RABBITT, Irene Emily
Irene passed away on August 6, 2011, ending the final chapter in a long and rewarding life.
She is survived by her son Tim, daughter-in-law Cheryl, grandchildren Christopher and Tamara, her sister Sonia Collins, her brother Vic (Vi) Savitsky, as well as numerous nephews and nieces.
She was predeceased by husband Tom and parents, George and Casimere Savitsky.
Irene was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 11, 1911. The family fled the Russian Revolution and lived briefly in Vladivostok, Harbin (Manchuria), and Tientsin (China) before travelling to Osaka, Japan, and then immigrating to BC;
In 1925, the Savitsky family settled in Mt. Lehman, a small farming community about 100 km east of Vancouver. As new immigrants, they were welcomed warmly by the residents of Mt. Lehman, particularly the ladies of Mt. Lehman United Church.
Upon completion of high school, Irene went on to UBC and was the first young woman from Mt. Lehman to attend university. She graduated from UBC with her B.A., majoring in English literature, and later got her teaching certificate. She subsequently taught K-12 in various locations in BC during which time she had met and married Tom Rabbitt. They finally moved back to Abbotsford where Irene taught for many years until retirement. Along the way, she had some wonderfully rich experiences and memories of her students and their families as well as some very sad events in her own life.
Over the years, she demonstrated strength, resiliency, and considerable determination She maintained close ties with family members and friends, sharing in their special events and happy occasions. When she retired from teaching, she was very adventurous, going on many trips to interesting destinations around the world.
The family wishes to extend its great appreciation to all the staff at The Views ECU at St. Joseph’s Hospital for their kindness, understanding, and compassion during Irene’s stay there.
At Irene’s request, there will be no funeral service. In its place, there was a very large family gathering this past June to celebrate her 100th birthday while she was still with us and surrounded by many extended family members that she loved.
A private family gathering will be held at Tim and Cheryl’s home in Comox on Saturday Aug.13, 2011. She was much loved and will be greatly missed.