June 25, 2020
Grace’s children are saddened to announce her sudden and unexpected passing at her home in Courtenay. Recently predeceased by her loving husband Bill of 62 years in November, we were very proud of her soldiering on and trying to find a new path.
Grace was born in Regina and was adopted from an orphanage by the Davies family, a little girl to join two boys, whom she loved dearly. Life was very hard during The Great Depression and the dustbowl that was Saskatchewan, and her family suffered tragic personal losses, constant moving, and instability, just to survive. Her best memories were centred on times with her brothers, and musical Sundays with her grandfather and a large extended family. These struggles shaped her personality, and made her alternately vulnerable and strong, and she was very proud of what her family endured.
Life brightened when she moved to Vancouver and worked as a stenographer, as she and a friend were going to work and then travel to Australia. Her Australia trip did not happen for another 35 years however, rather, she found her true calling as a student nurse at St. Paul’s Hospital, forming close bonds with her classmates of 1956 that lasted until today. Newly graduated, she moved to Campbell River to nurse, at Lourdes Hospital and then Campbell River General. She was introduced by friends to a very eligible bachelor Bill who lived at Storie Beach, and love quickly bloomed. They were married in June 1957, and son Ben arrived in July 1958, followed by daughter Connie in 1960, and son Chris in 1964.
Grace later nursed in public health, taught home nursing, and focussed on her children and building a community of friends. Energetic, knowledgeable about the world, social, and feisty, Grace also defeated cancer in 1968 and 2008. Along this journey, she was a committed volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society for over 40 years, visiting and counselling mastectomy patients. Along with dedicated parenting, Grace and family enjoyed skiing at the family’s rustic cabin on Forbidden Plateau, and with Bill and friends in the Alps, skiing into her 70s. She also took up diverse activities, such as 21 years with ITC International Training in Communications, Girl Guides as a leader, writing and book clubs, and even flying lessons, to the solo stage.
Bill retired in 1987, and together they built their dream home in Courtenay overlooking the Comox Glacier in 1992. They had a long and happy retirement together, filled with international travels they cherished, camping with the Comox Valley RV Club, many friends, and family. The blessings of four grandchildren came later in life, and they devoted their time, energy, and love to them. Grace continued to volunteer, including over 25 years of reading to seniors at Glacier View Lodge, and teaching Adult Literacy to new Canadians and adults with learning disabilities. As Bill’s health declined in recent years, she steadfastly nursed and cared for him, preserving their life together until his passing. She bravely faced widowhood and was looking forward to her 90th birthday celebrations.
Grace was predeceased by husband Bill, parents Gordon and May, stepmother Lillian, and brothers Gordon Jr. and Hugh (aka Buddy). She is survived by Ben, Connie, and Chris (Michelle), grandchildren Zachary, Xavier, Sophie, and Jenny, great-niece Tracy Hass and her family, sister-in-law Christine Davies, nephews Jim, Bob, and John Davies and their families, and so many, many friends that she made and treasured. One of the greatest abilities that Grace demonstrated to her family was how to be a loyal friend, as she treasured and kept in close touch with many dear friends locally and all over the world.
In lieu of flowers, we are sure she would appreciate donations to the Canadian Cancer Society. We would like to thank special neighbours and friends who helped Grace in recent months, including during isolation, such as the Pearsons and the Cockburns. Details of a gathering to remember Grace have yet to be determined.
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