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Memorial Tributes13

In Loving Memory: Rick Buecking (1942-2023)

By Memorial Tributes

Farewell to a Travel Industry Luminary

With the passing of Rick Buecking on November 23, 2023, his family, his friends and business contacts from the travel industry have lost a remarkable person who impacted the lives of countless people, leaving behind a legacy of kindness, generosity and commitment to excellence.

Before founding his TLC Travel Leisure Consultants in 1982, Rick’s professional career started in the ‘70s with 12 years of honing inherent business, sales and marketing skills with CPAir, Philippine Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. Along the way, he developed relationships with hundreds of contacts including travel agents, hoteliers, suppliers and leaders of professional sports associations, of which many were cultivated into lasting friendships.

During the early ’80’s Rick’s business was booming with contracts to represent foreign tourist boards in Canada who looked to Rick to promote their destinations and offerings to Canadian travel professionals. They included the tourism bodies of Thailand, Macao, the Cook Islands, Fiji and Hawaii. Rick excelled at organizing annual national travel industry road shows, his “Sunsational South Pacific”, Hawaii and Fiji roadshows to name a few, all designed to educate travel professionals.

As a natural addition to the representation side of TLC, Rick promoted many hotels and resorts to his ever-growing network of Canadian travel professionals. This entailed the leading of frequent familiarization trips, an activity he thrived in conducting personally. Some of the most memorable included the Phoenician Scottsdale, Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, the Crown Beach Resort and Spa in Rarotonga, the Watermark in Osoyoos and The Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island.

Rick was an active member of the Vancouver SKAL Club, a worldwide organization of travel professionals. Serving as its President for 1999 and 2000 showcases his leadership and dedication to the industry.

With a passion for sports, football and golf, Rick led many travel industry golf tours and created the very popular and successful Mexico Golf Classic.

Rick was a devoted husband to Ronda, a loving father to Richelle (Spencer) and Thomas, and a cherished brother to Peter and Tom. He leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, and many friends who will forever hold him in their hearts. Rick’s loyalty, compassion, generosity, and unwavering optimism touched the lives of all those around him. He leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter, and unforgettable moments. May his legacy continue to inspire and resonate with those who were touched by his presence. Rest in Peace, Rick.

Rick was frequently admitted to the Nanaimo Heart Function Clinic during the last two years as he fought with all the complications affecting his heart. In true Rick style, he took an interest in all the staff and knew them all by name. They in turn developed a special bond with Rick.The Heart Function Clinic is a team of Physicians, Nurses, Nursing Unit Assistants and other healthcare professionals who provide education, assessment, support and medical management for people living with heart failure in our community. Their goal is to improve survival and quality of life for people living with Heart Failure by working with them as part of the care team.

It was Rick and Ronda’s wish that in lieu of flowers, your generous donations would be made to these wonderful care people at the Nanaimo Heart Function Clinic.


A celebration of life for Rick will be held, Tuesday, January 9, 2024, from 11 am to 2 pm, at Speeds Pub in Delta BC.

In Loving Memory: John Alan Xavier

By Memorial Tributes

It is with deep sadness that we announce John Alan Xavier, of Nanaimo, British Columbia, passed away peacefully on Saturday June 10th, 2023 at the age of 79. In his final days, he took great comfort being surrounded by his partner Luzviminda, his children, his former spouse Merlon, his loving sister Colleen and his godson Alan.

John was born on June 26th, 1943 to Frank and Helen Xavier in Karachi, Pakistan. After obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree, John went on to earn his Masters Degree in Finance. Passionate about Finance, John spent his entire career working for various banking institutions around the world including Pakistan, United Kingdom, Canada, Yemen and finally Dubai, where he retired after many years of dedicated service. John wanted the best for his family and strived for that his entire life.

After retirement, John enjoyed life in Nanaimo, British Columbia with his partner Luzviminda, and visiting Ontario often to spend time with his children and grandchildren.

