August 20, 1942 – January 25, 2021
Gayle Ardith Chambers, beloved grandmother and community activist, died peacefully at home, surrounded by her family on January 25, 2021. Ardith was born on August 20th, 1942 in Vancouver. The middle child of Naomi [McKenzie] and Irvin Chambers, she is survived by brothers Lyle and Duff.
She grew up in Penticton with a large extended family, including 50 first cousins, spread across BC. Her children and their partners, Hans [Michelle], Naomi [Ryan] and Gary, were with her on the day that she passed, as were her grandchildren, Bryanna, Cayly, Drew, and Sienna.
Ardith volunteered extensively: with the Comox Valley Glacier Grannies; the Comox Valley Hospice Society; the World Community Film Festival Committee, including bagging coffee for World Community Coffee; as a coordinator for kitchen volunteers for Evergreen Seniors; and as a Healing Touch practitioner. Ardith loved volunteering and felt she received more from it than she gave.
Ardith was a gifted fibre artist with a distinctive style, and an avid bicyclist. She was instantly recognizable as she rode by on her bike in colourful hand-made clothing. She was a prolific reader and loved her book clubs.
During her career, Ardith was a librarian at the Burnaby Public library and at Douglas College, as well as an elementary school teacher in the Comox Valley. She owned and operated a dairy farm in Black Creek in the 1970s, and the HomeStore in Cumberland in the 1980s.
After retirement, for years, Ardith enjoyed the adventure of house sitting and pet sitting in the Comox Valley and Lower Mainland. She taught English in Dalian, China for a year and backpacked for 6 weeks in China while there.
She also travelled to Japan twice in recent years, most recently with her daughter Naomi and her brother Lyle. Earlier in life, she travelled to New Zealand, Israel, England, Switzerland, Cuba, USA, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain.
Ardith was a role model for her family, including her nieces and nephews. She was radically accepting and non-judgemental; quietly loving and generous. Ardith was thoroughly herself and by example, she showed us that we could all be ourselves too. Her philosophy included good-humoured acceptance (of self, and of others), open-mindedness, kindness, and unpretentious integrity.
Her family and her friends are grateful to MAID BC and Dr. Tanja Daws. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the GlacierGrannies.org, the ALS Society of BC, or the charity of your choice.
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