Rubina Olive TWIGG


Rubina Olive

It is with much sadness that John and Alan Twigg announce the passing of their beloved grandmother Rubina Olive Twigg, who passed away peacefully at the New Horizons facility in Campbell River on April 30. She was 102.

Ruby was born on Sept. 9 1905 in Southampton England to Rudolph Leopold Cohen and Isabelle Christina Williams but she came to Canada at a very young age with her mother and grandmother, settling briefly in Saskatoon and then moving to Vancouver where her mother remarried to Sam Grant and had more children including Stan Grant, who was close to Ruby until his passing in 1983 at age 70.

While still only 14 years old Ruby began working for B.C. Telephone Co. as an operator and in March 1922 she married Harry Maitland Twigg in Vancouver. Their only child, Arthur, was born in April 1923. The family lived for some time in West Vancouver before the bridge was built, with Harry working as a circulation manager for The Vancouver Sun and writing fishing and sports articles for various magazines.

In 1940 the family moved to Oyster Bay where they had purchased a vacant waterfront lot in what was largely undeveloped territory. Ruby, Harry and Arthur lived in a tent while they built a log cabin, which over the years was expanded into a comfortable home. Though Arthur soon returned to West Vancouver to live with his uncle Stan, finish school, work for Union Steamships and begin a family, Ruby stayed in her wonderful view home for the remainder of her life, often cooking on her wood stove even after an electric stove was installed. Arthur returned to Oyster Bay in 1974, built a house on his mother’s lot and lived there until his passing in 2001 after which her grandson John moved in to the house and attended to her needs. Ruby’s mother also bought a lot nearby in 1940 and later built a house on it and so remained close to Ruby and Arthur until her passing at age 87.

Ruby resumed working for B.C. Tel in 1946, working as a telephone switchboard operator in Campbell River. In 1957 she joined the then-new Marina Hotel as its switchboard operator and rose to become its manager in 1967 until her retirement in 1980. She joined the Willow Point Old Age Pensioners Organization in 1976 and was elected president in 1978, which position she served in for several years. She was later made an Honourary Life Member and enjoyed attending their events up until last year. She also wrote a popular column for several years in The Rural Shopper magazine.

Ruby was predeceased by her husband Harry in 1948, after which her dear friend Tony Peers lived with her until his passing and then she enjoyed a lengthy friendship with Delbert Farrell until his passing.

She is survived by her grandsons John Twigg (Laura) and Alan Twigg (Tara), both writers, by great-grandchildren Jeremy (Glencora), Alexandra, Martin, Rebecca, James and Catherine and great-great-granddaughter Indigo, by niece Gail McAssey (nee Grant; Brandon, Dayton) and nephew Gary Grant (Vivienne; Christopher and Joanne), and by her dear friend Margaret Heagle (Don), her brother Stan’s ex-wife, and niece Gail Rankin, as well by several cousins, step-great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces and other relatives.

Ruby touched the lives of many people and was widely well-regarded as a loving, caring and sharing person who had many friends. She also had a keen interest in community history, being an early supporter of both the Campbell River Museum and the Campbell River Maritime Heritage Centre. In lieu of flowers a donation to either of those institutions would be appreciated pending the possible establishment of a memorial fund.

Special thanks to John’s partner Laura and to Jonathan, Joan and the many kind and caring staffers at New Horizons who enabled Ruby to have a peaceful and comfortable passing, and thank you too to the many other health professionals in the Campbell River Hospital and Sunshine Lodge who helped her along the way in recent months, especially Brian and Rosita on 2 North and Carol in Sunshine, and many wonderful Homecare workers.

An informal and non-denominational memorial service to recall Rubina’s interesting, long and fruitful life will be held Sunday May 11 at 1 p.m. at the Oyster Bay Resorts Hall, 4357 South Island Highway, just a bit south of where she lived for almost 70 years. All who were touched by her in some way are welcome to attend.

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