Obituary: Randy Smith

Randy Smith’s Epilogue I, Randall Smith passed to the next level [Tuesday, December 28, 2021]. I am predeceased by all those who died before me and survived by those who are still alive. I was born to George and Beryl Smith, June 5, 1949, at a very early age in Welland, Ontario, in the same hospital where my mother was, as I wished to be close to her. From my mother’s point of view the doctor recommended that I be removed in pieces due to problems anticipated in childbirth. She courageously opted for a caesarean section, a hazardous procedure at the time. From my point of view, a skylight opened up and a masked man all in white lifted me gently into a new world. Little did I know at the time this simple act would put the kybosh on a well meaning woman’s attempt later in my life to convince me to do a re-birthing seminar that recreated the birth trauma as a form of therapy. She had a hard time with the skylight analogy. I hung around for many years and did lots o’ stuff…
Read more about Obituary: Randy Smith

Obituary: Uri Cogan

Uri Cogan Oct.21, 1935- Nov. 12, 2021 "The dewdrop slides into the shining sea." This is the message Uri wanted to leave for everyone. Uri was born in Haifa, Israel, the youngest of three children born to his parents Miriam & Eli Cogan who immigrated from Latvia and Russia escaping persecution. He served as a submariner on Israel's first submarine. After his service in the navy he began his career as a photo-journalist with "Olam Hazeh" (This World) a popular publication in Tel-Aviv. This occupation provided him with a thorough understanding of the underbelly of politics and society. He was a pioneer in the use of L.S.D. and part of an artist and filmmakers collective known as "The Third Eye". We met during that time in 1970. His last participation in combat was the Yom Kippur War where he served with his camera. When he found his unit, they had all perished. He wound up helping wounded in transport planes. This event left him with PTSD, and it consolidated his desire to…
Read more about Obituary: Uri Cogan

Obituary: Susan Bloom

Susan Bloom 1936 – 2021 Susan died peacefully in her beloved Castle by the Sea on December 6th, 2021. The flag on her dock has been lowered to half mast as friends and family remember this remarkable woman. Her philanthropic work began as a young woman and continued up until her very last day – working to preserve and protect some of the most amazing wild places for future generations. She worked tirelessly and was genuinely committed to the protection of wildlife, their habitats, and the protection of ancient forests and oceans. During the past 35 years, she generously supported her Salt Spring Island community (often behind the scenes) - she will be missed immensely. Susan believed strongly in grassroots organizing and worked to help small groups of passionate people do extraordinary things. Over and Out Mama Bear.
Read more about Obituary: Susan Bloom

Obituary: Martin Glenn Woodley

Glenn passed away peacefully on November 23rd He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Linda, son David (Christina), daughters Deborah (Bill), Barbara (Gregg) & Glenda (Paul), and his 12 grandchildren. Glenn lived a full life, making the most of everyday. Growing up in Chemainus, he excelled in sports as an all-star athlete, winning provincial titles in basketball and baseball. Glenn became a member of the Salt Spring Golf Club in 1966; he was a player, a volunteer, Club President, and a proud Popo as he’d get all of the grandkids out on the course. He loved to travel for golf, and teeing it up at Scotland’s St. Andrews Old Course was a lifelong highlight. Glenn worked just as hard at academics as he did in sport. He took a position as Principal at Saturna Island Elementary School before moving to Salt Spring Island in 1964, a move that truly sparked his nearly 40 year teaching career starting with a teaching position at Salt Spring Elementary. While teaching, Glenn ear…
Read more about Obituary: Martin Glenn Woodley

