life partner: Zulis Yalte, Gabriola, daughter: Danica (Austen), grandchildren: Kai, Fjor, step-grandchildren: Chloe, Hunter, Amber all of Albany, Western Australia, father: Louie Olsen, mother: Joyce Clarke, brother: Byron (Lana), sisters: April (Rob), Rose (Greg) and a large extended family of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and life-long friends, all of Saskatchewan. 

    In Saskatchewan Joy grew up loving nature and worked as a lifeguard and camp counsellor. She completed Secretarial training and worked for Sask Tel, Prince Albert. At age 20, Joy’s flying lessons developed into a life-long passion for planes and flying. Her first airline job was with Norcan Air. At 22 Joy holidayed in BC, fell in love with the sea and beaches and made the coast her home for the rest of her life. 

    Joy began working for Pacific Western Airlines in Vancouver in 1974, met Paul and In 1976, gave birth to the light of her life, Danica. Joy and Paul surrounded Danica in such a loving environment that Danica describes it as magical. 

    PWA, absorbed by Canadian Airlines, was taken over by Air Canada. Joy remained employed in the Airline industry for over 35 years. She worked in various areas: Reservations, Lead Staff Trainer, Health and Safety officer and Ground Crew. Joy was strongly involved in the CAW union. Concurrent with working, Joy became a Girl Guide Leader and then a GG Commissioner for 15 years. She loved teaching and leading the Guides on wildlife adventures. Joy, with her family and friends enjoyed nature, the Vancouver beaches or for many winters, extended family holidays in Mexico. 

    The birth of grand daughter Ocean was a highlight for Joy. Sadly Ocean left the world early. Joy’s relationship with Paul dissolved and she moved to Commercial Street in Vancouver. She was happy in that Cosmopolitan environment with new interests and friends. She rekindled an interest in Pottery that began with lessons at age 12. Joy devoted herself to hand building sculptural forms in porcelain clay at the Trout Lake Recreation Centre and taking night courses at the Emily Carr College of Art in Design in Drawing, and Painting. During that period Joy was thrilled with the arrival of grandson, Kai. She was committed to being with her new grandson and family every year, including after their move to Australia. 

    In 2002 Joy met Zulis and they became Life Partners in 2006. Upon retirement in 2007, Joy moved to Gabriola to join Zulis in a life of exploring nature and creating art in their shared studio and creative community. Joy thrived and she and Zulis cherished each other and their life together. 

    Joy studied with master potters, was in several prodigious art shows and became an accomplished ceramic artist (and glaze maker) in her own right. (www.joyolsen.ca). 

    Joy maintained a connection with Saskatchewan potters. This dovetailed with renewing Prairie family and friend ties when Joy bought a prairie summer cottage that she and her brother creatively reconstructed. 

    Always curious, Joy studied the diversity of natural forms, thought, cultural practices and creative expression. She was an accomplished chef, gardener and seamstress and enjoyed sharing food, cooking, singing or fabric projects and social times with family and friends. Joy further inquired into: spiritual and self awareness practices, the nature of clay bodies and chemical reactions, the nature of relationship and embodiment, women’s empowerment and feminism to nam]e a few. 

    Joy contributed to empowering people both through her union work, quietly through various venues in her community and through her art. Joy’s art offered nature ‘a voice’ by drawing awareness both to nature’s diverse strength and beauty, as well as it’s fragility. 

    In 2011 Joy was diagnosed with cancer, Melanoma. She approached it from many angles until in Jan 2019, when it became Metastatic and aggressive. Family and friends drew near and Danica returned with her new baby Fjor who gave Joy many heart warming moments and laughter. Joy met her illness with an extraordinary grace, valour, determination, humour and a warm appreciation for all who supported her.

    Joy is remembered as a kind, loving, gentle soul with an at times, irreverent humour that would surprise and delight. She touched many lives through her work and diverse interests. 

    The legacy Joy leaves in addition to her daughter/grandchildren, is one of love, kindness and inspirational art. 

    You are Forever in our Hearts Joy.

    Fly Free Bright Spirit!

     A Celebration of Life will be held on Gabriola Island at the Netloft, 1960 Murray Road, October 19, 2019, 2pm, doors open 1:30. 

    Donations may be made to: The Gabriola Commons (http://www.gabriolacommons.ca/donations.html) or The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre: https://www.niwra.org/

    Sincere thanks to our loving friends/family, Drs Mellisa Gillis, Victoria and Nanaimo Cancer clinic teams, Cline Medical clinic, Alden Clinic, the Nanaimo Palliative Care team, The Gabriola Ambulance crew and Loan cupboard, HC nurse: Maureen, Brenda Moffatt RMT, Gabriola Hospice and the wonderful caregivers who so lovingly tended Joy. 

