October 6, 1947 – May 4, 2021
It is with great sadness that the family of Christine (Chris) Anne Kazeil, née Connon, aged 73 of Nanaimo, BC, announce her passing on May 4th, 2021 shortly after being diagnosed with cancer.
Chris was born on October 6th, 1947 to James and Anne Connon in Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, Scotland. The Connons immigrated to Alberta, Canada when Chris was aged nine, along with sisters Aileen and Barbara.
In 1969, she met a dashing young Lebanese businessman named Jim Kazeil, whom she wed in 1971, and later relocated to Regina, Saskatchewan. Jim and Chris went on to have 3 children: Shauna, Aaron, and Toby.
They were always extensively involved in their family’s activities, especially with the Regina Optimist Dolphins Swim (RODS) Club, where they created many lifelong friendships. Chris and Jim never missed an opportunity to cheer on their kids and grandkids.
Chris’s love of colour, art, and design led her to attend the University of Regina where she studied pottery and stained glass.
After spending many years on the prairies raising their family, Chris and Jim settled on Vancouver Island in early 1996. In 2003, Chris and Jim’s lives changed dramatically when Jim was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Chris took great pride in the tender loving care Jim received at home from both herself and their children, before this cruel disease took Jim at the young age of 58 in 2007.
Chris channeled her grief into creating art with mixed media, specifically acrylic paints. She was a multiple award winning artist, a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, and twice published in International Artists Magazine.
Chris was elected by a jury of artists into the Society of Canadian Artists in October of 2012. Chris’s paintings have been in exhibitions across BC, and she is represented by The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Art Sales and Rental Program. Her paintings and artist statement can be viewed at www.chriskazeil.com
Chris is survived by her children Shauna, Aaron (Amy), and Toby, and her three grandchildren (who lovingly referred to her as Mugga) Zoë, Grace, and James. Chris was predeceased by her parents James and Anne Connon, and her husband Jim. She is survived by her sisters Aileen (Herb) and Barbara (Bob), in-laws Jessie, Marilyn, Joe (Nancy), Sophie, June, Mary, Kelly (Candy), and numerous adoring nieces and nephews.
Her children paid this tribute to her:
Our Mom was vibrant; She was bold; She was kind; She was generous; And man, was she funny. She would throw her head back and had the best, loudest laugh. She swore like a trucker, shocking for some, but hilarious for most. She made being a homemaker cool again and she knew how lucky she was to be able to stay home raising us kids.
Our Mom was cool. She discovered and recommended many of our favourite TV shows and movies before most of our friends had heard of them. Even as ‘wild’ teens, she trusted us and treated us as real people. Mom could see uniqueness, colour, and beauty in ways nobody could. She was a connoisseur of decorating and effortlessly created a beautiful, comfortable home. She decorated with timelessness and attention to detail: from art and flower arrangements, right down to the throw cushions.
She was an amazing hostess. As a guest in her home, your accommodations would be five-star. Mom did not spare any details, and you never went hungry. She was a consummate gift giver – always thoughtful and exquisitely wrapped. Even the experience of a cup of tea was special… dainty bone china cups, milk in a jug, and a fabulous tea cozy.
The meals prepared by Mom and Dad were legendary.
Our Dad said he married Mom for her potato salad and fried chicken, but she also made a killer lasagna, soups, turkey dinner, ham with scalloped potatoes, and apple pie. She wielded particular skill with a sandwich; loaded with the best ingredients. In the 70s and 80s, trying to avoid food additives, Mom made most of the food we ate from scratch… mayonnaise, mustard, bread… everything! Her food wasn’t pretentious or fancy but simple and well executed.
She was ahead of her time in many ways. In the late 80s she started a reusable fabric grocery bag line. In the 90s she was involved in starting a therapy dog program in Nanaimo.
Above all, we remember the love she shared with our Dad. They were equal partners and we kids knew it. Love, commitment, grace, kindness, respect, patience and understanding are words that come to mind thinking of our parents. And laughter – anyone who had the good fortune to spend time with them will share a memory of a boisterous family, gathered around a delicious meal, laughing, joking, teasing, and enjoying each other’s company.
Cancer came on quickly, with Mom dying 6 weeks from her initial diagnosis. Although there were no treatment options, we received exemplary care from Mom’s family doctor, Dr. Chris Moonsamy. Thank you Chris for your availability, support, kindness and care.
Our Mom will be forever remembered for her warmth, hospitality, generosity, and most of all humour. We will miss her dearly.
A celebration of life is planned for the summer of 2021, details to follow on Chris’s Facebook. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to ALS research.