John was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Helen. He is survived by his partner Luzviminda, his former spouse Merlon whom they shared 4 wonderful children; Helen, Valery (Jamie), Michelle, Mark, 6 precious grandchildren; Alexandria, Nikolas, Emma, Brooklyn, Isabella and Abigail, his sisters Colleen & Sharon, his step-brother Jules, his nephews: Carey, Alan, Rodney, Sean, Jessie, Wayne (predeceased), their families, Luzviminda’s daughters; Jacqueline, Marjorie, Joseluz and Joevimin, many cousins and relatives. He will be greatly missed by all his family and friends.

Cremation has taken place with a Celebration of Life to follow at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation. A special thank you to the kind and compassionate staff on the 5th floor at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, who took such gracious and dignified care of John in his last days and hours.

Meet Legacy Donor Cynthia Crawford

By Medical Equipment, Memorial Tributes, News, Thank You!

Cynthia Crawford is a legacy donor of the Nanaimo District Hospital Foundation. In 2016, while on a cruise, her husband Larry was experiencing shoulder pain, and the GP on board advised them to return home so Larry could receive an MRI. Once home, Larry was diagnosed with Stage 4 Prostate Cancer. His GP attempted to schedule him for an MRI at Nanaimo General Hospital however, the wait time was extensive. Faced with little options, Larry chose to pay for a private MRI.

While undergoing cancer treatment, Larry recognized medical imaging equipment was greatly needed at the Nanaimo General Hospital, and decided to leave a legacy to fund more equipment. Larry’s cancer subsided, but he suffered other medical conditions – one of them being Congestive Heart Failure. Sadly, Larry passed away in 2021.

When Larry’s will was read, Cynthia realized the medical imaging equipment had been purchased and that the new ICU that Larry had been making donations to was nearing completion.

Cynthia chose a Planned Gift as a way of funding the NDHF to acquire new equipment, improve facilities, aid medical research and education to further patient care. She wants to inspire others to give if they can as “we need to ensure the quality of the hospital in our community.”

She chose to leave her legacy to the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s Heart & Stroke Care thematic area, in hopes of supporting a future Cardiac Catheterization Lab, after reading about it in the NDHF “Vision 2030 and Beyond”. The Lab is intended to perform non-invasive procedures for cardiac patients to improve patient health outcomes.

Cynthia’s dedication to the NDHF through her donations and volunteer work is a testament of the impact one person can have on their local healthcare system.


In Loving Memory: Robert McCormick (1947-2022)

By Memorial Tributes

Rob McCormick, dearly loved by his family and many friends, died peacefully on Thursday December the 29th at the age of 75 years. His courage, hope and faith during his two-year cancer journey was an inspiration to others.

Rob, who was so full of life and enthusiasm, was one of a kind, an unforgettable personality. Outgoing and with a joyful sense of humor, he was quick to spark debate and encourage conversations.   His life showed kindness, generosity, and care towards others.  He is described by many as intelligent, insightful, thoughtful, positive, creative, and a loyal friend.

His family will always remember his love and dedication, his broad set of talents,  and his passionate, refined interest in food, cooking and entertaining.  Rob was always the life of the party, a trendsetter in fashion with his collection of hats, and he loved to dance.

He leaves to cherish his memories his wife of 51 years Anne, his son Jordan (Emma) and daughters Tonya (Devon Chouinard) and Natasha (Jimmy Towers) and two loved granddaughters Keira and Sienna McCormick.

He made the world a whole lot brighter and left an imprint that will live on in our hearts and memories forever.

A Dedication in Memory of Audrey Van Schubert

By Memorial Tributes

Audrey and I were together for over 30 years and she was the absolute love of my life. Her outer beauty and inner strength were unmatched. She had a sharp, dry wit that belied her soft spoken manner. There was nothing more important to her than her family and she is missed tremendously. I’d like to share a brief anecdote that gives a glimpse into her character. Audrey would love this story.

