It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a special woman, Kathleen Elizabeth Mears. Born in Montreal, Quebec on October 1, 1931, Kaye died in Duncan, B.C. on September 6, 2018.
She was predeceased by her parents George and Cecilia (nee Cripps) Mears, sisters Joan and Suzanne, niece Lesley Sumpter, and late Life Partner of 35 years, Laura Panteluk. Aunty “Babe” leaves behind to grieve her sister, Marjorie (and Ernie) Burrows of Montreal, five nephews/nieces, 14 great nephews/nieces; and 12 great-great nephews/nieces.
In 1949 Kaye volunteered as a reservist in the Royal Canadian Navy, first serving in Montreal (HMCS Donnaconna) and later in Vancouver (HMCS Discovery). She was fortunate to be a young woman in the 50s and 60s. This enabled her to make some amazing life and career choices that allowed her to live and work in foreign places. Kaye spent 25 years working for the engineering/pipeline construction giant Bechtel Corporation, San Francisco, California, where she oversaw the design and implementation of pipelines around the world. Early retirement brought her and Laura to Mill Bay. Here, they opened a business (custom framing gallery, The Picture Window) and she joined the community league to help raise interest for a local library. A particular highlight of her retirement was winters spent at the exclusive SMR resort in Apache Junction, Arizona, where she later reigned as shuffleboard champion.
Kaye’s family wishes to thank friends and neighbours for their support during her later years. We are very appreciative of the excellent care and respect that she received from Mill Bay Medical Centre staff and CDH emergency and 2nd floor nurses and doctors.
No service by request, however, donations to the Cowichan Hospice House project would be greatly appreciated.
In her memory, she wished to share the following poem:
Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush, I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die.