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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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.
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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.
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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…
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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.
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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…
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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.…
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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…
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Obituary: Carol Fowles

Carol Fowles passed away in Royal Jubilee Hospital on Friday, April 23rd, 2021 at the age of 67. She died peacefully with her daughters by her side. Carol is survived and dearly missed by her husband Noel; her daughters and sons-in-law Kathyrn, Autumn, Roland, and Colin; her grand children Annabelle and Jamie; and her brother and brother-in-law Bruce and Franco. Born in Scarborough, Ontario to Jim and Inez Armstrong, Carol also lived in New Brunswick and Fort McMurray, before settling on Salt Spring Island in 1980. She was a realtor for over 20 years, active in the Lions Club, running Pioneer Village and serving as club president; and a Salty Sweaters fitness instructor. Carol was an avid marathon walker, enjoyed gardening, and made a mean caesar salad and cheesecake! We will all miss her gorgeous smile. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no service will take place at this time. If you wish to donate in her memory, you are invited to direct your generosity to the BC Alzheim…
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Obituary: Roger Warren

Roger Stewart Warren was born in Epsom, Surrey, England, on the 16th of August 1941. He emigrated to Canada with his parents as a teenager and grew up in Ontario. In 1984 he moved to Salt Spring Island, BC, where he established Chickadee Pine, a handmade furniture business. He participated in the restoration of Mahon Hall, belonged to the Folk Music Club, and was active in the arts community. He also began sculpting, seeing the forms of birds and animals in collected pieces of wood. He retired on six forested acres at the south end of the island, where lived his final fifteen years in a sprawling house that he built and filled with his handmade furniture and carvings. He died on the 6th of March 2021 at Lady Minto Hospital on the island and will be missed by many, including two ex-wives, Maggie Warren in Ontario and Judi Underwood of Victoria, BC; his step daughter Cyndy Spiers of Newmarket, ON; his cousin Sue Rehill (husband Ken) of Parksville, BC, and their son Kevin Re…
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Obituary: Bill Harkley

Captain William (Bill) Harkley passed away, peacefully, on his own terms at his home on Salt Spring Friday February 26, 2021. He is survived by his wife, Janice, his children Graham (Sharon) Harkley, his daughter Laureen Hooker, his son in law Ross Hooker, his stepson Pete ( Jamie) Shpak , 5 grandchildren Nick, Jenna, Grace, Evan, Kennedy, his sister Cathy (Les) Bayer and the mother of his children, Marilyn Harkley. Bill was born in Vancouver August 31, 1940. Flying was his career and his life. He started flying in the bush in Northern Ontario and was eventually hired by Pacific Western Airlines May 1, 1969. He flew on all continents, except Antarctica. On March 27, 1980 Bill confirmed to YVR control that Mt. Saint Helens had, indeed, erupted as the plane he was flying was right there. By the time Bill retired fully from the airlines in 2010, he had flown through the mergers of Pacific Western Airlines, Canadian Pacific Airlines, Wardair Canada, and Air Canada. He never thou…
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Obituary: Lawrence Edward (Ted) Aston

In the early evening of Friday February 26th, Lawrence Edward Aston (Ted) passed away peacefully at Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island. Six days short of his 93rd birthday. Ted was the youngest of 5 children of Lawrence Hubert Aston (Norwegian) and Jessie O’Brien (Irish). His 4 sisters, Joan, Jessie, Doreen and Betty all predeceased him. Ted was born in London on March 4th 1928 within the sound of the bells of St. Mary-le-Bow church making him a true Cockney. He first moved to Salt Spring in early 2011. After living here for 1 ½ years he had to leave while awaiting his immigration application. In July 2016 he returned as a Permanent Resident to live again with his son Mark, daughter in law, Holly, and granddaughters Raven (Jenna) and Carlie. In January 2020 he moved to Braehaven Assisted Living. As a teenager he enlisted in the British Army Medical Corps and after completing his training in Ireland he was sent to serve in northern Germany at the end of World War II…
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