Obituaries

  • Patricia Mary Murray

    Patricia Mary Murray

    February 19, 1929 - May 20, 2021

    Patricia Mary Murray (married name Maika) was born on February 19, 1929 in Bournemouth, England. She died peacefully on May 20, 2021 in Kamloops, B.C. She is survived by her children—Paul (Heather), Patrick, Timothy (Leigh Ann), Christopher, Frances and Julia Maika; her grandchildren—Nobalee, Allan, Zoë, Samantha, Josephine, Aliyah and Rosie; and her former husband and father of her children, Dominic Maika.

    Patricia loved Gabriola Island, where she lived for close to 30 years and volunteered for Friends of the Library, the Gabriola Players, was a member of three book clubs and had many like-minded literary friends. She lived a full and long life in which her family, literature, academic achievement, opera, cooking, theatre, style, and art played major roles. Her response to everything was to read.

    Mummy, we will miss you immeasurably and always.

    Memorial details will be announced after July 1 when restrictions on gatherings ease.

  • Dorothy Helen Harbour Wilson

    Dorothy Helen Harbour Wilson

    September 10, 1924 - June 17, 2021

    Helen died peacefully at her residence in Nanaimo, B.C. in the early hours of Thursday, June 17, 2021 with her daughter Mary by her side.

    She was born in Sandy Beach, Quebec, the fifth of ten children, where her father ran a general store. Her Mom died when Helen was just seven, leaving the eight surviving children in the care of father, grandfather and auntie. 

    Near the beginning of the second world war, the Gaspe Peninsula faced a teacher shortage. Helen completed Grade 10 by correspondence and began teaching in her late teens, working in several small communities on the coast.  She travelled home to Sandy Beach whenever she could, and it was on one of those trips that she met Walter Wilson, a Navy shipwright. They met at a dance put on by the Y in Gaspe for the troops. She tripped over his feet while walking towards someone else – he always said it was an accident. They were married in June of 1945. 

    Once war ended, Helen and Walter moved to the farm at Fleming, Saskatchewan, where he had grown up. They raised three children (Barry and Ellary, now deceased, and Mary) and enjoyed welcoming family and friends as they drove west or east across Canada. They farmed until Walter was in his eighties, and Helen continued to live there until Walter’s death in 2000. 

    She then moved, with her son and grandson, to the west coast to live with Mary and her husband Robbie Huston in New Westminster. When we moved back to Gabriola in 2005, she and Ellary came with us.

    Helen’s life contained considerable tragedy. The brother next in age to her died the year after her mother did, and her eldest brother Will was killed in Germany in WWII. She lost a child at birth, and both her sons died before she did. Throughout her long life, her faith was vitally important to her. She was an attentive member of St. Martin’s Anglican Church, applauding when the church became Christ Church Gabriola in collaboration with the United Church congregation. 

    She enjoyed welcoming friends to our home, presiding over a Wednesday afternoon tea that ran almost every week for nine years. She was a great communicator. At one time, she had a list of 19 friends and family she called across Canada, ranging from her sisters to the woman she shared a desk with when she started school in Sandy Beach. 

    She loved her connection to Robbie’s family, attending weddings and welcoming new babies with gentle enthusiasm. She and Barbara Huston, Robbie’s mother, had always been friends, but they became closer in the four years Barbara lived with us.

    In later years her health declined. With the wonderful support we received from the Gabriola Homecare staff, and with the support of Dr. Tracey Thorne, Helen lived with us until fall of 2019. Then she moved to Dufferin Place in Nanaimo, where she received loving and gentle care.

    She is survived by her daughter Mary Wilson and son-in-law Robbie Huston, Robbie’s family, her daughter-in-law Faith Swanson, her sister Mabel Adams, brother Ted Harbour and sister-in-law Marie, her grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, and many nieces and nephews, and friends.

    We will welcome friends to an informal tea in celebration of her life on Sunday, July 11, from 2-4 p.m., at Robbie and Mary’s home. 

    Please call (247-0242) or email (mary.gabriola@gmail.com) if you need directions.

  • Leonard Cuthill

    Leonard Cuthill

    Leonard Cuthill ended his 95+ prosperous years peacefully on June 3, 2021 at Delta Hospital while recovering from complications following a stroke.

    Len was preceded in 2019 by his beautiful wife of 67 years, Patricia nee Webster, who was the love of his life. Together they lived life to the fullest, best friends forever, enjoying the love of their two children and four grandchildren. Len is survived by daughter Elaine (Alan) Husdon, son Don (Sydney), and beloved grandchildren Tait, Anne, Adam, and Sam. 

