Juli-Ann ‘Jewels’ Gibson (nee Bickle)

March 11, 1941 – April 19, 2021
Juli moved through from this life at home on her own terms surrounded by love and without a cloud in the sky.
Our world is better because of what Jewels showed us: strength, resilience, love, compassion, generosity, humility, loyalty, wit, intelligence, humour, integrity, honesty, and an unparalleled ability to use the f bomb with class.
Predeceased by her beloved parents Helen and Ed Bickle, Juli is survived and forever celebrated by her daughter and best friend Jennifer and favourite son in law Pedro; her ex husband John; her spoiled dog Zak, extended family and a carefully curated collection of friends.
Born in Cumberland and raised in Courtenay, Juli skied The Plateau before the days of a rope tow, taught swim lessons, and yearned for a horse to call her own.
Juli left Courtenay for UBC where she enjoyed independence and city life. Family needs brought her back to Courtenay where she would marry John Gibson. After living in Vancouver, Courtenay and a brief stint in Hawaii, they settled in Campbell River where she would stay after they divorced to lovingly and independently raise Jennifer to be a strong, empathic feminist.
Juli worked at the hospital in the lab, x-ray, and health records which brought long time friendships with inspiring and cool women just like her. Realizing her dream of having a horse of her own in her late 40s, Jewels became a very content horsewoman for the next 3 decades.
After a breast cancer diagnosis in the late 90s, she became a founding member of both River Spirit and Bravehearts dragon boat teams to help others with cancer see life beyond diagnosis.
Always comfortable with her own company, Jewels was happiest on the Double J with her horses, donkeys, German Shepherds, and flower garden. A dog walk with Jennifer followed by a caramel macchiato (sub toffee nut), a great book, a stiff scotch and a fantastic dinner (often made by Pedro) filled her best days.
Jewels was a force to be reckoned with whether she was driving a tractor, mucking a stall, debating politics, “fixing” things with duct tape including her trademark jeans, or completing the Saturday crossword in The Globe and Mail.
Huge gratitude to the incredible staff at CR Cancer Care and Palliative Care Nursing (North Team); Dr. Anne Morrison; Dr. Christian Mackin; Dr. Sunil Parimi; Dr. Eben Nel and Dr. Alejandra Farias for being on Team Jewels throughout this last journey with colon cancer.
Their compassionate guidance and care offered us the gift of more time together which included a bucket list Rolling Stones concert, great meals and conversation, and awesome trips to Seattle and Tofino.
To remember Jewels, give your dog an extra cookie, plant some sweet peas, pour yourself a stiff drink, enjoy a great meal and show gratitude for this good life. Although she’d never believe it, Jewels will always be a legend in our lives and we will never not miss her. We’ll see you in our dreams.
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