Isobel died peacefully in her sleep on 8 March 2010 at Lady Minto Hospital. Born 27 January 1922 in Ladysmith BC, the only child of Bert and Kate Mainwaring, Isobel is remembered with love by sons Richard (Janice McLean) of Salt Spring Island and Bruce (Janet) of Victoria, granddaughters Kathryn and Erin, and by numerous friends and family members.
Isobel grew up on Vancouver Island where her grandparents had homesteaded in the 1870s. Wherever else she lived, Isobel always considered Vancouver Island to be her home. As an Air Force wife for 14 years, Isobel raised her sons in trailer camps at various RCAF stations in Canada and France. Although the conditions were often primitive, Isobel enjoyed the opportunities to travel, especially in Europe. At 40, she unexpectedly had to combine single parenting with building a new life and career. After going back to school, Isobel obtained an editor’s position at the Ottawa Citizen, where she worked until retirement.
Throughout her life, Isobel had a knack for forming lasting friendships. She delighted in surprising her friends and family with occasional risk-taking, most notably her paragliding adventure in Mexico. Isobel derived great pleasure from contact with nature at the cottage she had built near Algonquin Park. From her childhood, Isobel was very fond of animals and passed this trait to her sons.
The last six years of Isobel’s life were spent at the Extended Care Unit of Lady Minto Hospital, only a short distance from where her life began. The family would like to express our deep appreciation and thanks to the hospital staff and volunteers who were extremely caring and helped to ease the difficult last years of this “tough old bird” – as Isobel liked to describe herself. Isobel’s ashes will be scattered, as she requested, on the shores of the Pacific. There will be no service at Isobel’s request. Donations in Isobel’s memory may be made to the SPCA or the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation Extended Care Fund.