1918 – 2013
It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to a great woman, friend, mother, wife, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt and sister. She left us on January 29th after a long, full life. Marie grew up with her younger brother Roy in the small town of Borden Saskatchewan. She spent many of her happiest childhood hours with her cousins on her Uncle Arnold’s farm.
As a young woman Marie went off to study at the University of Saskatchewan and there she met and married her husband, Bill. Together they moved to Toronto and their three sons, William, Robert and Gordon were born between 1940 and 1947. Tragically, Bill died in 1949. In 1950 Marie married for the second time (Peter), and the young family moved to Calgary and eventually to Vancouver. Their three daughters, Ingrid, Karen & Annemarie were born between 1950 and 1958.
Following a dream to live next to the ocean, Peter and Marie left Vancouver for Saltspring Island in 1961. Peter built the family home on theSaltspring waterfront; this was to become a long-time home for the Dyck family, and a much-loved destination for children and grandchildren for many years to come. Marie enjoyed nothing more than sitting on the deck admiring the view or swimming in the ocean. With a love of nature’s beauty, music, food and art, her deck was always full of bright flowers, her house was full of music and her table was rich with delicious food.
When her youngest child entered school, Marie started a fulfilling career as a teacher. It was truly her calling. An avid learner herself, she was blessed with a creative curiosity and found teachable moments everywhere. Marie and Peter taught in many communities in BC – but every holiday the family would return to their ocean home.
Another of Marie’s great loves was travel. Known as “The Roadrunner” to her family, she loved history and art and adventure. If it meant walking around the city or travelling half way around the world, her feet never stopped moving.
When Marie retired from teaching, she and Peter moved to Victoria. She audited University classes, tutored students in English and taught ESL at the Multicultural Association. During these years, Marie made many lasting friendships with new Canadians (and enjoyed many international meals!) .
Peter died in 1994. Keenly affected by his loss, Marie joined a walking group that was to provide many years of friendship, and continued to travel and learn. She particularly loved to walk through the flower gardens in Beacon Hill Park with a friend, and stop for a meal at the James Bay Inn.
Although the last year of Marie’s life was difficult, she never stopped loving or being proud of her children and grandchildren, never stopped enjoying music and flowers or going for drives along the ocean. She never stopped planning for that “teachable moment”. Although this brilliant woman is gone, she leaves a legacy of love behind for us all, and an example of what it means to truly “embrace life”. And we, her lucky family, send her off with all our love and gratitude.