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Obituary of Pat GILBERT
Pat embraced each day of life with enthusiasm, curiosity and wonder. Born on August 23, 1932, in Moose Jaw, Mom was the 6th child in the family, and blessed with 4” mothers”. After her maternal mother, Isabel, died when “Patsy-Ann” was 3, older sisters Isabel and Muriel loved and supported her in her early years. Pat’s Dad, William Macguire, eventually married Sylvia, who then loved and guided Pat in her life. The family moved in the 1930’s to Duncan where Pat finished her schooling. She pursued Psychiatric Nurse training at Essondale Hospital in Coquitlam, and it was there that she met Donna Gilbert and became fast friends. Pat went on to complete her RN training at St Josephs School of Nursing in Victoria. During a casual visit with Donna, Pat first met Donna’s brother, Roland. Roland was smitten and pursued Pat, winning her affection and her heart. They married in 1958, the same year that she graduated with her RN degree. Brad and Ann-Marie arrived shortly after and the family moved successively to Calgary, Saskatoon and then to Coquitlam. Roland travelled out of town every second week and so Pat was a part-time single parent. She managed the house and kids on her own much of the time and supported her kids as a Scouting leader, Brownie leader, camp nurse for Girl Guides, hot-dog day helper at Lord Baden Powell Elementary School and fundraising chair for Como Lake Junior High School band program. In the 1970’s, long before recycling was mainstream, Pat was involved with creating the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC), and could be found handing out leaflets at grocery stores to educate people on reducing their impact on the earth. Mom spearheaded the development of thrift stores in her churches in Coquitlam and in Saanichton, helping to raise funds, recycle clothes and reduce the load on landfill. Roland and Pat moved to Saanichton in 1981 where Mom filled her time as an empty nester by working first in a jewelry store, then completing her nursing refresher course and returning to work full time at Royal Jubilee Hospital. Their home, the ‘Highcrest Terrace Hotel’ required lots of work, and it became a labour of love, and place of much happiness for all who visited them. Pat loved to travel in the car. Whether it was with Roland to accompany him on his work trips or Morgan runs up and down the coast, the island and beyond, or when they retired, to enjoy many road trips in RVs to “be” in nature and enjoy a campfire. Pat loved her little ones and especially her grandkids, Kevin, Brie, Isabelle and John. There was nothing that these kids could do wrong! She loved unconditionally and thoroughly, and enjoyed her job in spoiling these four lucky people. As they travelled less, Pat and Roland adopted Eryn, a water spaniel, and later Blaze, a golden retriever. Both were rescue dogs and benefitted greatly from mom’s limitless love and patience. She would light up anytime a dog came into view and would love to pet dogs whenever she was out. Pat loved her Thursday mornings with the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary’s “Crafty Crew” and spent many years sewing, knitting, and baking for fundraisers. One great joy was in gathering the women to make the Christmas Puddings to sell in the annual November bazaar. While Patricia sewed clothes when it was a necessity, her passion was in hand work – quilting and petit point, sharing her works as gifts for babies, birthdays and weddings. Pat was fascinated with her family tree and researched to discover she was Metis and descended from the Selkirk Settlers of Manitoba. Her genealogy quest led her on many trips to the prairies and she benefitted from meeting newly discovered relatives. Family was so important to mom and she treasured the sisters who predeceased her, Eileen, Ada, Muriel and Isabel, as well as her brother Frank. As Pat’s health declined, she was gracious and kind, appreciating everyone who provided care. Her spirit rose above the dementia and managed to continue to connect briefly long after we expected. She loved her weekly visits with her niece, Diane, and the home baked treats she brought. Mom left us peacefully March 24, 2020. Pat will be missed by family and friends everywhere. Roland, Brad and Ann-Marie are thankful for the loving care Pat received over the years at Sidney All Care, and especially for Mhairi and Michelle’s advocacy, and Drs Gunton and Wray for helping her journey peacefully. A memorial service will be held at a date TBA. Donations to Alzheimer’s Society of Canada greatly appreciated.
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