Deborah Joan Cartwright

Deborah Joan Cartwright

CARTWRIGHT, Deborah Joan

July 18, 1923 – January 16, 2010

Joan was born in Abbotsford, Quebec and died peacefully at St. Joseph’s hospital in Comox. She is very recently predeceased by her husband of 59 years, Les, and also predeceased by siblings Anna, Tom, Jamie, Peter, and Frances. She is survived by her children: Diane (Claude), Peter (Lisa), Frances (Michel) and Wende; grandchildren: Nicola, Sally and Rupert; and siblings: Sylvia, Phyllis, Michael and Helen.

She grew up in Victoria and had many happy days riding horses and spending summers at Shawnigan Lake. She became a registered nurse and worked in Port Alberni and Montreal, and finally chose to work in public health with the V.O.N. Her children were born in Burnaby. The family later moved to Britannia Beach and Gold River and retired to Courtenay, where they built a house and garden. After retirement her longing to travel took her to Mexico, England, Cuba, Scotland, Japan, Alaska, Cyprus and Turkey. She moved to Creekside Commons in 2007 and found warm friendships and community there.

She passed on her love of the natural world and gardening to many. Her strong sense of civic duty inspired her to volunteer for, and donate to groups working for the environment, peace, health and a sustainable society. She took part in many protests, including in defense of Strathcona Park, where she gave herself up for arrest and a night in jail spent singing with her pals. Joan loved animals and enjoyed her pets as well as keeping chickens and bees. She was always ready to join a naturalist’s expedition or go hiking, camping, canoeing, swimming and bird-watching. Joan loved to talk and attend social events but was also an avid reader who kept up with current issues and had an opinion on everything. Her enthusiasm for the simple joys of life and learning touched everyone she encountered. She was not afraid of change and her curiousity led her to welcome new ideas. Her bright spirit will be remembered by all.

A Celebration of Life for both Joan and Les is planned for the spring in Courtenay – for more information please email

Fly on sweet bird!

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