The family of Wendy Hobbs is sad to announce her death at her home in the Nanaimo Seniors Village on Monday, November 20.
Wendy was a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend. She was predeceased one year ago by Dave, her husband of 71 years, and by her brothers Royston, Rod and Keith. She is survived by her sister Juanita (Jack) in Brentwood Bay, her children Rick (Cindy), Diana (Ron), Kathryn and Naida (Steve), and her grandchildren Morgan and David.
Wendy was born in Victoria and had a happy childhood in a large family of five children. When the second World War broke out, she joined the Royal Canadian Navy and was sent to Winnipeg for cook’s training and then stationed in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. She was very proud of her service as a WREN and drew on her cook’s training when she later raised her family on home cooked meals. She married her high school sweetheart in 1945 and they moved to Nanaimo where their four children were born.
Her life in Nanaimo was happy and busy at home with her children, Anglican Church activities, square dancing friends-she sewed elaborate skirts and shirts for their square dancing events-and later, membership in the Nanaimo Yacht Club. Wendy was active in the local Voice of Women group and volunteered for the Mental Health Association.
The Hobbs family spent many happy summers at their cabin near Piper’s Lagoon, moving out to “Lazy Daze” as soon as school ended and back home each Labour Day weekend. Wendy campaigned for the preservation of Pipers Lagoon Park when the spit and headland were later threatened by development. When the lease for the cabin was not renewed, Wendy and Dave turned to boating and spent many more years cruising the BC coast in both sail and power boats. Wendy loved to fish, and she canned her catch on her galley stove.
Wendy and Dave moved to Gabriola Island in the mid 70s and Wendy truly loved island life and their home and garden overlooking Degnen Bay. She was actively involved in many Gabriola organizations including the Cemetery Committee, Community Hall Board, Island Singers, Judy’s Carollers, Silva Bay Yacht Club, Garden Club, Gabriola Island Veterans’ Association and her book club.
In later years, she was happy to be at home knitting, feeding the birds and looking out at her view before their move to Nanaimo Seniors Village in November 2013.
Wendy was a life-long, multi-talented artist who was always creating in one medium or another. She was a potter, painter and silk screen artist and was generous in sharing her expertise with others. She worked with leather and print making techniques. She attended art classes at Malaspina College, enrolling the first year it opened in the old hospital building on Kennedy Street. For many years she created street banners for the City of Nanaimo and taught would-be potters in her pottery studio at home. Each Christmas she painted a festive scene on the big front room window of their Nanaimo home and the family waited in eager anticipation as she unveiled the hard sauce for the Christmas pudding, sculpted into a significant event from the previous year. We all hoped that our accomplishment would merit the honour of the hard sauce!
Family life was most important to Wendy and she supported her children and grandchildren with love and acceptance. She hosted countless family dinners and parties for her friends and neighbours. Her calm and generous approach to life was appreciated by her friends as well as her family. She taught us all how to live well by her example.
The family is grateful for the loving care that Wendy received from all the staff at Nanaimo Seniors Village in the last four years, especially from Edith, Karen and Maxine. Their love and support made it possible for Mum to stay in her home until the end.
We also thank Dr. Jim Mander for years of compassionate care and to Dr. Robin Love for his attention in her final days.
Wendy will be laid to rest in the Gabriola Cemetery and her long life will be honoured at a family gathering.