(nee Van Dyk)
Mum moved peacefully into the light on March 24, 2008 in the quiet hours of the morning with her children at her side. She was born in Prince George on January 7, 1920, but Mum always thought of Chilliwack as her home for over 40 years.
In reminiscing about her early years, Mum spoke of enjoying all that school had to offer and graduated from Baron Byng High School in Prince George. She recalled singing along to the piano with friends, practicing gymnastics, and frequently participating in dance recitals and school plays.
She graduated from post secondary secretarial training at Western School of Commerce on Robson Street in Vancouver.
Married to Jim in 1940 and four children later they moved to Sardis in 1963. Mum spent 16 years working as the Secretary to the Commandant at the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering at CFB Chilliwack. It was during her years working for CFSME that she learned to speak French and serendipitously discovered some of her family in Brussels, Belgium.
This started Mum on travels to Belgium and France to visit with her newly discovered relatives. It was also during these years that Mum found her true love in art as she started painting, first with oils and then acrylic and watercolors.
Mum was a long-time member of the Chilliwack Local Artists Association and volunteered as a docent at the Chilliwack Art Gallery. Community-minded and retired from CFB, Mum became a volunteer at Watson School Elementary Library and A.D. Rundle School and all the while continued to paint hundreds of pictures.
She lived a full life and family and friends will miss her quick wit and laughter at every bridge table, crossword puzzle and scrabble game yet to be played.
Renee is now reunited with the family and friends who predeceased her and were waiting for her on the other side including her father, Inspector Thomas Van Dyk and her mother Amenia Van Dyk; her sister Tilley Dickinson; her husband Jim Roughsedge; son and daughter-in-law Tom and Angie Roughsedge; and her dearest friends Genny Mussell and Joyce Howard.
Renee is survived by her three children Jim (Elaine), Elaine (Digby) and Gail (Glen) who will continue to cherish their wonderful memories of her in the years to come. “Laughing Grandma” will be sorely missed by all of her eight grandchildren Dave, Kari, Sheree, Scott, Coralie, Tana, Lara and Elyse and she will be a source of history and legend for her 12 and a half great-grandchildren.
To Dr. Verdizad, and nurses Ruth, Debra, Joanna, and the many caring staff of the Bradley Centre who participated in the care of our Mum, we are forever grateful for the compassion and kindness you showed to all of us during Mum’s final days.
Please join us for “A Celebration of Renee Roughsedge’s Life” to be held on Sunday, April 13, 2008 at 1:30 pm at Best Western Rainbow Country Inn, Lickman Road in Chilliwack.
No flowers please, but favorite stories and memories about Renee or donations to a charity of your choice are welcome.