July 15, 1951 – September 11, 2020
Joké Johanna Alida Maria Christina Camelia VanBourgondien Slater was born July 15, 1951 in Sassenheim Netherlands to parents Karel and Lia VanBourgondien. Passed away on September 11, 2020, due to complications brought on by Parkinson’s Disease.
While born in the Netherlands, Joké also spent her early years in Indonesia and Sri Lanka before immigrating to Canada with her family, eventually settling in Victoria.
She was educated at St. Patrick’s and St. Anne’s prior to graduation from Mt. Douglas High School. Following graduation, she began working at Eaton’s in the Victoria and Duncan locations.
In 1972 she wed Thomas Slater and the two of them moved to Shawnigan Lake to start a family. It is in Shawnigan Lake where Joké’s three passions in life took hold. Her family, her career change and her love of community theatre.
She and Tom raised two sons in Shawnigan Lake. While raising her boys, Joké changed her career to become an Early Childhood Educator, beginning in 1980. She eventually took over the practice she was teaching in and moved the operation into her own home. She directed “Little People’s Schoolhouse” until 1993 when she further advanced her professional career and became a professor of ECE for both Career Builders and Vancouver Career College.
After a decade of guiding new ECE teachers, Joké, again found herself back in the classroom. This time as a director of the Strong Start program and head of Eagle Wings preschool located in Chemainus Elementary. She remained in this position until she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
Joké was beloved by all who encountered her in her profession. From teachers to colleagues and, ultimately, her students. She discovered that she loved all children as much as her own, and wanted nothing more than to see them all succeed.
The third passion she discovered in Shawnigan Lake was that of the stage. Starting as an on-stage presence in The Shawnigan Players, Joké’s beauty and grace lead to her being an integral part of various plays before she eventually found her true calling, off-stage, as a Stage Manager. She had a stellar career and made countless friends and memories while creating productions with the Cowichan Music Society, The January Players, Take Ten Dinner Theatre and Indigo Productions.
She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Thomas, sons Trevor Slater (Lyn) and Phil Slater. Grandchildren; Darian, Kelley, McKenna and Avery. She is also survived by her brothers Wilhelm VanBourgondien (Mauria), Phieps VanBourgondien (Jennifer), and sister Alice Uher; mother in law Lorraine Reid, sister in law Cheryl Halbert, brother in law Glen Slater (Jill) numerous nieces and nephews and countless former students.
Joké is predeceased by her father Karel, mother Lia (nee Smit), stepmother Ellenor (nee Hanley) father in law Wallace Reid and her favourite uncle Kees VanBourgondien.
Her family would like to give special recognition to the amazing staff at Cairnsmore Care Facility, Walden House, and St. Anne’s Garden Club located at Providence Farm. These three facilities supported and cared for Joké in her final years. Each of them enhanced her life, and ours. In lieu of flowers, the Slater family would kindly accept donations made to Cystic Fibrosis research.
Due to COVID, the family will be gathering privately on Monday September 21, 2020 at 1:00 pm. to celebrate Joke’s Life. Those wishing to view the live feed, please connect to: distantlink.com/wallace.html @ 12:55
Online condolences may be offered at www.hwwallace.com
H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre
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