May 27, 1940 – April 11, 2022
In Loving Memory ~
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and dear friend Gailene.
Eldest child of Auby and Kathleen Nelson, born Regina, Saskatchewan (Grey Nuns Hospital), passed away at Hospice House, Duncan BC. Predeceased by mother and father, sisters Luanne Palmer (Don), Audrey Svetich (John), Kim Gunn (David), brothers Milo Nelson, Bobby Nelson (Carol).
Survived by husband Herb (62 years), daughters Lisa (John Verwolf ), Tracy (Jim Lamb), grandchildren Trevor (Diandra Verwolf), Carla (Adam Richards), Toby Lamb, great grandsons Anders Verwolf (born 2021, Saanich, BC), Lucas and Vincent Richards (twins born 2021, Sta ord, England), siblings Jackie (Denis MacGregor), Kirk (Chris Nelson), Judy (Renis Ketch), Wendy (Jim Holden), Lana (Roger Ketch, deceased), Brenda (Walter Tomporowski), Denise (Glen Ramsey). Also survived by sister-in-law Carol Nelson, brothers-in-law Don Palmer, John Svetich, David Gunn, Alan Hudson, as well as many, many (including Herb’s side of the family) loved nieces and nephews, most residing in the Cowichan Valley.
Gailene’s family for the first five years, lived in southwest Saskatchewan (Buffalo Gap) coming first to Chemainus, BC and later to Duncan (Cowichan Lake Road) in 1945. The family at that time consisted of Mom and Dad, Gailene, Luanne, and Audrey (baby), the following siblings all born in Duncan BC.
Gailene started school at Duncan Elementary then went to Vimy Hall, and continued studies and graduated from Cowichan Secondary in 1958. Gailene’s first job was at the “original” Duncan Doghouse, a little white takeout. This is where she met (while serving him the Duncan Famous 99 cent foot long oyster burger) Herb, a lifetime resident of Lake Cowichan.
She then went to work a short time at Nowrath Jewellers and then to the Bank of Commerce in Duncan.
Gailene and Herb (the love of her life and best friend) married November 14, 1959 in Duncan United Church. They have called Lake Cowichan home ever since. Daughters Lisa, born 1961, Tracy 1963, completed the family. She was a wonderful mother and wife, staying at home with Herb and the girls until 1972, when she went back to work at the then Lake Cowichan and District Credit Union (later Island Savings), retiring in 1995 after 23 years of service.
The family grew in 1985 with the marriage of Lisa to John and again 1989 with Tracy and Jim. Grandchildren Trevor 1989, Carla 1991, Toby 1992, again extended the family. The addition of three great-grandsons in 2021, completed Gailene’s family. With Herb’s involvement in the community as a 20 year volunteer Fireman, Past President Kinsman Club and curler, Gailene enjoyed being a Kinnette, curler, along with workmates making many lifelong friends and taking part in community activities.
Throughout their married life Herb and Gailene enjoyed watching the grandchildren’s sports events and travelling. They camped in tents, trailers and motorhomes, as well as many trips to Mexico and Hawaii, cruises to Panama – both east and west, and on the Caribbean, Mediterranean and the Pacific Ocean.
Herb and Gailene motor homed Canada coast to coast, criss-crossed the US several times and also circled the US, doing genealogy along the way. They also became “snowbirds” enjoying 6 month stays in Yuma, Arizona, at Cocopah Resort for several years, taking part in the many activities going on, especially golfing many days per week. While in Cocopah, they made many new friends, especially Bert and Bonnie.
We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to great Lake Cowichan friends for helping out in this trying and painful time – Thank you all!
We would also like to thank BC Cancer Agency and VIHA for the excellent aide while Gailene was being treated. A special thank you to the nurses and hosts of Hospice House, Duncan for their very kind and efficient care of Gailene, while she was in their care, for her last week and the kindness shown to her family.
There will be no service as per Gailene’s wishes, however a family and friends gathering will be held in late spring.
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