April 6, 1924 – July 4, 2009
Long-time Comox Valley resident Mary Grace Solly died peacefully at her Courtenay home on July 4, after a seven-month fight with cancer. Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 9, at St. John the Divine Anglican Church, 5th Street, Courtenay. Burial will be at the family gravesite at Westholme near Duncan later that day.
Grace Solly was first and foremost a lifelong Christian. Her devotion and commitment to the Anglican church never wavered. Grace was born and grew up on her parents’ poultry farm, Lakeview Farm, Westholme, in the Cowichan Valley—one of the first and largest poultry farms in Western Canada. She attended Queen Margaret’s School in Duncan, graduated from Norfolk House in Victoria, and then completed nursing training at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Victoria. She led a rich and varied life not only in her nursing profession but also as a valued church worker in many posts throughout the Diocese of British Columbia, the Diocese of Calgary as well as in The Cariboo. Grace was a school nurse (including Shawnigan Lake School from 1952 to 1954), office manager, vanner (Sunday School Caravan Mission), camp nurse (Camp Columbia, Diocese of British Columbia) and church organist. She helped lead the formation of new parishes within the Diocese of Calgary. Always with a ready smile, in every instance Grace exercised her personal and pastoral skills in the care of individuals. In retirement, she was unflaggingly industrious in the parishes she attended.
Always interested in the world around her, Grace and her sister Ruth travelled together to England in 1955-56, Grace returning there again in 1984. They also enjoyed frequent travels throughout Canada over the years. An avid gardener, she also enjoyed daily walks (especially in the company of beloved dogs) and bird watching. In 1966 she purchased a lot at Ship’s Point, Fanny Bay, settling there until moving into Courtenay in 2006.
Grace was preceded in death by her parents Leonard Fordham Solly and Mona Primrose Solly and is survived by her sister Ruth Solly Holman of Courtenay. She also leaves behind cousins Pam Creed (Walter) of Victoria, Geoff Laundy of San Diego, Michael Robson of Langley, Peter Robson of Vancouver and Margo Robson, as well as many other family cousins.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Gino Tancon, Chaplain Gordon Carter, the nurses and staff of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Comox; the nursing and support staff of VIHA, We Care, and the Comox Valley Hospice Society; and the many friends and visitors who gave support and comfort in Grace’s last months.
In her memory, donations may be made to The BC Cancer Foundation (local branch); or The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, the Anglican Church of Canada, 80 Hayden Street, Toronto, ON M4Y 3G2.