November 3, 1918 – April 21, 2021
“Are your rocks rattling” – the warm query of a gracious host looking to slake the thirst of one of her many guests and good friends, and a call that will not be uttered again by the wonderful Lady Louise of Lake Park, as on Tuesday morning April 21, 2021, she acceded to our Lord’s request to join the “angel choir”.
Louise de Brissac Owen Tassin was born November 3, 1918 in Toronto, On. two months after arriving in Canada from England, to Alfred de Brissac Owen – Superintendent of Dr Bernardo’s Homes for Canada – and Maizie Skelton.
Alfred retired to the Okanagan a couple of years later and that is where Louise spent her formative years until leaving for St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Victoria in 1937 where she graduated as a “Registered Nurse”. During her training she met this dashing young intern, John Joseph Tassin with whom she fell madly in love and after completing her course, married.
She and “Dr. Joe” were the first and one of the few couples to be married in St. Joseph’s Hospital chapel. As a graduate nurse, Louise worked in the O.R. at both St. Joe’s and King’s Daughters Hospital in Duncan and did a stint as a community nurse in the Cowichan Valley.
It was her life as a mother and a country doctor’s wife however, that took precedence. And what a start to her new life she had; Youbou! December 1941 right after her wedding. Ever ready to join Joe on a “locie” trip to Camp 3, or a “boat” down Cowichan Lake to Camp 6 or “speeder” trip to Gordon River, Louise was game for it all and proved an able assistant.
“You know, during hunting season, your father always took his dogs and shotgun when he made these trips into camp”- she remarked one day; “he practised during the golden age of medicine.”
Over the course of the next several years, Dr. Joe became a partner in his firm, and they moved off the frontier into Duncan and eventually to Lake Park on Quamichan Lake. She raised three “angels” and as a woman of her time, was involved in all their activities; cubs, scouts, school plays, choirs and the fall fair, with life punctuated by the occasional invitation, during the “angels” teenage years, to join her majesty’s agent in court.
In later years, she happened to mention that she had every expectation that she was heaven bound because the key to entry was to announce to St. Peter, as he greeted her at the “Pearly Gates” – “I raised three boys!”
Louise also directed a lot of time working for the public good through involvement with the I.O.D.E. of which she was a regent, the Hospital Auxiliary, St. Peter’s Church, the P.T.A. and various civic causes in which Dr. Joe was involved, including the establishment of the Cowichan Golf and Country Club of which she was the last founding member. In her playing days, she was “Lady Captain” and a director, and played until she was 88 years old when knee surgery forced her into retirement.
Along with golf and gardening, one of her great passions was “duplicate bridge” and she was a very good player amassing a huge number of points. She and her late partner and companion after Joe died, Wyndham Bird, travelled together between bridge tournaments and golf courses on both sides of the border.
Louise, as a child of the depression, never took her life for granted. She was grateful for all the blessings bestowed upon her. Any question as to how she was getting on was always answered with her trademark response; – “Just on top – thank you.”
Metaphorically, we know where she is: Joe’s at the piano, Jimmy’s crooning, she, with John, Teddy, Patsy, Buddy, Howie, Lynn, Bert, Barbara, Janet and Clayton are backin’ them up. The heavens are jumpin’ and all is good with the world.
Louise is survived by her sons Bryan, Colin and John and their wives and partners Genevieve, Lynda and Lori respectively, as well as four grandchild Pierre, Chris, Stephanie and Vanessa and their mates plus six great grandchildren.
She is dearly missed …… but will never be forgotten. BENE VIXIT VITAM Obituary
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