April 10, 1946 – September 2, 2021
In Loving Memory ~ It is with deep sadness that the family of Sharon Hillman (nee Elliott) announces her passing on September 2nd, 2021 at West Coast General Hospital after a valiant battle with multiple health issues.
Sharon will be lovingly remembered by her devoted husband of 54 years, Dennis, son Sean (Lori), grandchildren Kian and Maja, and daughter Jaime (George).
Sharon is predeceased by her parents, Frank and Anne Elliott, sisters Shirley Houlind, and Barbara Powers, and will be lovingly remembered by her sister Kay Ryder (Wally) and brother Ross Elliott. Also, Sharon’s many nieces, nephews, and cousins from several generations of family will grieve her loss.
Sharon was born in Kelowna, and grew up in Beaverdell until she was 12, when the family moved to Nakusp, where she finished junior high school. The family then moved to Nelson, BC where Sharon finished high school, then she completed a teaching degree through the University of British Columbia.
Later in her teaching career, Sharon completed a Master’s in Education at the University of Victoria. Sharon began her teaching career in the Alberni Valley in 1968 at Sproat Lake Elementary, taught at Wood Elementary, and was later Vice Principal at John Howitt, and Gill Elementary Schools. She ended her teaching and administrative career as Principal of John Howitt Elementary in 2002.
At one point in her career, she ran the Gifted and Enriched programs that included children from the entire district, and she was also involved in Roots of Empathy programming in the schools. Sharon was passionate about teaching, which was one of the great joys of her life. Sharon’s impact on her students was profound; family members still get comments from former parents and students about the role she played in their lives.
Upon “retirement,” in her “free time,” Sharon became a teacher mentor, supervising student teachers from Vancouver Island University. She was involved in several volunteer programs in the community, with work inspired by her experiences as an educator. Sharon was most proud of her work with Alberni Hospice Society and Ty Watson House. Inspired by her experiences with her mother-in-law who was a patient at Ty Watson House, Sharon became intrigued by capturing life stories for families, which led to the development of the Reflections program, that also produced The War Brides and History of Logging in the Alberni Valley books.
Sharon’s love of writing inspired other books about family history and travels. Sharon was also a member of the 100+ Women Who Care.
While she was able to, Sharon enjoyed playing golf at the Alberni Golf Club, where she was also involved in a Monday bridge group with other avid players. Sharon was a lover of music, and a collector of local artists’ works. She loved travel, having visited the UK, many Western United States, and was especially enthralled with her visit to New York City. She got to travel to the furthest eastern point of Canada during a two-month cross country expedition with her husband.
Sharon will be missed. She had a great spirit and mind, that could no longer be carried by her body. Her last weeks were filled with soul-filling visits with dear family and friends.
The family would like to thank doctors De Witt, and Feyi, and the numerous ER, ICU, and palliative care staff at West Coast General Hospital, for their care and empathy over the last stages of Sharon’s life.
A Celebration of Life will be planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, if you wish to honour Sharon, please donate to Alberni Hospice Society/Ty Watson House/The Reflections Program.
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