Ed Jarvis remembered as a difference-maker

‘Your kind words, thoughtfulness, caring and support has given us comfort and strength,’

Ed Jarvis is being remembered by the community as a man who made a difference, according to his wife Lois, who says she has received “overwhelming” support since his obituary was printed in the Mirror. Photo courtesy Lois Jarvis

Ed Jarvis is being remembered by the community as a man who made a difference, according to his wife Lois, who says she has received “overwhelming” support since his obituary was printed in the Mirror. Photo courtesy Lois Jarvis

Lois Jarvis.

There’s a very good reason that name doesn’t look right on the page.

It’s because every other time you’ve seen it, it was likely written as “Lois and Ed Jarvis.”

And you certainly have seen it.

Lois and Ed Jarvis have been names that have popped up frequently in the pages of the Campbell River Mirror over the years as they worked to improve the healthcare offerings of our community. And they were always written together, because as Lois says, “we always did everything together.”

They were founding members of Citizens For Quality Healthcare as well as the Campbell River chapter of the First Open Heart Society. Some largely credit them with the fact that we still have a hospital in Campbell River, as they were entrenched in the fight for a two-hospital solution in the region when the province was looking at the possibility of only one to serve both Courtenay and Campbell River.

“We read all the studies about how many hospitals were needed for a geographic region and a population. And I mean all of them,” she says. “There was certainly two needed. There are still people who think, somehow, that we would never have to go to Vancouver or Victoria for anything if they would have built one ‘super hospital,’ which isn’t true at all. We’ll always have to go to Vancouver or Victoria for certain situations, because they can’t duplicate those services other places.”

RELATED: Lois and Ed Jarvis making a difference in Campbell River

But whether or not you give them the credit – or blame them – for that, once the decision was made for two campuses instead of one, Lois and Ed are almost certainly the reason we don’t pay for parking at them.

Because when the announcement was made that it would be two hospitals, they changed their focus and began looking into the issue of paid parking at hospitals and other vital community services. As they did, they found much evidence to suggest it did more harm than good. So they took their case to the City of Campbell River, which they suggested could create a bylaw restricting the practice, as had successfully been done in other communities.

They would then also take their case straight to the top, so to speak.

“When John Horgan was here campaigning during the 2017 election, I asked him directly, ‘are you going to allow them to put in paid parking at the hospital?’ and he said wherever there had not already been paid parking, there wouldn’t be paid parking.”

But the previous Liberal government – under which the hospital had been built – had already put in the parking meters, numbered all the stalls and were up for re-election.

“But when the NDP was elected,” Lois says, “the first question I asked Claire [Trevena, our region’s MLA at the time] was to ask John Horgan whether he was going to keep his promise about free parking, and yes he did.”

More recently, they have been entrenched in the battle over local laboratory services being shifted to Victoria.

And as the founding members of the Campbell River branch of the First Open Heart Society, 37 years ago now, they have raised a ton of money to help heart patients and their families in our area.

“We’re actually the second-highest donor on the wall of the hospital for cardiac equipment,” she says, “but that’s not really our mandate. Our mandate is to support heat patients and their families. There are some who can’t afford to go to Vancouver or Victoria, for example, so we help them be able to do that.

“Especially kids,” she continues. “They have to go across to BC Childrens’ Hospital quite often, so we help them do that.”

Lois was at Ed’s side when he passed away peacefully in early December at Yucalta Lodge.

“I thought I was prepared,” she says. “I knew it was going to be coming fairly soon, but I then learned that I wasn’t. You can’t really prepare yourself, it turns out.”

And while she hadn’t been able to spend nearly as much time with him in his last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, she understands why, and she’s happy to have had the time with him that she did get. She’s also very happy he had the care he got within the community.

“I really have to say that the care he got was outstanding,” she says. “He was in the day program at the Adult Care Society in Willow Point before he went into Yucalta Lodge and they were absolutely phenomenal. And when he went into Yucalta Lodge, they were equally phenomenal. He received excellent care.”

Lois would also like to thank the community for the outpouring of support she’s received since Ed’s passing. Well over 100 notes and gifts have landed on Lois’ steps an in her email inbox since Ed’s obituary was printed in the Mirror.

“To all of you who have phoned, sent emails, cards, flowers, treats, offers of assistance and donations to our CR Branch of the First Open Heart Society you have our profound and everlasting thanks,” Lois says. “Your kind words, thoughtfulness, caring and support has given us comfort and strength during a most difficult time with our loss of Ed. It is a fine tribute to Ed to have so many absolutely wonderful people reach out to us as you all have done.”

Anyone who would like to show their support can send a donation to The Campbell River Branch, First Open Heart Society of B.C., P.O. Box 175, Campbell River, B.C. V9W 5A7 to help Lois continue the work she and Ed were – and are – so passionate about.

“You know, I really have to give it to him,” Lois says. “He never complained. He just kept carrying on, even with all the health issues he had. And it was because he had cardiac issues starting at such a young age that we founded the Campbell River Branch of the First Open Heart Society to help others who had them, too.”

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