On October 26, 2018, just days after her 98th birthday, Marjorie Edna McLellan, nee Bowlsby passed away peacefully with family at her side. Predeceased by her husband, Donald Ellis McLellan, she is survived by her children Ruth Elizabeth, Martha Ann (Raymond Bowes) and Robert Alexander (Anneliese Di Betta), her grandson Christopher Patterson Bowes, her local family Colen Henson and Mike Pollock, numerous nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews, “42nd cousins” (her term) and many friends.
Marjorie grew up in Cedar, Extension and Chase River, BC, the daughter of Zedeska and Edna Bowlsby. She spent much of her early years outdoors with her father hiking, fishing or bringing in firewood. Marjorie graduated from Harewood High School in 1939 and followed that by studying nursing at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, BC, graduating in 1942. She returned to Nanaimo to work at Nanaimo General Hospital until she received an offer to move to Montreal, specializing in premature infants at the Royal Victoria Hospital. She eventually became nurseries supervisor for 9 hospitals.
During this time Marjorie was engaged in a long distance relationship with Don McLellan of Sarnia, ON, whom she met in high school. Eventually love conquered and they married in Nanaimo on September 21, 1957. Their 3 children were born in Sarnia and the family was complete. Marjorie continued spending time outdoors- now with her family, acting as chief organizer for their many camping trips. Every second year the trips included a visit to Nanaimo with many relatives to see in the area. The car always had buckets at the ready for berry-picking and once included “the recipe”, a concoction prepared by her aunt Jean Bowater.
In 1980 Marjorie and Don returned to their childhood home to spend their golden years, living in a house they had built to their specs. They were active in Brechin United Church and Marjorie developed a keen interest in genealogy, often hosting the Nanaimo Historical Society meetings. They also hosted the first meeting of what would become the Nanaimo Association for Community Living.
Marjorie made “a good move” to Berwick on the Lake in 2006 and once again embraced her sociality, out most nights playing cards or just visiting. She was a voracious reader- easy to please at Christmas with any number of books. You couldn’t pass a used bookstore or sale without stopping in and the day didn’t begin before reading the newspaper. Marjorie also didn’t miss her weekly hair appointment, often getting her nails done with her new favourite colour, “Sex on the Beach”.
Special thanks to Wayne Melvin and the staff at Berwick on the Lake, especially the nurses and care aids in the Brio Care Unit that took such good care of Marjorie in her last months. It was much more than a place to live, it was a home.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Ancient Forest Alliance.