This photo was taken on our last day of a one week all inclusive vacation to Punta Cana.  One of our off-resort excursions earlier that week was a deep sea fishing trip. Audrey had a fear of open water but she was ok with boats, just not with being responsible for keeping herself afloat.  The fishing was a bit slow at first and Audrey started to get a little seasick.  She quickly forgot about her distress when one of the lines bent over and all hell broke loose in the boat. It was a bit of a false alarm, just a small barracuda. She thought it was the coolest thing ever but the deckhand called it ‘la basura” (trash) and chucked it unceremoniously into the bait bin.  Audrey was horrified. She nearly organized a mutiny. Things were getting tense at the back of the boat when fortunately the captain suddenly yelled out ‘aves!!’ (birds!) and turned hard toward a massive churning on the surface of the ocean a few hundred yards away, with gannets and gulls wheeling overhead diving into the water in a feeding frenzy. A school of mahi mahi had pushed a baitfish ball to the surface and before it was all over we had caught four huge ones. On the way back in to the dock everybody was happy, Audrey was chattering away in Spanish with the crew and the poor barracuda was forgotten, unavenged, to be chopped up later for chum.

Patience, mutual respect, loyalty, humility, unconditional love and yes, a little bit of humour, got Audrey and I through some pretty tough times.  Her legacy will continue through all the people she touched along the way. Siempre te amare sweetheart.

Your Roberto

In Loving Memory: Raymond Paul Honig

By Memorial Tributes, News

Raymond Paul Honig was born on April 27, 1944 in Worthing, England. He and his twin Roger were born to Vincent Honig, a RCAF Spitfire mechanic and Margaret Hynes, his British war bride. After the war, Ray and Roger were joined by younger siblings Valerie, Glenn and Kent. The family was raised in the rural Saskatchewan regions of Glaslyn, Divide, St. Walburg, Carrot River, Pelly, and Estevan.

Ray spent more than four decades with the military, first as an army cadet in Pelly, then with the South Saskatchewan Regiment (Canadian Army Reserves) in Estevan, and finally 37 years as a commissioned officer in the Regular Force where he served in the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, the Canadian Airborne Regiment, and the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. His military service took him across the US, Cyprus, Germany, Syria, Bosnia, and every part of Canada. His experiences ranged from the mundane to the adrenaline-filled incredible, and he forged deep friendships and bonds with his colleagues.

Ray was doomed to a life of love when he met a schoolteacher (Joan Barbara Thurston) at the Officers’ Mess at CFB Baden Oct. 31, 1971. They married the following summer and were together for 50 years and 8 months. Their love produced three beautiful children who accompanied them in their wanderings and many homes across Canada and the US, and later two cherished granddaughters.

They retired to Nanaimo, BC and began an active and connected life filled with old and new pastimes and hobbies, growing their friend network exponentially and forming deeper relationships with extended family. These happy years always featured relaxation time for reading, teatime, happy hour and chatting in their opposing armchairs by the living room fireplace. Their adventurous natures took them across every continent as they fulfilled a lifelong desire to see and experience the world.

Ray is survived by Joan, his loving wife of 50 years, his children Colonel Barbara Honig, Jeff Honig (Jaleen), and Deborah (George), his grandchildren Sienna and Lilla, his brother Glenn (Colleen), brother-in-law Neil Huxtable, sister-in-law Diane (Ken), brother-in-law Neil (Carol), and many nieces, nephews, cousins and second cousins. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and the community in which he was an active participant in many clubs.

A Celebration of Life will be held Fri., Oct. 21, 2022 at Legion 256, 1630 East Wellington Road, Nanaimo from 1:00-4:00 pm. Ray will be buried in the National Military Cemetery (Beechwood Cemetery) in Ottawa later this fall. There will be a short ceremony and gathering there for anyone in the area who would like to attend the interment.

In Lieu of Flowers, please consider a donation to the Nanaimo General Hospital Foundation Fund for the ICU unit equipment for the new ICU Unit to open in 2023. Your donation would mean a lot to Ray, to us, and to Nanaimo.

Charles and Edith Simmons Memorial

By Memorial Tributes, News

Charles and Edith Simmons were married for an amazing 63 years together and had two wonderful children, Jeff and Beverley (Bev), who we at the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation had the pleasure to get to know recently. Edith passed away in 2015 followed shortly after by Charles in 2016, and they left a gift in their will Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH). In 2017, we named a patient care room in the Emergency Department in celebration of their generous gift.

