Janice Florida née Chambers, age 76, died suddenly and unexpectedly on Nov. 12, 2017, in the ICU at Victoria General Hospital. She is survived by husband of 54 years Robert Florida and their daughter Aisha (Richard Barrena), her mother Barbara Chambers, her sisters Gail Foster and Karren Marchand, and her brother Jeff Chambers. Janice was preceded in death by son Michael (1970-2016) and her father James W Chambers.
Janice was born in 1941 in Malden Massachusetts and raised in Cincinnati, where she took her RN training at Bethesda Hospital. Janice was a very dedicated and hardworking nurse, with experience in hospitals in the US and Canada. She said the most rewarding nursing job she ever had was as a nurse educator in a UN refugee camp in Bangkok in 1990. She also worked in the Kingdom of Swaziland for the US Embassy and a clinic The Family Life Association, where they tried very hard to stop the spread of HIV aids, just then appearing in the country.
In her forties, Janice went back to University and got her bachelor’s degree, graduating at the top of her class. She worked for a few years as a lab assistant in the anatomy lab where she assisted and directed students dissecting cadavers. At one point she qualified as a nurse-audiologist and braved Manitoba blizzards driving to small communities to test children’s hearing. She also was a nurse supervisor for home care services and taught nurse’s aides at the community college.
Janice and her husband immigrated to Canada in 1965 and both became real Canadians (except for the love of hockey, sorry, eh.) She lived in Brandon, Manitoba, from 1969 to 1999, when she escaped to Victoria, loving living right downtown. In Victoria she was active in the Saanich Swans Club, in her Strata councils (often serving as President), as a member and donor to the Intrepid Theatre, Theatre Inconnu, and the Art Gallery of Victoria.
She was very well travelled having visited some 65 countries. She lived for a six months in Honolulu, a year in England, two years in Swaziland, and one year in Thailand. Robert was a professor on Semester at sea two times so Janice circumnavigated the globe by ship twice on 110-day voyages. After retiring she enjoyed a number of cruises with Azamara being her favorite line.
In England she took a Cordon Bleu cookery course, and good food was a constant in her life. She was a noteworthy host of many dinner parties and informal meals, which all of her friends have mentioned after her death. She loved flower arranging, Formula One racing, the New Yorker, KNKX, art museums, Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, Dog Point sauvignon blanc, going to the theatre, baking cookies with children, and helping all her many friends. She was a loyal and loving wife and mother who cherished her family and many dear friends who cherished her in return.
Though neither a religious nor a spiritual person, she had a respectful interest in Buddhist practices, and was active in the Boulder Colorado Naropa (Tibetan Buddhist) community for a year. In Thailand she was a frequent visitor to temples and admired the way Buddhism permeated Thai lives and culture. She also enjoyed going to evensong in Oxford colleges, and always listened to the Sunday night broadcast of the compline service on KING FM.
A celebration of life is scheduled for Wednesday, December 13 at 2 p.m. at Wingate Studio, 925 Balmoral Rd, Victoria, with a reception to follow immediately, also at the Wingate Studio.
Peter Scales, Unitarian, will officiate. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Janice's life. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donations in her name to the Intrepid Theatre (http://intrepidtheatre.com) or Theatre Inconnu (http://www.theatreinconnu.com).