Obituary: Victoria Linda Hadassa Mihalyi

Victoria Linda Hadassa Mihalyi (AKA Vicki Miller) has flown up into the wide blue sky. Famous on Salt Spring Island for her Flying Dreams Productions, such as HuM, The Dharma According to Fifi, and SpeakEasy, Victoria brought Aerial Arts to Salt Spring, borne aloft ever since. Countless dance and aerial artists have been inspired by her work here—she was a consummate athlete, dancer, martial artist, … if this list went on it would fill the page! As with many islanders, Victoria had an extra-ordinary life before she re-invented herself here. Born in Toronto, April 23, 1952, she married Max Miller at 20, and enjoyed a flourishing love with him ever since. Known as Vicki Miller, she was a powerful animal rights activist and rescuer for many years, swerving Canadian beliefs toward mercy to the protein-providers we forget. Unto herself, and ever-amplified by her faithful Max, she was a Force. Her long-time Toronto friend Lynne Thomas wrote this: “You took over the Humane So…
Read more about Obituary: Victoria Linda Hadassa Mihalyi

Obituary: Cliff Jones

Cliff was born May 6, 1940 in Vancouver and passed away on November 23, 2021, surrounded by loved ones. Cliff lived and worked on Salt Spring Island since 1970 (on and off) and his wife Shelley Nitikman still lives here. Cliff led an immense life that was always large, loud, and full of passion – a life that cannot be reduced to words. Fast cars, nautical adventures (and disasters), good food, fine wines, and music. Cliff was always moving and never stopped working, even to his last days. He drove taxi, ran a Jazz Club, was a carpenter, a teacher, sold wine, was a PR Director at the Vancouver Art Institute, and left a lasting legacy in the Canadian music Industry. Cliff met countless people; his family and friends were his deepest joy. Everyone felt his love and loyalty and probably has a unique (and likely crazy) story about Cliff. Cliff was predeceased by his parents and younger brother. He is survived by Shelley, her children and their families, by his brother Roy a…
Read more about Obituary: Cliff Jones

Obituary: Louise Harkema

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Louise Jocelyn Harkema. She left her 64 years on this earth November 10th , after a difficult battle with cancer. Louise was born October 19th, 1957 in Port Alberni, British Columbia to Jan and Louise Harkema. She is survived by her children Elisha (Jordan) and Jocelyn, her granddaughter Piper, siblings Derek, Mary, Andrea, Ellen (Hans), and Harold (Sandy), sister-in-law Dawn and many nieces and nephews who will miss her dearly. She was predeceased by her parents, brother Jan Mark Harkema and niece Darcy Hughes. Louise was an autonomous and ever-evolving person that marched to her own beat. She made many strong connections mentally and spiritually as a Mother, a Sister, an Auntie, a friend, a Therapist and a Teacher. In these connections her loving memory lives on. Though she spent many years building her successful business as a Massage Therapist/ Svroopra yoga Teacher and raising her two children in Calgary, Al…
Read more about Obituary: Louise Harkema

Obituary: Jennifer Anderson Benitz

Jennifer Anderson Benitz Gita Govinda-Dragonfly-Jenny Bear Sept 13, 1958 – Oct 24, 2021 Gita left her body peacefully in her sleep and was found with a smile on her face. Another colourful Salt Spring Character has crossed the Rainbow Bridge into the Beyond. Anyone who knew Gita knows that she was never late so even though all of us here on earth will greatly miss her, we also know she must have been right on time. Gita was known for her love of all things spiritual, to help see through the veil of the Great Mystery by singing, dancing, playing and praying. She spent her life in service to her most beloved teacher Srila Jayatirthapada. Gita was a true seeker of the Treasure Chest Within. One of her favourite pastimes was to bring groups of people together and she organized many gatherings including the Spirit of Peace/Celebration of Life Gatherings on Salt Spring Island from 1986-1996. Here is where many leaders in several traditions would gather to pray and ce…
Read more about Obituary: Jennifer Anderson Benitz

