September 28, 1930 - May 25, 2023
Our beloved Ann died suddenly on Thursday, May 25th at her home in Ocean Front Village in Courtenay, BC.
Ann was born in Worthing, West Sussex, England. She was the 4th and last child of Edith Emily and Samuel Lister James, following Colin, Priscilla, and Kenneth.
Ann immigrated to Canada in 1956, where she met and married Robin Hugh Berens. While living in Toronto (Downsview), they had two children, Carolyn and Keith. The family soon immigrated to the states, settling in Oakland, California in 1963.
Ann truly loved living in California. Here she began her poetry writing and also began helping people with various struggles through her church in Berkeley and later in the Santa Rosa area. This included a gratifying period working in Juvenile Justice, specifically Restorative Justice.
After sadly losing her husband, Rob, in 2012, Ann chose to return to Canada. Courtenay became her home. For 10 years, Ann lived around the corner from Carolyn and her husband Brent. This allowed her much independence and a closeness to family. Everyone loved the arrangement. During this time, Ann joined the Unity Church community. Unity became another family for Ann. She thrived on the love and connections there. As well, during this past decade, Ann wrote a book: a biography of sorts of her father's life as a young geologist. This became her pride and joy! The CVWS (Comox Valley Writer's Society) was instrumental in and incredibly supportive of this endeavour.
Just last year, the opportunity to move into Ocean Front Village became a reality. Ann loved her 7 months there; A wonderful final phase of her life.
Ann adored her 4 grandchildren; Carolyn and Brent's three; Gavin, Darcy, and Graeme, and Keith's daughter, Tia. They each have held a special place in her heart. Ann felt so fortunate to have been able to develop a positive relationship with each of these fine young people. Ann connected deeply with many. She loved to delve into one's hopes, dreams, and struggles. She cared with a loving intensity and her kindness was felt by all. Ann will be fondly remembered and missed, with love.
The Celebration of Life for Ann will be held at Ocean Front Village on June 24th at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Unity Vancouver Island or L'Arche Comox Valley.