October 13, 1935 – July 11, 2019
Born in Duncan October 13, 1935. Predeceased by parents Bea & Nestor Uppgard and brother Bill Uppgard, husband Stan Dickinson and husband Bob MacMillen, Aunt ‘Annie’ Gran, Uncle Charlie Gran and Auntie Jane Bailey. Survived by children Pam Dickinson, Tim Dickinson (Holly) and Dave Dickinson (Jenny) and Grandchildren, Eryn O’Connor (Ryan), TristanMiller (Joe O’Connor), Amanda Dickinson, Colton Dickinson and Melony Boychuck and Great Grandchildren – Braeden, Wyatt, Parker, Jacob, Olivia and Evie; sister Louise Coulthard (Bob Vye); nieces Nancy and Susan and nephews Richard, John and Robert.
Mom lived her early years on Vancouver Island travelling to logging communities with logger/faller father Nestor and family. Telling us stories of getting into Port Hardy before there was a road and having to wait until low tide to drive the car there. Living for a time in Port Alberni on River Road and attending elementary school at the old army barracks. The family moved to White Rock just as mom was entering High School where she attended Semiahmoo and had to learn to drive to get herself to school. She prided herself on being the only girl that had her own car in the school parking lot!! She was President of the Student Council and played basket ball when the team won the BC Championship in 1953!! She worked summers for Auntie Eva and Uncle Nat at the original White Spot (76th and Granville). After High School, Mom went to Normal School in Vancouver where she rented her first apartment with her best friend near Oak St. and 13th Ave.
Mom would visit Annie and Charlie (mom’s aunt and uncle) in Port Alberni on holidays from Normal School. It was during that time she met our dad, Stan Dickinson who lived next door to Annie and Charlie at ‘Dana Lodge’. When mom completed Normal School she went back to Port Alberni for her first teaching job and married Stan Dickinson in August 1956 at Nana and Papa’s chicken farm on 8th Ave in South Surrey-White Rock. They honeymooned in San Fransisco and when they returned built a house on Sprout Lake on the family property where they lived for almost 4 years and had 3 children (Pam, Tim and Dave). The family moved on to Castlegar in 1960 to a small hobby farm and the youngest, Dave, being only 2 weeks old had his first airplane ride!! After 3 years the family moved back to the Coast to a place called Richmond. Mom decided to go back teaching and was hired in a small kindergarten just over the bridge in Vancouver. The following year she took another position closer to home in Richmond and would take young David with her. Just two years later mom and the family moved to Tsawwassen, a new and growing sub-division community. By now mom was teaching full time in Surrey and attending night school classes at UBC with her friends, who were also going back to get their teaching degrees. In 1968 the family moved back to Port Alberni for one year. Mom taught at Redford Elementary where the open classroom concept was just coming into practice.
After the year was over mom and the family moved back to Tsawwassen to Beach Grove. Mom went back teaching with the Surrey School District, finished her Bachelors Degree in Teaching at UBC, became a Principle for a short term, was very active with the Surrey Status of Women group and continued as a Remedial Reading Teacher travelling to different schools in the district. In addition she taught Creative Writing at night school through Continuing Education at Queen Elizabeth High School and went back to night school at UBC working towards her Masters in Education. She stayed with the Surrey School District until retirement in 1995.
In 1975 mom and dad moved onto a 35′ boat called the ‘Admirals Choice’ with the two boys Tim and Dave asthey were still going to high school. Mom and dad lived on their boats for 10 years and had many good times venturing to Pender Island where they had property. Giving up their sea-legs they moved to Langley where they spent many years before moving back to Vancouver Island where they lived with son Tim and Holly until dad died. Then mom moved into her dad ‘Papa’s’ house to help care for her brother Bill Uppgard. During the time back in Crofton, mom delved into her passion for making pottery and set up a studio in Tim’s garage and then when she moved to Papa’s house, set up a studio in the basement. A fellow named Bob MacMillen was selling his late wife’s pottery equipment and mom went to his house to buy clay and tools. They were married in 2000. Mom continued with her pottery attending many sessions at MISSA. At this time she belonged to the Crofton Painters Group creating many paintings of the area.
My brother Dave built Bob and Mom a home on Alberta Place overlooking the Cowichan Valley. Mom stayed in the house until 2014 and moved to Cortes Island with me (Pam and Ben) for a year beforemoving into Berwick by the Sea in Campbell River where she lived until last year before going into long term care at Discovery Harbour where she passed away peacefully with her family at her side on 2nd, 2019.
A Celebration of Life for Mom, Auntie Chris, Gramma, Nana, Crissy Christine Frances MacMillen (Dickinson) (nee Uppgard) will be held in Duncan at the Koksilah School the afternoon of August 3, 2019 beginning at 1 pm. Refreshments and stories will be shared in a picnic style setting.
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