Obituary: Gareth Ernest William Donnelly

Gareth Ernest William Donnelly, 22 April 1950 - 30 October 2021 It is with a very sad heart that I relay the news to the community that we have lost the last of the 3 Donnelly brothers. Like his brothers before him, gone, too young, too soon. I have lost my last brother and feel rudderless without them. I am contacting the Salt Spring Community with this sad news of Gareth's passing as he had many dear friends on Salt Spring from his time living here. Gareth died on October 30th in Christchurch, New Zealand, his adopted homeland. He was an artisan, an inventor, a creator and was fascinated by anything old that had moving parts. His Art Deco New Zealand Tap Lamps grace many homes on Salt Spring Island and his talent can be seen in the lighting installations at Beaver Point Hall. He had a love of music and played his double bass at many jamming sessions here on Salt Spring as well as classical orchestras in Christchurch. Gareth was a gentle kind soul, a lovely d…
Read more about Obituary: Gareth Ernest William Donnelly

Obituary: Cara Joy Hughes

Cara Joy Hughes, 1932 - 2021 Cara Joy died October 20, 2021. The following is based on some reminiscences she shared with a friend and neighbour. Her Salt Spring neighbours over the last thirty years knew Cara Joy Hughes for her determined daily walks with one of a succession of equally determined dogs. She always took time to exchange a few words with us, but had we only known how remarkable her life and achievements were, what conversations we might have had! The anthropologist Clifford Geertz wrote that one of the most significant facts about human beings may be that “we all begin with the natural equipment to live a thousand kinds of life but end in the end having lived only one.” Cara Joy Hughes’ multi-faceted life disputes that. Toronto-born to Gordon R. and Eva C. Hughes in 1932, the family, which included her two older brothers Gordon and Bill, moved to Winnipeg, where Cara Joy started her education at the well-known Riverbend School. Her intelligence and unre…
Read more about Obituary: Cara Joy Hughes

Obituary: Sheila Zoltay

Sheila Zoltay (Dec 7, 1931 - Oct 2, 2021) Sheila Innes was born in Kelso, Scotland to Isabella and Hector Innes. She grew up with her two siblings – her older brother Hector (who lives with his family in Scotland) and her younger sister Isabel who sadly passed away earlier this year. Caring and compassionate by nature, it was inevitable that Sheila pursued and excelled at a career in nursing. Adventure and exploration were always in her heart, likely sparked from the many books she consumed as an avid reader and her curiosity about the world. Not one to let her feet grow roots and combining her passions, she set out for Canada in her twenties. Landing a post in Newfoundland, she worked her way across the country as a RN. On the West coast of Canada Sheila met Andy Zoltay, a forestry engineer, who shared her love of photography and adventure. They married and had a son (Hugh Andrew). Sheila and Andy settled on Salt Spring Island for their retirement years. While there, Sheila…
Read more about Obituary: Sheila Zoltay

Obituary: Patrick James Kennedy

Patrick James Kennedy February 4, 1956 - September 22, 2021 It is with heavy hearts we share that Patrick died suddenly and unexpectedly of natural causes on Salt Spring Island, his home of the past 19 years or so. Patrick was well known on Salt Spring for his colourful and talkative nature. He was a great lover of music, good food, flowers, and travel adventures. He cared a lot about how to make the world a better place. Patrick is survived by his daughter Lyyli Kennedy who was the great light of his life, and three brothers Mike, Nick and Danny. A celebration of life will be held at the Portlock Park outdoor covered area on Sunday, October 17, 2021 2-5 pm. Service 2-3 ish, Jose Sanchez Cuban band 3 - 5 pm. Everyone welcome. Please bring your own chair. Patrick’s ashes will be spread at a later date on Matilija Creek near Ojai, California as per his wishes.
Read more about Obituary: Patrick James Kennedy

Obituary: Mort Ransen

Mort Ransen; 1933-2021 With sorrow, pride and gratitude we share the news that our beloved Mort Ransen died at the Lady Minto Hospital on Saturday Sept.4, 19 days after his 88th birthday, which he had celebrated joyfully with close family. He had suffered with many ailments in the past year and decided to ease his suffering and hasten his departure with MAID. This enabled him to have wonderful visits with family and friends in the days and hours up to his departure. He left us lucidly, peacefully and humorously. Four children and their partners, four grandchildren, family members, two ex-wives, one partner and many friends are left with their fond and funny memories. Salt Springers will remember Mort as a South End resident and active community member for 30 years, and as a great and prolific film-maker, most notably and recently with Margaret’s Museum and “Ah … The Money, The Money, The Money”, The Battle for Saltspring. Gratitude goes out to staff and residents of Me…
Read more about Obituary: Mort Ransen

