Irene Betty Cates

April 20, 1923 – September 27, 2022
In loving memory ~
We are deeply saddened to announce that our family has lost our beloved Mom and Nana, Irene Cates (nee Gaunt), who passed away at Cowichan District Hospital on September 27 at the age of 99.
Mom was born in Detroit, Michigan on April 20, 1923, to British immigrants Harry Roland Gaunt and Emily Barker Gaunt. She attended school there and after graduation began working as a private secretary. In September of 1945 the whole family, including Irene’s parents and siblings, emigrated to Vancouver Island where Mom met and married the love of her life, Ron Cates, in December 1946. Together they developed Dad’s business, Cates Construction, and lived in three homes which Dad built near Cowichan Bay and then their retirement home at Whisky Point in Mill Bay. They moved to Arbutus Ridge when Dad became ill and later, after he died in 2003, Mom moved to Rockwood Terrace near Maple Bay and then to Sherwood House in Duncan.
Mom was a very kind and generous person who was totally devoted to her family. She was also very intelligent, strong and independent; she drove a car until she was 96 and survived on her own for 19 years after losing Dad. She was an inspiration to all of us.
Mom is survived by daughters Sharon Stubbs (Dennis Hykawy), Jan (Ken) Broadland; grandchildren Brent (Kim) Stubbs, Dean (Holly) Broadland, Greg Stubbs, and Robyn (Michael) Orr; great-grandchildren Dominic, Sophia, Arwen, Eleanor, Ronaldo, Rylan, Owen and Everett; sister-in-law Marion Kaatz; and many nieces and nephews, her dearest being her niece Pam Robicheaux.
Our gratitude to the caring staff at Sherwood House where Mom most recently resided, to her wonderful GP Dr. Kim Grymaloski and his associate Dr. Enok Persson, to Bev Ollett of Angel Helping Hands, to the VIHA home care aides who helped Mom so much toward the end, to all of the kind nursing staff in the E.R. and on 3 North at the Cowichan District Hospital, and to the various other personal care attendants who assisted her in her later years.
A private memorial will be planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to do so may donate to the BCSPCA Cowichan Community Animal Centre, 7550 Bell McKinnon Road, Duncan, BC, V9L 6B1, in Mom’s memory.
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