Nancy (Nan) Coughlan
Nancy Coughlan passed away quietly at the Lady Minto Extended Care facility on June 11th 2012, she celebrated her 99th birthday on April 20.
Nan was born, Nancy Wooster in New Westminster in 1913. The pioneer Wooster family came to New West in 1898 The “Wooster’s” first settled in Canada in Grand Manan NB in 1799 and prior to that arrived in Salisbury Massachusetts from England in 1639.
Nancy’s father, Captain Wooster, owned and operated tug boats on the Fraser River in the early 1900’s. The home that he built there is now a designated heritage building.
Nan and her brother Warren, and sisters Vera McGrath and Betty Fry (all deceased) enjoyed their summers in White Rock during their school years. This is where Nan met Aubrey Beaumont, a Vancouver Firefighter, whom she later married in 1934 and became Nancy Beaumont.
Nan worked as a dress designer and pattern maker for Madame Runge in Vancouver and in later years as a Medical Secretary.
Aubrey and Nancy were avid skiers, tennis players, swimmers and dancers. Together they built a ski cabin on Hollyburn Mountain in the 30s, a summer Cabin in Deep Cove and a new home in Vancouver in the 40s. Their time together was cut short by Aubrey’s untimely death in 1950. They had two boys William Beaumont (Edmonton) and Neal Beaumont (Salt Spring)
Nan began raising the two boys on her own until she became Nan Coughlan in 1956 when she married Keith Coughlan, also a Vancouver firefighter. The Coughlan and the Beaumont families relied on Nancy as their “rock and touch stone” for years to come.
Life with Keith was also an active one, the two were involved with the training and breeding of Labrador retrievers and they participated in many dog trials in Canada and the US, winning their fair share of trophies for their efforts. Nancy became a crack shot with her 20 gauge shotgun and on many occasions brought home her limit of pheasants.
Nan was one of the original members of the Burnaby sketch club (now the Burnaby Artists Guild) where she found great pleasure in developing her skills as an artist. She was always able to view the world through an artist’s eye. She worked with oils, acrylics and pastels but found her greatest pleasure in water-colours.
She also embraced new technology and loved the computer for her armchair travel and continued education. Her email contacts throughout North America kept her in touch with friends and family.
Keith passed away in 1991 and Nan was once again on her own and at 78 she moved to Salt Spring Island. Nan loved Salt Spring; it provided her with a wealth of visual beauty and inspirations to develop her painting and photography skills.
She joined most of the senior’s activities and enjoyed the camaraderie and established many wonderful friendships on Salt Spring over the next 21 years. She was blessed with good health and a strong mind throughout 98 years of her life.
Nan will be sadly missed by many; she has been an inspiration to her children, and step children and their extended families.
A special Thank You to the Staff and Volunteers at the Lady Minto Facility for their kindness and consideration during Nan’s stay.
Nancy was cremated in Victoria last Friday and there will be no service by request.
“In a world that demands so much of you, take a little time to be kind to yourself.”