Obituary: Tony (Anthony Ross) Clair

Tony (Anthony Ross) Clair: 15 September 1960 - 13 August 2021 We are all devastated by the loss of our Tony (Anthony), by natural causes, just as he was returning to well-being through a healthier life style riding his cherished bicycle. He is predeceased by his siblings: Mark, Rebecca, and Jeffrey. He is survived by his mother, Shirley Ewert (stepdad Walter Ewert), his father, Vitthale Clair (partner Clare MacKenzie), spouse, Gillian Laird, beloved children Chantel Clair (mom, Claudine De Shane) and Aubrey Borth (mom, Renee Hamish Savage). Also, his siblings Christine Clair-Rein (Bill Rein), Vivian Davies, (Ian Tresidder) (brother-in-law) David Davies, Lisa Clair, along with many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews, cousins of every description and an island of friends. Tony struggled, was challenged, excelled and surpassed. He possessed many creative talents, including drawing and music. He devoted time and excellence training his dogs, was a master elect…
Read more about Obituary: Tony (Anthony Ross) Clair

Obituary: Melanie Dick

Melanie Dick September 24,1953-July 24,2021 Melanie passed away July 24 in Victoria's Royal Jubilee Hospital after a swift and aggressive illness. Melanie grew up primarily in Ottawa and lived in the Yukon and Winnipeg before moving to Salt Spring Island in 1988 with her young family. On Salt Spring she established a home-based business designing and making stained glass windows, lamps, and ornaments. Her windows are incorporated into many homes and businesses on Salt Spring and can be seen most notably in the restaurant of the Salt Spring Inn in Ganges. Melanie was a long time director of Waterfront Gallery in Ganges where she sold her work and also managed the gallery for many years. She was a regular vendor at the Salt Spring Saturday Market for many years. The after market happy hour she participated in was legendary and came to be known as 'Champagne Saturday' after the preferred libation on those days. Melanie was a fun-loving, kind and thoughtful parent…
Read more about Obituary: Melanie Dick

Obituary: Paul Mazzei

For those of you who have not heard ...due to some serious health issues Paul Mazzei passed away in his sleep on July 1st, 2021. The outpouring of love and fond memories have been incredible. The Mazzei Family are spread throughout Canada so between the distance and the shock of losing our baby brother it has taken some time to post of his passing. We are extremely saddened by the loss of this man at the young age of 58. Paul was filled with love and kindness which he shared with everyone. He was a Buddhist and followed a practice of forgiveness and caring. He touched and supported many people and was loved by those that knew him. He was a simple man and lived a simple life. He is and will be greatly missed. We love you Paul. A heartfelt thank-you to his closest friends and Community Services that stepped up and helped with the gathering of his treasured possessions.
Read more about Obituary: Paul Mazzei

Obituary: Bunny Campbell

Beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Bunny Campbell, passed away peacefully at Lady Minto extended care on July 8th at the age of 99. Loved by everybody she was the adopted mother of many of our friends and was known by the younger generation as Nangy. She had a kind, loving and thoughtful nature and always knew how to find the fun in everything. One of her famous remarks, on seeing a young man mooning from a bus, was "Ahh, the sights you see in the spring..." She will be remembered for her wit, her infamous rhubarb and orange pie, her wonderful lamb stew, her "square meat and tulip buns" picnics and her sunken, fudge-filled-in-desperation cake. And for flinging a spoonful of ice cream and fruit salad at her daughter, Avril, as she said "because she knew I wouldn't." Bunny was born in Sorrento, BC and lived on an apple farm on the Shuswap Lake with horses, sheep and dogs where she attended a one-room schoolhouse. Her family packed up for England as war broke…
Read more about Obituary: Bunny Campbell

