Kirsten Ilse FOSTER

Kirsten Ilse Foster

May 19, 1916 – July 11, 2015

Mom passed away peacefully at Hospice House in Vernon, BC after having fallen and broken her hip 5 weeks earlier.

Recently, Ilse celebrated her 99th birthday with her children on the dock at Secret Cove where she enjoyed a beer and strawberry shortcake decorated with tiny Danish flags. In the distance was Thormanby Island where the family has spent many happy summers.

Born in Copenhagen, Ilse immigrated to Canada when she was thirteen. She attended Point Grey High School and then UBC where she played basketball for the UBC Thunderbirds!

In 1940, she married Jim Butler. They rowed to Gambier Island for a camping honeymoon. Derek, their son, was still a little boy when Jim was killed during WW2. In 1949 Ilse married Jack Foster, and they had two daughters, Susan and Gillian. Ilse and Jack “pioneered” in West Vancouver until their retirement to Saltspring in 1975. There Ilse rekindled her love of tennis and golf and played into her eighties. Through sheer determination and hard work, she created a beautiful garden around the house they built on Dogwood Lane.

Mom had a beautiful sense of style and furnished our home with simple, but beautiful things. A huge health food fan long before it was fashionable, us kids remember granola, wheatgerm, lecithin, brewers yeast and kale all being daily offerings. Our clothes were hand-me-downs and she taught us the “thrill of the hunt” at thrift stores. Predeceased by Jack in 1991, Ilse was blessed to have yet another beautiful partner in Percy Dewar, with whom she lived in the bush on a mountaintop for several years before they both returned to Saltspring. No matter which mate, Mom was always solidly on their team, gamely rowing, fishing, sailing, hiking, golfing, playing bridge, building houses, milking goats etc.

Mom had several very happy years at Meadowbrook Assisted Living in Ganges, before moving to Vernon to live with her daughter Susan, and husband, Jim Chartrand. Her 5 years in Vernon were made happy by Susan and Jim and all their friends who then became Ilse’s friends. At 98, Mom was up dancing at a Summer Solstice party; right to the end she never wanted to miss out on any fun. She was always fiercely independent and determined. In Vernon Mom very much enjoyed going to “Daybreak” and “Minds in Motion”, two programs offered in Vernon.

Left behind to mourn (and marvel) are her children, Derek (Joan), Susan (Jim), Gillian (Rick), grandchildren Jennifer, Leanne, Tyler, Kaelen, Bronwyn, and Evan, and 5 great grandchildren. Also nieces and nephews including Janet Butler and Fiona Foster on Saltspring.

Knowing the end was near, Ilse said with a smile “Well I won’t make it to 100, but I think 99 is good enough!

No Service by request

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