April 2, 1931 – November 5, 2019
Idina Natalie Williams passed away on November 5, 2019 at Courtenay, BC. Born in North Vancouver, the 9th of 10 children, Idina graduated as a nurse from Royal Jubilee Hospital in 1952. Polio was very bad at the time, and she began her vocation specializing in iron lung cases. From there she returned to North Vancouver and worked in maternity at Lion’s Gate Hospital. In 1953, she married Ken Williams and they moved to Burns Lake for a year. Here she launched her career in foster care. Unfortunately, at this time, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
Idina loved children, adopting 2 boys and 3 girls. When the family moved from North Vancouver to Union Bay, she opened a receiving home and fostered over 150 children from birth to age 18. In 1973, she and her children moved to a house with acreage in Courtenay and she returned to nursing as an LPN at the Cumberland Hospital. Idina was never one to be idle, and between parenting and work she developed her husbandry and gardening skills. With the help of her friend Sam, they raised and sold lamb, beef, chicken and eggs and renovated the house into a cozy home. In 1992 she adopted her 1-year-old granddaughter Tia and retired.
Idina had many interests and enrolled in painting lessons once Tia was in school. Here she met her beloved Ray Dodge. Ray was an avid gardener and together they enjoyed 9 years selling veggies, flowers and baking at the Comox Valley Farmers Market. Unfortunately, her rheumatoid arthritis flared up about 10 years ago limiting her mobility and her passion for gardening.
Idina treasured her friends and still maintained contact with some fellow nursing students. She made time for everyone and her teapot and fresh cookies were always ready when visitors dropped in. Idina was quick to offer help, a meal, friendship and even snippets of advice. We will miss you Idina.
Idina was predeceased by husband Ken, friend Sam, seven siblings, her beloved Ray, daughters Tammy and Marianne and grandson Christopher. She is survived by sister Thelma, brother Gerald, sons Gary and Larry, daughter Kim, foster son Danny and his family, 4 grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Idina wishes to thank all those who helped her live in her home until the end of her life.
A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring of 2020.
Donations to the Arthritis Foundation in her memory would be appreciated.
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