Obituary: John Macdonald Pickering

John Macdonald Pickering, February 12th, 1948 - June 5th, 2021. It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John. He is survived by his loving wife Jenny, son Wesley, daughter Emma (Clayton), two beautiful granddaughters Layla and Lilia, sister Susan, niece Robyn and nephew John. He was a humble, kind, loving husband, dad, grandad and friend who loved music, his cars, cooking great food, having a good chat, reading about history and so much more. He will be greatly missed by everyone. We would like to send a special thanks to Jill & Ted, Wendy & Joe and Rob & Sally for being the greatest neighbors ever. And to Doctor Kesh Smith and Jan Hartwig, no words can express the gratitude we have for the compassion that you showed to John these last few months. There will be no service and in lieu of flowers please donate to the BC Cancer Agency.
Read more about Obituary: John Macdonald Pickering

Obituary: Brenda Cornwall

Rosemary Brenda Ida Cornwall, October 3, 1935 - May 11, 2021 Brenda passed away at Greenwoods Eldercare on Salt Spring Island. Born in London, England, marrying Frank Cornwall in 1953. They moved to Canada in 1956 and over to Salt Spring in 1973. She was predeceased by her husband Frank Cornwall who passed in 1999. Loved and survived by her 5 children; Lewis (Beth) Cornwall, Tracey Cornwall, Dorothy Cornwall (Dean Read), Dean Cornwall and Rosheen (Mark) O'Donnell along with 10 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. Brenda was a realtor in Richmond, BC and Salt Spring Island. She was fun loving, enjoyed choir, church, line dancing, tennis, hiking, exercise classes and world travel. Brenda was a frequent shopper at the Lady Minto Thriftstore, the Lions and garage sales. She left behind a heck of a lot of stuff. Brenda loved eccle cakes from Embe's Bakery, coffee from Dagwoods, pies from Jana's and treats from Penny's. The family would like to thank all…
Read more about Obituary: Brenda Cornwall

Obituary: Sheila Gordon Harrop

Sheila Gordon Harrop (nee Pirie): March 17, 1928 – May 9, 2021 Sheila passed away on May 9th, Mother’s Day, at Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island with her family by her. A wife, sister, aunt, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she was loved by all. Sheila was the hub of a large extended family. She is survived by her husband of 70 years Trevor, her four children: Jim (Jen), Catherine (Bill), Ian (Judy) and David (Kaoru), 12 grandchildren and 7 ½ great-grandchildren, and her sister (Netta McNab and family in Scotland). A lover of the outdoors, a world traveler, an avid tennis player and most of all an incredible loving and caring person. Sheila cared for her family and the extended circle of friends including the DeRosa family, Arlene Bastion, Alan Murphy, Richmond Tennis Women’s league and UBC Faculty Wives Hiking Club. Born in Motherwell, Scotland, Sheila immigrated to Vancouver with her fiancée Trevor. They married in 1951, then moved to New Denver, B.…
Read more about Obituary: Sheila Gordon Harrop

Obituary: Graham Paul Foulkes

Graham Paul Foulkes June 8 1965 – April 25 2021 It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of Graham, known by many as Oz or Ozzy. He was the loving husband of Leanne, father of Tabitha (Tavis), Jenoah (Brandy), Trylan (Aleah), Rosemary, stepfather of Coast, and grandfather of Sayla. As the lynchpin of a large extended family, he was also a “bonus dad” to Kaiya and Maria, and a caring uncle to many nieces and nephews. Graham was born in Watford, UK to Audrey and Michael, and brother to Trevor, Steven, David and Sally. After attending Watford Grammar School and a brief stint in university studying environmental sciences, he started on his great adventure in Canada in 1987. He attended film school in Victoria, incorporating film and photography throughout all aspects of his life. Graham was most comfortable behind the lens, and you would typically see him with a camera slung around his neck. Over the years, in his unique way, he became a vibrant member of th…
Read more about Obituary: Graham Paul Foulkes