Delayed by COVID, Jeff brought his sister Bev to NRGH to see their parents’ plaque in August 2022. We all had a wonderful tour of the Emergency Department, which is coming up for the 10th anniversary of its renovation!

The Emergency Department at NRGH typically sees 180 patients per day, a number that has jumped to 210 over the past six months. This marks a 16% increase in patients which may not sound like much, but we were assured it makes a huge impact on the day-to-day operations and capacity of the Emergency Department. That’s why the design of it is so special. The department boasts a unique design with streaming care in mind: a form of triaging that allows higher needs patients quicker access to services, with a dedicated area away from lower needs patients. “The infrastructure in this department is person- and patient-centric,” said Rebecca McGregor, Manager of NRGH Emergency Services. “The design of it is unique in north America. We wanted to make sure patient care, not metrics, drove its design. Patients are our top priority at NRGH.”

The Charles and Edith Simmons Patient Room is a special place inside the Emergency Department that is designed to be a safe, quiet space away from the milieu of the larger department. It is reserved for patients that have experienced trauma or who may have to undergo unsettling exams or treatments for their issues. “Everything can happen in here,” McGregor told us. “We designed this room to have enough space for family, friends, counsellors and other resource providers to be with the patients. It can also house any machines required for exams to address a number of issues.”

For Jeff and Bev, the visit was a wonderful reminder of the generosity of their parents, and a great opportunity for the two of them to visit with one another. They share a love of motorcycling, and we laughed as they reminisced about their fun trips around Canada and to the states. Bev is a bit of a daredevil, and Jeff was accepting of this but still appropriately concerned for his sister’s safety. There was good-natured ribbing all around, which is indicative of their upbringing with parents who, by all accounts, both had wonderful senses of humour.

Jeff and Bev, it was a pleasure to meet you. We look forward to seeing you again.

The Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation fundraises for state-of-the-art medical equipment for our hospital other healthcare facilities in our region. Right now, you can help us fund the purchase of all critical care medical equipment needed for the new Intensive Care Unit at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, expected to open in late 2023. To make a donation, please visit

-The Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation

Main photo: Beverley and Jeff Simmons

Second photo: Matt (Beverley’s son) with Charles and Edith Simmons, 2015


From Jeff and Bev Simmons, 2017

 From the inception of their time together, it was to be a solid and unwavering 63-year marriage. It began when our Mom was actually dating two fellows at the same time, our Dad being one of them. One day, the other fellow telephoned our Mom at her family home and her father picked up the phone and said, “That you Charlie?” Needless to say, from that day forward it was to be only our father for the remainder of mom’s days.

They both had strong roots in Vancouver BC, and never strayed very far from this province in their travels. They felt a strong tie to the Pacific Northwest coastal area, and so focused their pleasure time on and around those ocean waters by boat.

Our parents, aka Chuck and Edie, began their married life in the Lower Mainland. They were true West Coasters and we always had boats on which we spent many weekends and summer holidays cruising and fishing the West Coast.

In the late 60’s we moved to Castlegar in the West Kootenay. Dad became Chief Electrician at Trail Regional Hospital and worked there until his retirement in 1989. He certainly knew the intricacies of a hospital and took a special interest in the elevators and the diesel powered back-up electrical system. He would often travel to the Penticton Hospital as well where he looked after the elevators and back-up power systems there. Dad was a member of the Castlegar RCMP Auxiliaries and also the local SAR (Search and Rescue) organization.

Mom worked for the Castlegar RCMP Detachment until her retirement about the same time as Dad’s. We aren’t sure of her exact title, but she was referred to as “Mom” by all the Members at the Detachment. It was not uncommon for us to have a member on duty in uniform at our house for Sunday and Christmas dinners. It was also not unheard of for a member to show up for breakfast after the end of night shift. Mom was an avid gardener and also enjoyed sewing and knitting.

