Mel died peacefully and surrounded by family on Nov. 19 after complications from heart surgery.
She was born in Mullingar, Ireland, the eighth of 10 children of John and Elizabeth Farrell. She left home at 17 to do her nurses’ training in Nottingham, England. There she met and married Royal Canadian Air Force lieutenant Frederic Bolan.
In 1958, with her toddler son Wayne in tow, she travelled to Canada aboard the Queen Mary. The family lived three years in Toronto, where daughters Kim and Kathryn were born, before spending an interesting stretch in Goose Bay, Labrador where Mel worked as a nurse in indigenous communities.
In 1965, the family moved to Vancouver Island where she would spend the rest of her life. She worked as a nurse at St. Joseph’s hospital in Comox and later at the Royal Jubilee and the Eric Martin Pavilion in Victoria.
Her second husband Emlen Littell was the love of her life. They travelled the world and split their time at home between Fairfield and Hornby Island. After Emlen’s passing, Mel continued to travel into her 80s. She loved to paint, laugh, host dinner parties for her many friends and watch British murder mysteries. She walked everywhere.
Her last two years were challenging as she struggled with vision loss from glaucoma. But she always tried to find joy – listening to music, talking on the phone to her great granddaughters, or visiting with dear friends Barbara Roback, Marc Fagen, Alan Segaland Caroline Brown. Her wonderful companion Janice Male greatly improved Mel’s last year.
Mel was predeceased by her husband Emlen and her daughter Kathryn. She is survived by her son Wayne (Nicole,) daughter Kim, grandchildren Rocky (Teika), Ben (Alaska), Brendan, Megan, Liam and Kieran, great granddaughters Nijel, Shy and Mackie and by extended family in Ireland, England and the United States.
For details of her January mass and celebration of life please email: firstname.lastname@example.org