Emily Myra Gwen Ellingsen (nee Woolley)

ELLINGSEN, Emily Myra Gwen (née Woolley)

(July27, 1978 – February 19, 2010)


Emily Ellingsen passed away peacefully at sunrise on the morning of February 19, 2010, playing her final carefully timed move in a three-year fight against cervical cancer. Emily is survived by her loving family — husband Aaron; parents John Woolley, Marion Bennet (née Cragg), Pam Fraser, Tom Bennet and Rick Strassman; parents-in-law Andy and Susan Ellingsen; siblings Myann and Jack; nieces Fairahn and Mira; aunt Suzanne Woolley, and aunt Lyla and uncle Vernon Cragg; and best friends Erin Robinsong, Christine Golder and Chloe Gregg. Emily has taught us all lessons on friendship, positivity, understanding, empathy and true love. Emily spent her childhood in Squirrel Cove on Cortes Island in a home built by her parents, and attended elementary school there before moving on to New Mexico and, finally, Courtenay for high school, where she graduated from G.P. Vanier. After completing her B.Sc. in Biology at the University of Victoria in 2002, Emily received her M.D. at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario in 2005. Emily launched enthusiastically into a five-year psychiatry residency through UBC, pioneering a full-time psych residency in Victoria, where she lived from 2005. Emily’s industriousness, initiative and endless positivity have made their mark on Victoria’s psychiatry community. She embraced her life’s work with vigor, only to be interrupted — briefly — by her diagnosis with cancer in December 2006. Her studies and involvement with all aspects of her program resumed after a short course of treatment, before her repeat diagnosis with metastatic disease. She retired from her program, finally, after completing her fourth year oral exams in late 2009. That was one of the most difficult moments Emily faced — with characteristic bravery. Emily will be dearly missed by family, friends and colleagues. Cremation to be followed by interment in the Manson’s Landing community cemetery, Cortes Island. A memorial celebration will be held for Emily in Victoria at the Alix Goolden Hall, 907 Pandora Avenue, Sunday, February 28, at 3pm. A second gathering will be held for Emily on Cortes Island at the Gorge Hall on Saturday, March 13, at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to a scholarship to be founded in Emily’s name, to be awarded to a Cortes Island student leaving the island for post-secondary education. Contact Aaron Ellingsen or John Woolley for information.