October 26, 1937 – February 14, 2013
It is with sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of our dear mother and grandmother, Edna Knights, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, with family at her side.
She was predeceased by her mother and father, Edith and Ivar Lindman, her husbands Richard Unger and Arthur Knights, her siblings Emily, Robert, Elizabeth, Clarence, and Donald. She is survived by her children, Cindy Oliphant, Brett Knights (Christine), and Shanna Knights (Donald), and her grandchildren Thomas, Emily, Michael, Greg, Noah, Kiernan, and Evan, and her companion Jim Tuttle.
Edna was born in Smeaton, Saskatchewan, where her parents were homesteading. Her family moved to Cumberland, B.C., when she was 13. She received her teaching certificate from Victoria teachers’ college, and went off to her first teaching job at Hixon, near Prince George at the age of 18. There she met and married her first husband, Richard, and had Cindy. Tragically, she was widowed soon after and returned to the Comox Valley and taught there, until meeting her second husband Art (RCAF) while he was stationed in Comox. They were married in Winnipeg, and lived in Summerside PEI where Brett was born, and Greenwood NS where Shanna was born. Again tragedy struck when Art’s plane was lost at sea. Edna returned to the Comox Valley in 1965, where she raised her children and taught at several elementary schools around the Valley, including 11 years teaching gifted education, until she retired in 1997. While working, she also returned part time to the University of Victoria and eventually received her Bachelor of Education degree.
Edna never considered teaching a career or a profession, it was a calling. From the time she was 6 years old, she knew that’s what she wanted to do, and she truly enjoyed every minute of it. She remembered every student she ever taught and loved to reconnect with former students, even decades later.
Edna was an independent, intelligent, warm, wise, loving and generous woman. She was always happy to help out in any way she could. She loved to read, learn, play scrabble, paint, take photographs, garden, travel and write, and she loved her cats. She visited many countries, cruised many oceans, and in more recent years, traveled around North America with Jim. Her art was very important to her, and many people will remember her beautiful painted windows at Christmas. She enjoyed being an active part of the theatre community, from directing school plays, to set design and costume creation with Courtenay Little Theatre.
Above all, family was everything, including her vast extended family of nieces, nephews, cousins, second cousins, aunts and uncles, and those that sometimes just needed a family. At no time was this more apparent than on Christmas Eve, when her house was always full of family and friends.
A Celebration of Life for Edna will be held at the Courtenay Coast Westerly Hotel Ballroom, 2:00-4:30 PM, Sunday, February 24th, 2013. All are welcome – Mom loved telling stories, please bring some of your own of her to share.
The family would like to thank the staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital for their compassionate and loving care during a difficult time.