Passed away peacefully in her sleep October 3, 2015 in Shawnigan Lake, at age 94 with family by her side. Born in her family home in Tangy, Kilchenzie, Scotland on June 10, 1921, Mom spent her first years in that home which adjoined her father’s smithy. She immigrated to Canada by ship (S.S. Athenia) from Glasgow to Halifax in December 1925 with her father, mother and two younger sisters. The family lived in Hilliers, then James Island (where her youngest brother was born), then in Victoria West. She went to school on James Island, Victoria and Sprott Shaw Business College.
Survived by her son Neil (Irene); daughters Carla (Ken), Barbara (Don), Myra (Gary); grandson Steven; and special friend Bev. Predeceased by husband Steve in 2007; sisters Agnes and Helen; and brothers John and Archie.
Mom married our Dad, Steve, in 1942 and they built their home in Shawnigan Lake where they raised their family. Mom ran the coffee shop in Shawnigan Lake in the early 1940s and became known for her baking and desirable food. The shop was eventually passed on to her sister, Helen. Mom then became the chief cook at Strathcona School for Girls, and later Cliffside School for Boys, where she deeply affected many of the teachers’ and students’ young lives with her top-notch food. In the meantime, Mom also was skilled at making and decorating beautiful wedding, birthday and anniversary cakes, mainly made in her home and delivered to delighted customers. She also was able to make a mean pancake breakfast on a griddle placed over an open fire at all the family camping trips. Preserving food from Dad’s garden, fruit trees and salmon caught by family members ensured attractive year-round meals. Most people knew if they invited Mom to dinner they would be receiving her famous scones.
Shawnigan Lake and the people who lived there during Mom’s time were important to her and most community activities included pretty much everyone who lived at Shawnigan. The community put on important events such as weddings, concerts and dances, with everyone contributing their particular skill, often with Mom preparing large scale meals with aplomb. This made for very joyful events with huge participation.
Mom enjoyed trips to California, Saskatchewan, Scotland, and spent some 35 wonderful winters in the warmth of Hawaii. All through these years she loved to dance and listen to music, and Saturday nights were reserved to go dancing. Many friends were from the dancing world and remained lifelong friends. Shopping was a hobby that she and Isobell excelled at and it was apparent they got a thrill from finding fine fashion bargains!
Mom has received a dance invitation where she can dance to her heart’s content and reunite with family and friends that have gone before her. What a good, long life she had!
A drop-in tea will be held at Mom’s house on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 from 2:00 ‘til 4:00 PM