March 8, 1947 – November 13, 2020
After struggling for over four years to stay ahead of the cancer, Maureen Beryl Coffey-Loeb Ross (Mo to most) died quietly and pain free during the evening of November 13, 2020 at The Views in Comox.
Mo is survived by her husband Neil of 38 years, her dear sister Eileen Webb (Graham-deceased), brother-in-law Sandy Ross (Carol) and her son Grant Thiessen (Anne). She also leaves nieces and nephews Christopher (Sue), Steven, Clifford (Marcie), Gillian, Julie (Tom), Tracey (John), Robert (Alison), Liam Ross, and numerous great nieces and nephews.
Mo was predeceased by parents Cyril and Cora Coffey, brother Ivor (Mavis-deceased), sister Brenda Simmons (Peter-deceased), and brother Roland Coffey. She is also survived by a crew of loving friends who have been so supportive during these times.
Her journey with cancer was longer than most experts had predicted, but to explain this longevity Mo had simply said “I guess I’m not ready to pop off yet”. She lived with that attitude for 73 years. Mo was very pragmatic and didn’t need elaborate analysis. She was always a “let’s get on with it” type.
Mo showed that approach early in life. She was born in Malmesbury, Wiltshire (one of the oldest boroughs in England) to Cyril and Cora Coffey in 1947. They worked a farm in nearby Shipton Moyne. But at just nineteen years young, Mo decided to leave her small community in England, board a ship (HMS Carinthia) in Liverpool, and emigrate to Canada to begin anew.
On October the 14th, 1966 she disembarked in Montreal, but no longer alone. On the ship she had met her soon to be first husband, Terry Loeb, an accomplished guitarist. They settled in Terry’s home town of Winnipeg where they were very connected to the vibrant music scene of the time, before moving to the Vancouver area around 1974.
The music scene connection continued, new friends were made, and old friends also came out from Winnipeg. Then Terry was tragically killed in a car accident and Mo’s life was at another turning point.
Mo then decided her future would include a cabin on the Oyster River on Vancouver Island. So, in 1980 Mo moved to the Island with a tent and her two cats and a borrowed pickup truck. Determined as always to do new things she bought a copy of “Canadian Wood Frame House Construction”, enlisted some help from her new friend Neil and other local friends, and designed and built a cabin on the banks of the Oyster.
No power, no water, no phone, no problem. Fortunately Neil had a house as a back-up during construction. The cabin still stands (with new owners) as a year round home with all the necessities. Around this time she also took a summer off to go commercial fishing to make some money. Mo said “I figured it would also conquer my fear of the water”.
In 1982 she married Neil and they designed and built their final home in 1988 at Miracle Beach. Mo was now ready to slow up a bit and enjoy the Island life. During this time Mo had various jobs including one dear to her heart at Sylvan Vale Nursery.
But one surprise remained. On July 31, 1967 she had given birth (first husband Terry in Winnipeg) and in 2006 her son Grant tracked her through the system. They met in Manitoba where Grant still lived. It was a very happy reunion and Grant became a full member of Mo and Neil’s family.
Over the years Mo and Neil golfed together, went camping together, travelled to Mexico, England (for numerous family visits), Scotland, and New Zealand. They crossed the country with a trailer to Newfoundland.
Mo created a beautiful back garden that Neil likes to call his sanctuary. Mo fostered and adopted numerous cats-always her friends forever. She began painting with a passion and never lost her willingness to try new things.
After her diagnosis, surgery, chemo, and more, Mo plowed on. Niagara Falls was on the bucket list so off they went complete with walker, because again “I’m not ready to pop off yet”.
It is obvious that Mo was fiercely independent. She was always ready to take risks. Yet she was also a very gentle soul. She loved all creatures be they furry, feathered, or even human. She always considered others before herself. And, once in a while, she enjoyed a good Scotch.
She is missed desperately by Neil and we’ve all lost a good ‘un. There will be no service by her request and no flowers please but she always supported MARS Wildlife Rescue Society and Kitty Cat P.A.L.S. (Prevent a Litter Society).
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