Margaret ‘Peg’ Elizabeth Francis, nee Gatrell, died on June 24, 2019 surrounded by her loving family, after a long productive life. She is survived by her children, Joyce McMenamon (Paul), Ken, Don (Tracy Petereit), Gord (Jody), and grandchildren Connor (Amanda), Zoe, Joel (Kelsey), Clay, Mikayla, Skye and step-granddaughter Michelle, and great-grandchildren Onya, Marley, Roman, Nina and Walker. She will also be missed by her sister Marjory (Ells) Hugh and brother David (Rita) Gatrell, numerous nieces and nephews, as well as a big fan base from her church and hobby painting circles. Peg was predeceased by her husband, Fred, in 2003.
Peg was born in Vancouver BC, Dunbar area, and was a good student at Lord Byng. At UBC, she met Fred and they were married in 1949. In 1950, they moved to Prospect Lake near Victoria, and bought one of Fred’s parent’s summer cottages. They lived a bucolic life there while they both finished teacher training and had Joyce and Ken. She also taught Sunday School for over 60 years, for which she was rewarded a Lamborghini (3 inches long!) that she was surprisingly proud of.
In 1960 they bought a larger newer house in Cadboro Bay. The family of four embarked on a year exchange teaching adventure in 1962-63. When they returned to Victoria, they had Gordon and adopted Don a year later. That plus Dino the dog kept her busy for 26 years between Joyce arriving and Gord leaving. They enjoyed camping trips locally and as far as Mexico.
Peg and Fred had several business ventures during those years, mainly home-based and sometimes profitable. These included Carpento (a construction set), Instantmount notice boards, mosquito veils, Seefire Stoves (high tech wood burners), Speedibin compost bins, and together they wrote and published ‘Democratic Rules of Order’ (rules for running meetings, now a best-seller).
For the school year 1979-80, Peg, Fred, Don and Gord lived near Hastings, Sussex for another adventurous year of exchange teaching and travel with two teenage boys. In later years, Peg and Fred enjoyed quite a few trips to Bermuda, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, several to the UK and Europe, Hawaii and several around the US and Canada. In their boat, they had adventures (some hair-raising!) around Victoria, the Broken Group Islands and Hot Springs Cove.
Peg lost the love of her life in 2003 when Fred passed away. However, she re-grouped and sold the family home to buy a bigger house in Victoria where she rented the basement suite and had overseas borders that she cared for in her home. She enjoyed painting in water colour and oil, being active in clubs at Goward House, Monterey and Cedar Hill over the years.
Her family and friends will miss her generous heart, observant witticisms, and thoughtful kindness. And prolific paintings, the PFO’s – Peggy Francis Originals! She was a wonderful example of a good person and captured Spock’s blessing to ‘live long and prosper’.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Goward House in July. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Wayside House, 550 Foul Bay Rd, Victoria, BC V8S 4H1.
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