May 23, 2023
In loving memory ~
Christine, known to many as "Chris" was born in Munich, Germany during World War 2, her Catholic mother was unmarried and at the time this was cause for ostracism and poverty in the small Bavarian Village where they resided. Times were tumultuous and for a period of her childhood she was raised by nuns in a Catholic Boarding School, the saving grace during her youth was spending time with her foster parents in the Alps on their farm during school holidays bringing her much joy. By the time she was 16 years old, her mother became ill and she was orphaned, education was no longer an option, needing to support herself - thru adversity she became a hard worker and very resourceful. She would spend her spare time cycling thru Germany staying in youth hostels and exploring the countryside. Recognizing the need to improve herself, she took secretarial courses, became an avid reader, and followed world events, she moved to London, England in her late teens, and worked in Whiteland College in the kitchen to become fluent in English. During this time she made lifelong friends with Julika and Karen, who became her self made family - traveling with them she toured Europe getting into all kinds of shenanigans, she reminisced her whole life on those experiences.
She married, pregnant with daughter Amanda - chose to immigrate to Canada for a better life, first settling in Saskatchewan for a year, then traveling to the west coast on their way to Vancouver Island. Just by chance they took the wrong exit, and ended up driving thru the Fraser Valley, feeling an immediate connection with the unspoiled beauty of the land and surrounding mountains - they bought a ramshackle cabin at Cultus Lake. "The lake" at that time was undeveloped, unspoiled and a glorious place to raise a child. Her marriage dissolved but this did not stop her from carrying on. Waitressing at the Royal Café and the Twin Peaks, house cleaning, working at Miller and Timmers, and CFB supported them until a fabulous opportunity presented itself. Mom became an employee for 25 years by the Cultus Lake Park Board, doing Janitorial Maintenance. This offered flexibility to raise me and provide an income to do house Reno's, travel and be supported in a community of friends in a beautiful park setting. She worked autonomously, and often stated she had the best job in the world, starting her workday at the "crack of dawn".
She had a 10 year relationship - a true bond of friendship/unconventional love with John Edmeston and his children. At a time when she needed it most he brought his humor, knowledge, love of nature and assisted raising her daughter - his early death would change everyone's lives forever.
In the late 1980"s Mom met and fell in love her 2nd husband during a trip to Jamaica. Still residing in her home at the lake, they made the decision to move due to the development and busyness of Cultus Lake.
Wells Road became home, mom became "gardener extraordinaire" with Luckakuk creek as the back drop. Her garden open for anybody to enjoy, a bench available to have a sit by the creek, to watch the ducks and encouraged novice gardeners to come and help themselves to her perennials. Her friendships with the neighbors proved to be invaluable. She often said "they were the best of the best" all passionate gardeners, offering her 2 decades of friendship and so supportive in her times of need.
Throughout her life Mom rooted for the underdog, assisting friends who were having hard times, lending money to those less fortunate, adopting families in underdeveloped countries she had befriended on her travels. Sending parcels with household goods, providing money for post secondary education and ability for them to purchase "their own plot of land".
My mom was a gifted, kind and loyal friend but known for her strong opinions, bluntness and lack of sugar coating situations. She often lacked social graces but had many long time friendships. Those that were close to her experienced all parts of her personality and loved her for all her traits.
She often said her biggest and most rewarding accomplishment was raising her daughter - and often seemed amazed that she had been successful in child rearing considering her own dysfunctional upbringing. In 2020 when the world experienced the Pandemic - unfortunate circumstances led to mom leaving her spouse after 30 years. We are forever grateful to the Chilliwack RCMP, Baker Newby, Notary Jacqueline Tait, Janet Joiner at Remax and the group of friends that provided emotional support and assisted us with packing up households. Bravely mom began a new life at the age of 77, entwining 2 households we became one.
Poor health began over the past 3 years, and on May 17th she was given the news that she had days to a few weeks to live. Not even time to absorb her terminal diagnosis or to say good bye to those that meant so much to her, she passed away in my arms at Cascade Hospice on May 23rd . Words cannot express my sense of loss and grief at the suddenness of her death.
In our family home on Saturday June 17th , 2023 - we are having an open house, please join us to share a story of her uniqueness and what she brought to your life. We are hosting an afternoon of "good eats and drink". Open House between Noon and 4pm.
Please no flowers - donate to those less fortunate or pass forward a random act of kindness