    Born and bred in Vancouver, BC to Scottish parents, Douglas and Constance Cuthill, Len graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and worked as an accountant for Westeel Rosco and latterly for Krakenbaum Industries. Golf was Len’s early passion. He practically lived on the golf course in his early years both as a caddie and player at the old Quilchena course. He discovered Gabriola Island in the 50’s and eventually purchased a piece of paradise on Pilot Bay in 1958. Sixty-three amazing years and many memorable occasions and adventures later, the property is still the family retreat. 

    Len was a true gentleman through and through. He will be remembered for his wisdom, wit, and sense of humor. Travel, playing bridge, many friends, and most especially enjoying time with his grandchildren kept Len young at heart. 

    The family would like to extend sincere and heartfelt thanks to the many nurses, doctors, and staff of Delta Hospital for their kindness, excellent care, and professionalism in Len’s final days.

    In lieu of flowers, donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. at heartandstroke.ca would be gratefully accepted. 

    We Love you Dad xo

  • Donald William Powell

    Donald William Powell

    1936-2021

    Powell, Donald William passed away suddenly at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital on June 17, 2021.

    Don was born in Edmonton, AB in 1936. He moved to Victoria as a young man working in the shipyards. Don then began a 60 plus year career in Real Estate and land development that took him and his family from Prince George to Vancouver and eventually to Nanaimo in the early 1970s. He and his wife, Doris moved to Gabriola Island in the early 1990’s. Don was a fishing and hunting enthusiast. Some of his fondest memories were commercial fishing with his father-in-law in the French Creek area of Vancouver Island. He enjoyed spending many hours in his garden. Don’s grandchildren were the highlight of his life. He loved his siblings and all his nieces and nephews. He was a great friend, a confident, a mentor and a surrogate father to many. Don enjoyed life to the fullest.

    Don is survived by his spouse, Doris, his children; Brad (Kathy), Sherri (Shawn), Charlene, Don (Teresa) and Barclay, numerous grandchildren, his siblings; Sue (Richard) and Judy (William) and a large extended family. Donald is predeceased by his father; Harry Powell and his mother; Edna Aldous and siblings; Jack, Edwin, Fran, Harry, Flo, Billy, Julia and Eric.

    No service by request.

  • Rita Stolle Rita Johanna Stolle (nee Rexing) 

    Mar. 15, 1935 – June 18, 2021

    Rita was born in Germany and emigrated to Canada in her early twenties, settling in Calgary. She worked for many years at the Calgary Public Library. 

    In 2000, she and her husband Oly moved to Gabriola where they happily lived the Island life. 

    Upon Oly’s death in 2015, Rita relocated to Nanaimo where she made many new friends. 

    Rita died peacefully at her home after a short illness. At her request, there will be no funeral or celebration of life. She is survived by her children Michael Martini (Roslyn), Andrea Martini and Brian Stolle, and her grandchildren Allison, James, Lucas and Olivia. 

  • James Wallace Lawrence 

    James Wallace Lawrence 

    With great sadness we announce the passing our James ‘Jamie’ Lawrence on 25 April 2021 in Nanaimo.

    Jamie was born in Vancouver on 8 August 1930 to James Lyle and Kay (Peck) Lawrence and was educated at Prince of Wales School in Vancouver and Royal Roads College in Victoria. He received his LLB from UBC and practiced law at Lawrence and Shaw in Vancouver, a company founded by his father. In 1960, he married Sally (nee West) and they shared a passion for outdoor travel and adventure. Among their many adventures were twice canoeing the Yukon River to Dawson City, trail riding with horses through the Chilcotin, winter skiing and camping as well as a summer kayaking the Danube in Europe. They raised two children who, from an early age, they took on many outdoor expeditions around the province and travels abroad. In 1979, they sold their farm in Haney, BC and bought a 42-foot ketch, Pacific Jade, which they lived on in False Creek until Jamie retired in 1988. Shortly afterwards, they set sail on ‘PJ’ for what became a nine-year circumnavigation of the globe with long stops in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa and shorter visits to many remote islands and harbours in between. While the ocean passages were adventurous, they especially enjoyed arriving in places and spending time exploring the landscapes and meeting the local people. In South Africa, Jamie connected with descendants of the Lawrence family who had moved there from Scotland in the mid-19th century: his grandfather had been born in Cape Town. 

    Upon returning to BC, Jamie and Sally settled on Gabriola where they welcomed family and friends from around the world. Jamie took an active interest in island life and was a steadfast supporter of the importance of maintaining a low sustainable environmental impact. For more than 20 years he and Sally worked to preserve and protect the fragile and delicate ecosystems on Gabriola and the Gulf Islands. Jamie was well respected for his careful and brilliantly formulated reasonings on any number of important subjects or issues. He looked forward to the weekly discussion groups at the Rollo Centre, and was very involved with the Shakespeare group, which he always enjoyed organizing. He enjoyed socializing and sharing ideas with all the people he met through these activities.