    We are forever grateful. 

  • Barbara (McCaffree) Young

    Barbara (McCaffree) Young

    Aug. 10, 1938 - Aug. 25, 2019

    It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of the Reverend Barbara (McCaffree) Young of Sidney, BC on August 25, 2019. Barb was born in Winsdor, Ontario on August 10, 1938. 

    She was an elementary school teacher in London for many years before being called to the ministry in her 40s. 

    After her ordination in the Presbyterian Church of Canada she led congregations in Bayfield and Ailsa Craig before moving to the West Coast to be closer to her daughter and young grandchildren. 

    Barb served as Minister of Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church for many years. After her (semi) retirement she continued to be very active in her community but also enjoyed travel and new experiences. 

    She is survived by her loving husband Chuck, daughter Heather (Paul), grandsons Minstrel and Jethro, and sisters Janice and Sharon. She is pre-deceased by her sister Judy and first husband Doug. 

    There will be a Funeral Service to celebrate and remember Barb’s life on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 12:30 at Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church. 

    In lieu of floral tributes donations may be made to Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church. 

  • Seumas Riley Doherty

    Seumas Riley Doherty

    1986 - 2019

    Dear friends and family. You are invited to celebrate the life of Seumas Riley Doherty with us on Saturday August 24 at 1:00 PM in Courtenay BC. At the Aaron House Christian Fellowship Church 2946 Kilpatrick Avenue (Behind Kelly O’Bryan’s Restaurant). We welcome anyone who would like to join us in celebrating our beloved son and brother. If you have any memories of Seumas that you would like to share please visit our memorial at www.piercysmtwashingtonfuneral.com\

  • Margaret (Vera) LaBelle (nee McDonald)

    Margaret (Vera) LaBelle (nee McDonald)

    Oct. 7, 1926 - Aug. 10, 2019

    Vera was born in Edinburgh Scotland on October 7, 1926. She was predeceased by her husband, Russell, in 2009, her sister Patricia and Brother Murdoch. She is survived by her sisters Christine & Barbara who reside in Edinburgh, Scotland.

    Vera leaves behind her daughter Linda (Harold) and her son Russell (Rosemary), four grandchildren Jennifer, Caroline, Elizabeth & Russell and 12 great grandchildren Sydnee, Jaymee, Macyee, Isobella, Madison, Georgia, Lilly, Charli, William, Jack, Wyatt & Trent.

    Vera was working in a Library on Princess Street in Edinburgh during WW II when she met her future husband, Russell, who was on leave recovering from wounds he received following the D Day landings. He travelled to Edinburgh to visit an Auntie who was working at the same Library. Vera & Russell fell in love and were married on February 16, 1946.

    Vera immigrated to Canada as a War Bride travelling on the Queen Mary landing in Halifax then via railroad to Vancouver. Following Russell’s retirement from the trucking industry in the late 1970’s they moved to Gabriola Island where they built their retirement home.

    Although not golfers per say, they decided to become Charter Members of the Gabriola Golf Club and gave many hours to picking rocks, raking dirt and building tee boxes. Vera was very creative making stuffed toys, ducks, geese, et cetera. 

    They both loved the Gabriola lifestyle and spent countless hours in their garden creating a mini Butchart Gardens.

    Vera was the most giving, unselfish, accepting person and a very elegant, gracious lady. She will be sadly missed by all who knew her.

     

  • David Russell Thompson

    David Russell Thompson

    June 14, 1941 - Aug. 5, 2019

    It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of David Russell Thompson, beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend and pastor. David was born 14 June 1941 and died 5 August 2019. David is survived by his loving wife Miriam Thompson, sons Jonathan (Jennifer), Mark (Alexandra), and Andrew (Brittany), and grandchildren Carson, Lucas, and Rael. He is also survived by two brothers, Allan and Paul. David was born and raised in Vancouver; he moved to Nanaimo in 1967 with Miriam to become the pastor of Departure Bay Baptist Church. David also served as the pastor of Gabriola Fellowship Church, and as a teacher at two different Bible colleges in Kenya. His love for Jesus Christ was foremost in his life and his great desire was that others would come to know and love Jesus as he did. 

    David graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology, and the Northwest Baptist Theological College with a Master of Divinity. Through his lifetime of service to the Church, David provided guidance and support to many. David enjoyed long distance swimming and was also an expert gardener and keen traveller.

