1927 – 2013
It is with great sadness, but also in a spirit of faith and trust and with a sense of love and gratitude in our hearts, that we announce the passing of our mother on March 25, 2013.
Ellen’s 86 year dance with life brought happiness to many neighbours and friends over the years and touched many hearts during a wonderful life full of joy, kindness and service. Ellen was born in Sundridge, Ontario and moved to Vancouver to marry her beloved Joseph in 1947. She was a devoted military wife. She and husband Joe, took numerous postings across Canada with the Canadian Armed Forces and had six children along the way. They took their final posting with 442 Squadron in Comox, and arrived in “action land” in 1967. Ellen loved the numerous years she spent working in the cosmetics department at the first Shopper’s Drug Mart in Courtenay, where she befriended many loyal customers and was fondly remembered for volunteering her skills as a make-up artist for the youth fashion shows at the Courtenay Little Theatre. She retired to care for her ailing husband and then devoted her time to servicing her community.
She was an acting member of the Courtenay Soroptimist club, and she enjoyed her many travels world wide and the ladies she met along the way. Mother was a proud Canadian and belonged to the Canadian Daughters League, you could see her marching in many of the local parades. She was a member of the Catholic Women’s League and was very active in church activities as a catechism teacher, Eucharist minister, soup maker for the soup kitchen, prayer and church was very important to her. She enjoyed her trips to the Holy Land and European shrines with fellow parishioners. As a member of St. Joseph’s Auxiliary she participated in the mentorship program at St. Joseph’s Hospital where she worked alongside many “candy stripers” over the years, many who went on to nursing care workers. Mother created a bursary in her husband’s name at Vanier High School, she believed in education and helping youth achieving their dreams.
Her kind spirit, passion for life and her strong faith will be missed by her children; Richard (Deborah) Clarke, Susan (Chris) Stoyles, Mary (David) Wilson, Shawn (Lu-Ann) Clarke, and Michael (Marla) Clarke, grandchildren; Jason (Roberta) Clarke, Amanda Clarke (James), John Stoyles, Leigh-Ellen Stoyles (Brian), Janel DeBalinhard (John) , Sarah Wilson, Matthew Wilson and Isobel Clarke, as well as great-grandchildren; Kristy, Jessica, Jasmine, Jessie and Joden. Mother loved her nieces and nephews and family members in Northern Ontario. They had a special place in her heart. She was adopted as family by many of the Vietnamese families in the Comox Valley and Edmonton, they called her grandma or mom, and she loved them dearly.
Ellen is predeceased by her husband and her eldest son Joe Jr., we have no doubt that she was greeted at Heaven’s Gate to welcome her home.
The family would like to thank Dr. Wiens, Dr. Winter, and Dr. Cornolk for their care of mother as well as Chandra from Vancouver Island Health Authority and all of the home care aids who did a marvelous job.
A prayer service will be held at Piercy’s Mt. Washington Funeral Home at 7:00pm on Monday April 8, 2013. A memorial service to celebrate Ellen’s life will be held at Christ the King Church on Tuesday April 9, 2013 at 11:00am with burial at the Courtenay Civic Cemetery to follow and refreshments in the lower level of the church.