Zoe Braten

It is with profound sadness that we, the family, announce the passing of our beloved matriarch, Zoë Edith Braten, on Oct. 13th, 2016. She is predeceased by her husband Jack, brothers Douglas and Melvin Williams, and very recently, her eldest daughter, Sonja Goodlad. Left to cherish her memory are children Frank [Marilyn] Braten, Eileen [Ken] Hillyard, Sylvia [Brian] Grafton, son-in law Gordon Goodlad. She leaves nine beautiful grandchildren, Eric [Kim] Braten, Kristine [Andy] Hawkins, Jennifer Goodlad, Anita [Chris]Krystalowich , Robyn Goodlad, Stuart [Kimberly Fox] Hillyard, Matthew [Danya] Hillyard, Janet Grafton [Kevin Luke], and Joshua Grafton [Laura Gallagher]. She also leaves six well-loved great grandchildren: Chase and Hunter Braten, Kaitlynn and Jacob York, Kayden Krystalowich, Zoë Hillyard, Amanda Hillyard, and Odin Hawkins. Zoë is also remembered by several nephews and nieces, one of whom, Barbara Morgan, visited Zoë almost every week for the past ten years that she was in care. She was born Zoë Edith Williams on July 26th 1916 at Sperling Station, which is now part of Langley. She was raised during the Great Depression, where the motto was ‘make do, or do without’. It remained her philosophy until her last days. Zoë met our dad, Jack, at a community dance in what was then called ‘Langley Prairie’. It was love at first sight for her. In 1937, Zoë, her parents and younger brother Melvin, along with Jack and his brothers, established a logging camp and sawmill beside the old Kinsol trestle. They all worked hard; life was tough, but they had such fun! So many fond memories come from those days. Zoë and Jack married in Chemainus in 1940, and went on to raise their four children on a farm on Maple Bay Road called “The Garth”. The property is now a housing development which bears the farm’s name. Zoë was a hard-working and loving, wife and mother. She was a woman ahead of her time. She practiced the 20 acre diet. Much of what was consumed by the family was grown or raised on the farm. She froze and canned everything she could lay her hands on…another of her mottos was ‘waste not, want not’. Zoë made butter and bread, and her cinnamon buns were legendary! As the children grew, Zoë took a job at Rexall Drug Store in Duncan, where she worked for over ten years. In their retirement, Mum and Dad moved to an acreage on Old Lake Cowichan Road. It was here that her passion for flower gardening was unleashed. As well as the usual veggie garden, she created an amazing flower garden. Her pride and joy were her dahlias, some of which still grow in friends’ and families’ gardens throughout the Cowichan Valley. After Dad’s passing, Mum lived independently for nearly 20 years, enjoying her community of neighbours and friends near Jordan’s Corner. She especially enjoyed spending time and playing with her grandchildren. At age 89, Zoë’s health became fragile, and she moved to Dove Hill House in Chemainus. She was a much-loved member of the Dove Hill family, and we, the children, extend our heartfelt thanks to all the staff who made her feel so special. A pelvic fracture forced her to move to Chemainus Health Care. It was a difficult transition for her and for us, but with her usual style, she adapted, and so did we.

As staff got to know Zoë, they grew to appreciate the sweet, kind, loving, lady that she was. Her 100th birthday last July was a wonderful celebration of her life. She enjoyed it immensely, and was very proud to have reached such a milestone. Our sincere thanks go out to Dr. Murray Archdekin, and the staff at Chemainus Health Care, for making her last few days peaceful, calm, and comfortable.There will be a tea to celebrate Zoë’s life at her daughter Eileen’s house on November 5th from 1pm to 4pm.

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