Freda passed away early Wednesday October 10th at the age of 95.
Freda was predeceased by her husband Arthur James Spencer (2012) and her brother Robert Burdock (2015). She is survived by her 2 daughters Janice (Chris) and Cynthia, her beloved grandchildren: Daniel McQuillan, Robert Spencer (Veronika) and Stacey McQuillan, her great granddaughter Sophie Anna Spencer and by her brother Bryan Burdock.
Freda was born in Unity, Saskatchewan March 13,1923 to parents Alan and Jessie Burdock. The family moved to Nanaimo in 1937 and lived at 619 Fitzwilliam Street which remained in the family until the early 80’s when the house was torn down to make way for the present police station.
Freda attended John Shaw High School and graduated from Provincial Normal School achieving her teacher’s certification in 1947.
She taught primary school in Chemainus and later in the Ward Schools in Nanaimo. Mom loved teaching and was much loved by her students who have fond memories of Miss Burdock. Freda stayed home to raise her two daughters and returned to substitute teaching for a few years when they were both in school.
She first met her husband – to-be in high school. They reconnected when he returned from his time in the navy during the war and were married July 28,1948. They enjoyed a long and happy marriage of 63 years until Arthur passed away in 2012. They spent 25 happy years in the home they built in Departure Bay and when Art retired they moved to the family property on the beach in Lantzville.
Freda began attending St. Andrews United Church in her teens and remained an active and very involved member all her life. She continued in her calling of teaching and became a leader of many youth groups: CGIT, Explorers, Young Peoples, Sunday School. She served on many committees and boards. In 2014 she received recognition from the congregation at their AGM with a certificate of appreciation.
Being of service to her church was an important and fulfilling part of her life. Her strong faith gave her strength to meet the challenges of life and aging. The people she worshiped with became her friends and were very important to her. She and Art enjoyed their retirement life with trips, gardening, swimming in the ocean well into her 80’s, line dancing, reading, and spending happy times with her 3 adored grandchildren: Daniel, Robert and Stacey and was thrilled when Robert’s wife Veronika became part of her family. She felt truly blessed when Sophie was born.
The family send a special thanks to Luisa, Barb, Colette, Pat, Peggy and Karen who became part of our family and made it possible for Mom to stay in her cozy beachside home until this last year.
A celebration of Freda’s life will be held Friday November 2nd 1:30 pm at St. Andrews United Church, 311 Fitzwilliam Street, Nanaimo.