    A memorial service will be held at Departure Bay Baptist Church on Friday August 9. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. 

  • Betty Louise Whyte nee Emberley¬†

    Betty Louise Whyte nee Emberley 

    Dec. 18, 1931 - July 2, 2019

    Betty was born in and grew up in North Vancouver with her 10 siblings. She married merchant marine sailor Alastair Whyte on October 11, 1953. They had 2 girls, Jane and Linda (Jill) and she had a granddaughter Sylvia. 

    Betty worked as a typist for lawyers and real estate office and at Lion’s Gate Hospital. They owned a breeders chicken farm in Cloverdale where they sold fertilized eggs to a hatchery. 

    While living on Gabriola Island she worked in retail at Silva Bay Marina. Betty’s hobbies were eclectic and diverse. 

    She was a master landscape painter, sought after tarot card reader, dedicated gardener, expert seamstress and avid traveler. Betty will be fondly remembered for belting out a song or two at Karaoke.

  • Evelyn (Eve) Florence Steele

    Evelyn (Eve) Florence Steele passed away peacefully with her daughter by her side July 13th, 2019 just one week shy of her 96th birthday. 

    Evelyn was predeceased by her husband John (Jack) Evans Steele and her brother Doug Kennett (Gwen). She is survived by her daughter Heather Lynn Steele (Clark Price) and son James Scott Steele (Pam). 

    Evelyn volunteered for Meals on Wheels in both Calgary and Gabriola for many years. She was very devoted to her churches both in Calgary and Gabriola. From 1986 until the last few years when she was no longer able to do so, Evelyn was very well known for her kitchen help, baking and crafts for all the United Church teas. 

    A memorial service will be held at Christ Church Gabriola on Saturday, July 27th, 2019 at 1pm with a tea to follow. In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Gabriola Ambulance Society. The funds will be used to support health care initiatives on Gabriola. Please send, on behalf of Evelyn Steele, to: PO Box 162, Gabriola BC V0R 1X0

    In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Gabriola Ambulance Society. The funds will be used to support health care initiatives on Gabriola. Please send, on behalf of Evelyn Steele, to: PO Box 162, Gabriola BC V0R 1X0.

    250-247-0226. GabriolaAmbulanceSociety@shaw.ca

  • Hazel Broadley

    Hazel Broadley

    1936 - 2019

    Hazel loved life. She loved singing, dancing, and parties with friends. She was an imaginative cook, a splendid hostess, and had a rich sesne of humour.

    She grew up in Burnley, Lancashire. At the age of 21, she was off on an adventure in Paris to work as an au pair and learn to speak French. When she returned to England, she attended the Liverpool School of Occupational Therapy; after graduating, she took a job in Devon going into the ‘field’ to treat patients. In 1965, she went to Malta to work and remained there for three years. She had pleasant memories of her time in Malta; she loved the warm climate and the friends and activities she had there, including building and sailing a small boat. She returned to England and got a job in a major hospital in London; she was rated an expert in her field. Her joie de vivre and caring for people made her a very successful O.T.

    Hazel came to Canada in 1972 and continued to work in her field at the Vancouver General Hospital until her retirement in 1995. She then moved to Gabriola island to property she co-owned with her friend Henny. With the help of Gus Lund, the cabin, which had belonged to Joyce Lockwood, was extensively renovated with much design input from Hazel. The upstairs loft became Hazel’s studio as her interest turned to art. She took a course at the Victoria School of art to improve her skills and for several years she turned out many very fine paintings: portraits, familiar scenes of house and garden, Farmer’s Market,  et cetera. She also spent many happy hours creating a garden masterpiece. She made a vegetable garden, built a fence, a driftwood arch over the path to the woodshed and gathered rocks to make a pond and patio. She planted flowering trees and shrubs, annuals, and perennials. Many a gin and tonic were enjoyed in the garden at day’s end.

    A favourite with many friends were two “big/little” books: one in which she illustrated and described a canoe adventure with Henny down Trincomali Channel, with visits to islands along the way. The other was an illustrated account of the dreams of her friend - tedious to Hazel at first until she got the brilliant idea of making her illustrated story version. One dream had a vision of Henny who was wearing a dress made of grape skins! Hazel’s illustration was priceless!

    Many good years were spent in retirement on Gabriola, but eventually home and garden maintenance became too difficult and a decision was made in 2009 to sell and move to Nanaimo. In 2012, Hazel was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and eventually it was decided she would return to her family in Burnley. She was very well cared for, with two sisters nearby, until she passed away on June 29.