May 23, 1937 – January 22, 2023
In loving memory ~
Taimi Rose passed peacefully from this world on the evening of January 22rd, in the very special care of the nurses, staff and volunteers at Ty Watson House, and with family by her side. Although she was unable to recover from the serious stroke that she’d suffered ten days earlier, in true Taimi style, she refused to give up and was a fighter to the end.
She is survived by a close family who deeply loved and respected her; her children: Cheryl, Randy (Luiza), Paul (Krista), and Rhonda (Kelly). She was blessed with seven grandchildren that meant the world to her: Spencer (Celeste), Samantha (Laine), Jaimi (Blaine), Lorenzo (Reanne), Sebastian (Brianna), Emma and Declan. One of her greatest joys was that she lived long enough to enjoy six beautiful great-grandchildren: Krislynn, Tatum and Chyler; Oliver, Hunter and Noah.
Born in Mattawa, Ontario, into a large immigrant family from Finland, she was the sixth of the eight children of Arvid and Anni Saari. Even in her final days, she was very proud that her children could recite all of her beloved siblings’ Finnish names: Tapio, Terttu, Taisto, Toimi (deceased), Tauno, Toivo and Voitto. She never lost touch with her siblings, their families and her in-laws, and was a beloved aunt to many nieces and nephews, on both the Saari and Rose sides of the family.
In 1969, she and her husband (Ralph Rose, now deceased), moved across the country with their four children – it was a true adventure which Taimi welcomed! They settled in Port Alberni, a town she called “paradise”, and where she was able to continue her teaching career, first at Gill School and then at Eighth Avenue Elementary. She retired in 1992 after a full and rich career as a caring, thoughtful, creative, and fun-loving teacher. Teaching was a calling for her; she was recognized with numerous awards and she truly loved every moment of her almost 40 years in a classroom. Every single child was a treasure in her eyes and she called all of them, “my kids”. Well into her final years, she couldn’t go out anywhere in the Alberni Valley without someone, saying “Hi, Mrs. Rose!” which guaranteed a big smile on her face and taking time to talk for a while with a former student. It didn’t matter that she might not remember exactly who they were, they remembered her, and that was the greatest compliment she could receive.
Taimi brought that same tremendous joy and energy to everything she was involved in during her retirement. From acting in the Crazy Capers, tap dancing and clogging performances, to her time on the Sunshine Club executive and, of course, her legendary trips as the Club’s travel coordinator. Those trips created some of her fondest memories. Her love for life, her creativity, her organizational skills, and her sense of humour were all gifts she loved to share with others. She especially loved sharing her last decades with Jack Little (now deceased), her partner and companion of 25 years. Jack came late into her life, perhaps when she could most appreciate the gift that was their love for each other. We are forever grateful for the happiness he, his daughters and their families brought to her; Christine, Deanna (Bryce), Jayden, and Camryn. In the final few years of Taimi’s life, she lived at Abbeyfield House where the other residents became like family to her. We are thankful for those friendships that enriched her sunset years.
Taimi’s life was not always easy but ultimately her legacy will be one of acceptance, kindness, love and joy. She was so many things to so many people, but to her children, above all, she was a great Mom. Generous, accepting, encouraging, Mom was someone who you could always count on. She could sometimes be one heck of a challenge and she had a mind of her own, but she set an example of how to live, how to love and how to age with grace. She was a character and she made us laugh – although no one laughed more than she did, especially at herself. Her antics and many adventures have given stories to tell for years and years to come. She used to say that nothing made her happier than to see her four kids in the same place, talking, laughing and enjoying just being together. Her children hope she knew that she taught us how to do that and to appreciate how lucky we are to have each other. She was a life-long learner, and she taught herself to become comfortable saying, “I love you”. It’s one of the last things she whispered to us before she died. We will remember.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Port Alberni on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at Echo Centre. A reminder will be published closer to the date to invite you to attend. Flowers are gratefully declined. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Taimi’s name to the Alberni Valley Hospice Society to support Ty Watson House.
Alberni Valley Hospice Society
2579 10th Avenue
Port Alberni, BC V9Y 2P5
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