Theo Ellen Neel, Lalaxsa, born at Alert Bay, BC February 27,1942 and died October 6, 2007 at St Joseph Hospital, Comox, BC after a courageous battle with cancer.
Theo was predeceased by her mother and father Edward and Ellen Neel; her brothers David, Ted and Bob; and nephews Jim, David and Michael McCoy. Theo is survived by her sisters Cora (Ivan) Beddows, Pamela Neel-Creasy and Theresa Neel; her nephews John (Theresa) Beddows, Travis (Mary) Neel, David Neel, Edward McCoy, Matt and Kelvin Beddows; her nieces Debbie Beddows, Lou-ann Neel, Wendy Ireland, Leona Perry; and many great nephews and nieces, cousins and extended family.
Theo was a great lady, full of determination and independence. She lived and worked in Vancouver and Prince George for many years and moved to the Comox Valley in the early 1990’s.
Theo was proud of her Kwakiutl heritage and for years worked on her lineage by mapping out the genealogy of the James/Newman/Neel families. She received her Kwakiutl name, Lalaxsa (her grandmother’s name) from her uncle, Mungo Martin at the first potlatch held in his new big house (Wa’waditla) in Victoria in 1953.
Some of Theo’s many interests were her family, Aboriginal art, genealogy, volunteering and sewing. She will be sadly missed by her many friends at the Wachiay Friendship Centre where she was secretary of the Friendship Centre’s Elder’s group, Ni’NoGad and the Thursday Soup Kitchen where she made soup for people for many years.
The family wishes to thank the medical staff at St. Joseph’s for taking such great care of Theo and her loved ones; the staff at BC Cancer Clinic for your swift action; the Cancer Lodge in Victoria for being so caring and supportive of Theo and the family.
Theo took great comfort in the trust and care she received from Dr. Janice McLaughlin through her illness. Thank you, Dr Janice, for your compassion and support. To the staff and friends at Wachiay Friendship Centre for the tea and to her niece, Debbie Beddows, who walked with Theo through her journey with cancer until her passing, a special thank you.
Services were held for Theo on Thursday October 11, 2007 at Church of St John the Divine, Courtenay, BC with Father George Daley presiding. Piercy’s Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. A remembrance of life gathering was held at the Wachiay Friendship Centre following the service.
“Loves greatest gift, remembrance.”