August 13, 1935 – May 30, 2020
How do you sum up the life of a Vancouver Island legend? You could start with the facts. Her name was Marie Louise Lewis, though many knew her as mum, grandma (G’ma), and the lady sporting rosy red hats and purple blouses. She was born in Vancouver, BC, on August 13, 1935 – a world many have only read about or seen in black and whites. In 1970, she moved to Nanaimo with the love of her life, William (Bill) Lewis, where they raised two sons and daughters – Debbie Buckingham (Eric), Gary Lewis (Terri), Del Lewis (Heather), and Sherrie Lewis – before Bill’s passing in 1998.
She is survived by her lifelong friends Bill and Cherie Hope, who enjoyed traveling and seeing the world with Marie at their side, as well as Marie’s close friends Grant and Myra Osolin who served with her in Nanaimo’s Kinsmen Club. She lives on through her children, grandchildren Colin Lewis (Rosa), the late Christopher Lewis, Alicia Cooper (Bill), and Zachery Cooper (Caileigh), as well as various nieces and nephews, step grandchildren, and step great grandchildren. She survives through anyone who purchased her handmade jewelry from Light Up Ladysmith or local craft fairs.
Many will remember Marie for her infectious smile and laughter, and her undying love for Nora Roberts – though she never shied away from a good cookbook either. Many will remember her as a long-time member of the Kinsmen Club and Red Hat Society (The Bastion Babes). However, those who were close to her will remember the legacy she leaves behind. She always had a spare loonie for the Salvation Army and lent an ear to those who needed it. She had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, listening to everyone’s stories and saying “hot diggity-dog” when she got excited. Her curse words were of the “sufferin’ succotash” vocabulary, and she nudged people when they swore. Marie believed in doing the right thing when no one was looking. That is her legacy.
No service by request. A celebration of life will be hosted at a later date.
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