    For many years, Jamie volunteered his time twice a week at the Gabriola Elementary School to lead a special group of students in studies of classic children’s literature with integrated reading and discussion. His poignant and adept questions promoted critical, creative, higher order thinking and a love for literature in the young. Jamie loved his books and read extensively throughout his life. Jamie was always keen to share his lifetime passion for classics as was reflected in his own enormous personal library. He had a prodigious memory and could recite long passages line for line.

    Jamie was predeceased by his dear wife Sally in 2013 and is survived by his loving family: daughter Gillian Charpentier, son Andrew Lawrence, sisters Nan Spedding and Sue Lissack, and many other relatives.

  • Jean Maryl Abercrombie/Waugh/McLaren

    Jean Maryl Abercrombie/Waugh/McLaren

    Jean Maryl Abercrombie/ Waugh/ Mclaren was born July 9, 1927. In 1949 she was married to Eric Waugh and had 4 children: Merilee, Avril, David and Kelly. 

    Us 4 kids had 13 children, Jean’s grandchildren. 

    Those 13 kids have 18 kids, Jean’s great grandchildren. The first great grandchild has one child, Jean’s great-great-grandchild.

    Mom will greatly be missed by all of her family.

    Mom was predeceased by both her husbands, Eric Waugh on Sept 20, 2014 and Bob McLaren in April, 1986.

    Mom and Dad joined the Peace Movement in the 50’s. Bob and Mom continued in the Peace Movement and other peaceful causes.

    We were always taught to Love all peoples, be they Blacks, Asian, Indigenous, and all others.

  • Kelly Burton

    Kelly Burton

    On Sunday, January 31, 2021, Kelly Burton, of Gabriola, passed away at the age of 73 years.

    Kelly Burton was born in Vancouver, BC, and raised in and around BC’s Lower Mainland where he met and married the love of his life, Gayle. Together, they had their first home, a float house, by the Walden Bros. Sawmill at West Cracroft Island, the hub of Kelly’s logging career. After, Kelly and Gayle purchased a home in Burnaby, BC, where three children were born and raised. A proud father, Kelly then earned his Red Seal as a Heavy Duty Mechanic, and worked in the trade for his entire working life. He also built homes, fixed cars, rode his motorcycles, and cut numerous acres of lawn with a push-mower. Kelly is survived by his wife, Gayle, their three children, Kelly-Lyn, Klinton, and Rhondalyn (Jean-Philippe), his sister Gale (Lorne), his cousin Don (Susie), and a very special family dog, Emma. 

    Kelly moved from Abbotsford, BC, to Gabriola in September 2020, and passed away here peacefully on January 31, 2021, in Rhondalyn and Jean-Philippe’s home with his wife and children bedside.

    A heartfelt thank you to Gabriola’s compassionate nursing staff: Maureen, Jessie, Jodie, Sarah, Leah, Wendy, Veronica, Jennifer, Leigh, Barbara, Nicholas, Dr Thorne, Janet of the Gabriola Ambulance Society, and nieces Shannon and Sharleen.

    “Keep a little fire burning; however small, however hidden.” 

    ~ Cormac McCarthy, 

    The Road

  • Margo McCutcheon 

    Margo McCutcheon 

    Mar. 26, 1956 - Dec. 16, 2020

    Margo, daughter of Ed and Marjorie and Marvin, special granddaughter of Doris, sister to Darren, Karen-Anne and Eddie, niece of favourite Auntie Joanie and dear family and friend to so many others.

    This is a message from the Canadian friends who loved Margo and shared so many experiences with her over the jam-packed adventure of her life. 

    Mexico became Margo’s home of choice for its warmth, colours and people.  She became a Mexican citizen and never stopped studying Spanish. Margo was dedicated to her friendships in Ajijic and especially to her Mexican family, Rudolfo and Ana and her 7 cats. 

    We are celebrating, grieving and remembering Margo as the vivacious, witty, educated, generous, smart, fierce friend that we shared. From the beginning of her life in Alberta as the Princess of Ponoka to all the countries she lived in on this planet, Margo made friends. Above all else, she was a truly great friend.

    Margo was fearless. She lived on a sailboat in a West Coast harbour and she lived in Spain, Egypt and Scotland. She built a home on Gabriola Island and raised chickens and nurtured cats. Margo loved animals with her favourite being the furry feline. But along the way she had a rooster named Liberace and hens Camilla, Diana and Fergie after the British royal family.

    Not only was Margo unfailingly kind to animals (including mice she would only live trap), she also was so attentive to her friend’s children throughout their childhood into adulthood.  She adopted the children as her own and contributed in so many ways to the growing up of these young persons. One friend said that her daughter’s first words when she heard of Margo’s passing were ‘oh mum she was always so nice to us’.  She was indeed, in the truest sense of inquiry and caring concern.

