Vi is survived by her three children, Barbara, (Ray), Ted, (Donna), and Tyrone. She was predeceased by husbands, Albert Walker and Archie McLean. She will be missed by seven grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews. One of fourteen children, Vi was born in Langbank, Saskatchewan to Sam and Katie (McDougall) Marks. She loved life on the farm and learned to swim in the nearby prairie sloughs, an ability that would grow into a life-long passion. In 1932, the Marks family moved to Chilliwack. At age 17, Vi traveled to Australia to work as a nanny for 2 years for a family in the French Foreign Service, an experience she never forgot. Upon her return to BC, she met and married the love of her life, Albert Walker. The two made a home in Mission City, where they raised their three children.
Vi was a determined woman who never took no for answer. When she saw opportunities for her family, she pursued them without hesitation. Many weekends were spent traveling to Vancouver so her children could benefit from music and drama lessons. No stranger to adversity, Vi worked hard to overcome any obstacle that stood in her way. When her beloved Albert died, she moved to North Vancouver with her youngest child Tyrone and reinvented herself as a swimming instructor at North Vancouver Recreation Center, where she taught many local youth synchro, swimming and water-safety.
Never one to settle for the status quo, Vi later moved to Haida Gwaii where she worked at the now defunct military base and met her second husband, Archie McLean. Vi and Archie enjoyed many years together, living the gypsy life in their RV while visiting friends and relatives all over Canada. A regular participant in the BC Seniors Games, Vi made her family proud as a swimming champion and recipient of more than 35 medals. The two eventually settled down in Courtenay, BC, where Vi quickly became a regular at the Comox Valley Aquatic Centre. She continued swimming into her nineties and inspired many with her devotion to physical fitness.
Whether you knew her as Vi, Mrs. Swim, or Miss Violet, you also knew that behind that soft voice was a force to be reckoned with. Vi was loyal to a fault where friends and family were concerned but never hesitated to speak her mind if she disagreed with them. She learned to stand up for herself at a very young age and expected the same of her family. She was a whirlwind of a woman, wife, mother and grandmother. She will be remembered with love and admiration.
To honour Vi, a memorial celebration will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 2:00 pm at Comox Presbyterian Church in Comox, BC followed by a reception at the Comox Recreation Centre. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice. Please join us in remembering Vi by visiting our memorial at www.piercysmtwashingtonfuneral.com.
The family extends special thanks to the care givers of the Comox Valley Seniors Village and to Drs. Konway and Kisman for their unwavering devotion to our Mother’s well-being.