    Margo was a great cook and used this skill to feed people and get them around a table or even make meals for delivery when they were going through a hard time.  She was always generous with the biggest open heart. She would give of her time and resources without question and was always there to roll up her sleeves no matter what needed done. 

    Margo loved words and made a difference to readers and writers everywhere through her work as a librarian in Victoria, Nanaimo, and Slave Lake. Margo wrote letters to the Editor and columnists of various newspapers. She had an informed opinion about everything. Her letters were so engaging that some of the columnists became regular correspondents with her just for the delight of her perspective and wit. It’s hard to imagine Margo without a book in her hand.

    Margo was interested and interesting. It was not just her degrees – a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in History and a Master of Library Science - it was her ongoing curiosity. Margo knew the history of everything and loved travel. Her knowledge added so much depth to her travels. Margo surrounded herself with music and supported the arts.  There was a time when Margo had seasons tickets to the Seattle, Vancouver and Edmonton operas. 

    How do we as friends capture Margo and her life in words? There are enough stories to fill the rest of our lives and carry her along with us. Margo lived life large and shared it all with us. 

    Margo was special. We loved her and are grateful she was our friend.

  • Konrad Mauch

    Konrad Mauch

    Mar. 24 , 1953 - Apr. 29, 2021

    Konrad dearly wanted to return to his beloved Gabriola Island for his last months. Immensely sadly, he only made it to the Gabriola ferry parking lot. He passed away in Nanaimo Hospital due to complications with esophageal cancer

    He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 34 years Linda Harrison, his siblings Anne, Walter (Jane Powell), Maurice (Norma Ginther), and his niece Freya.

    The first child of Walter and Elisabeth (Haldemann) Mauch, he grew up in North Vancouver and Tsawwassen. Konrad’s intelligence and curiosity were evident from the start. 

    There were always science experiments and projects in various stages of assembly, disassembly or reassembly. His interest in applying technology led him to study Electrical Engineering at UBC earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. 

    Konrad was an engineer, entrepreneur, and maker. As an electrical engineer he spent much of his career developing products which improved the environment, ranging from electric vehicles to components for solar power systems. 

    In the late 1980’s he cofounded Statpower Technologies, which grew to over 100 employees by the end of the 90’s when it was sold to another local company. Konrad was very proud that many of the original employees are still working for Statpower’s successor and spin-off companies.

    Konrad and Linda fell in love with Gabriola on their first visit in the late 80’s and within a year had purchased a small cabin they named the “Cedar Spirit” overlooking the water. 

    It became their weekend and holiday retreat while they continued working. 

    They spent a happy decade in the Cedar Spirit making many friends among their neighbours. 

    With the sale of Statpower they were ready to live on Gabriola for longer periods. 

    They retired the cabin and had a wonderful Gulf Island home, also dubbed Cedar Spirit, built to suit their personalities and pastimes. From Konrad’s workshop below Linda’s “treehouse” scrapbook corner to Konrad’s indoor/outdoor kitchens, there was a place for every interest and hobby. 

    Upon his retirement Konrad designed and built beautiful furniture, lamps and other woodworking projects and became a member of the Gabriola arts community. His workshop, Gabriola Gadgets, was a favourite on the annual Gabriola Thanksgiving Studio Tour with his work selling out every year.

    Konrad loved to travel. He and Linda travelled to over 60 countries in all continents, making lasting friendships with fellow travellers along the way. Konrad particularly loved the travels that brought him close to wildlife, ranging from penguins in the Antarctic to mountain gorillas in the hills of Rwanda. 

    Konrad was actively involved in community projects on Gabriola. He was a Director, Vice President and volunteer leader with the Gabriola Health Care Foundation during the years when its Community Health Centre was planned and built. He then helped the Gabriola Arts Council plan and renovate its Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre. Later he was a cofounder of the Gabriola Woodworkers’ Guild which gives island woodworkers a chance to share skills and knowledge and show their work to the public through its annual “wood show.”

    From the young employees at Statpower who he mentored and coached, to the neighbours and friends on Gabriola who loved his famous summer Beach Parties, Konrad touched many lives. He will be missed.

     Heartfelt thanks to Sam Abraham, Maurice Mauch, Rob Maynard, Judy Durban, the palliative team at NRGH, Dr. Bosman, Dr. Sandell, and the Gabriola Medical Clinic. Thanks to the Gabriola Woodworkers Guild, especially, Rob and Lawrence Spero, and friends and family who continually gave love, prayers and blessings, and most specifically, “my heart and soul, Linda, who walked beside me every step of my journey.”

    A Celebration of a Life well lived will take place on Gabriola, hopefully in the fall.

    Friends wishing to remember Konrad are encouraged to make a donation to InspireHealth.ca or the BC Cancer Foundation.