Funny story, some time after I (Jeff) had left home, I was stopped for a traffic infraction on Hwy 99 near the Deas Tunnel. When the officer saw my licence he asked if I was related to Edie in Castlegar. When I said yes, he blurted out “you’re Mom’s kid!!!” He had been transferred to Delta from Castlegar. We had a few laughs and swapped stories there on the side of the highway, and sent me on my way. Told me to slow down though.

Bev was always in demand to be a New Year’s Eve babysitter amongst the detachment members, and they would put their reservation in early to retain her.

Shortly after retiring, Chuck and Edie returned to their West Coast roots and moved to Halfmoon Bay on the Sunshine Coast where they had been building their retirement home. They lived there until 2006 when they moved to Nanaimo. In their retirement years, they enjoyed camping in one of the many RVs they owned. They were also members of the Old Car Club and owned and toured in their old restored cars.

As they aged and their medical needs began increasing, they found it difficult to live on the Sunshine Coast and commuting to Vancouver for services that were not available there. The move to Nanaimo solved that as everything they needed medically was here at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

Their final few years included many visits to NRGH Emergency Department. They were always treated with respect and kindness and received top notch medical care from true compassionate and professional caregivers. Something Chuck and Edie wanted to do in their final wishes was to give back to the facility that had looked after them so well when they needed it.

In Loving Memory: Daniel Michael Joseph Ruel 1978 – 2022

By Memorial Tributes, News

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Daniel Michael Joseph Ruel.

He leaves behind his parents, Helen and Urgel, sister Maggie, a world without her big brother is hard to imagine, Grandma Gwyn (Stanley), along with many aunts, uncles and cousins from the Bowen, Ruel and Cayer family. Daniel spent a lot of time in particular with his cousin Randy Cyr (Ashley) who played a large role in his life over the years.

Daniel was born on February 20th, 1978, he grew up in Port Alberni and loved being outside from a young age and loved to play ball and hockey. He had the soul of an artist and enjoyed listening to music and playing guitar, often creating his own lyrics and songs and singing. Daniel also spent a lot of time reading books and writing, he had the most beautiful cursive and was skilled at poetry. Then there was the band “The Fringes” with Mike, Brent, Lance, Gerard and Daniel.

Daniel had a heart of gold; he loved all animals and had a track record of rescuing cats in particular. One day he and his friend Ryan were drifting in a boat down the Somass River , as they approached the Orange Bridge they heard a kitten crying. Dan clambered up the rock embankment, only to find a little kitten quite beat up and hiding in the bushes. He scooped him up, named him Django and the cat never left his side, sleeping on his stomach every night. Daniel also came to the rescue of other folks cats from time to time, with his tree climbing skills coming in handy to retrieve them from high tree tops.

Daniel was a hard worker and skilled arborist, who also had a special eye for landscaping ; his Grandma Gwyn and Aunty Jocelyn will especially miss his visits and magic touch in their gardens. His loss has left a huge space behind, not only in the lives of his family but also his friends. We want to thank everyone, especially those who stuck by his side throughout the years, you held a special place in Daniels life and for that we are grateful. We would also like to thank Dr. Herman Nell for being there for Daniel over the years. To all those who reached out to us with kind words and thoughts during this difficult time, we thank you from the bottom our of hearts. Special thanks to those who visited Daniel during his time in the hospital as well.

Thank you to the Emergency and ICU departments at the West Coast General Hospital, and the ICU and Palliative Care Departments at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. The exceptional and compassionate care that Daniel received was incredible, especially during these hard times when there are so many staff shortages and everyone in hospitals working extra shifts.

In lieu of flowers, if anyone wishes to make a donation in Daniels memory, you could donate to one of your choice, or any of the following: West Coast General Hospital, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, SPCA, Moms Stop The Harm.

In Loving Memory: Melinda Louise Harrison (nee Krassman)

By Memorial Tributes, News

May 8, 1965 – June 5, 2022

On June 5th Melinda’s pain and suffering came to an end as she passed away peacefully at NRGH after a brave battle with cancer surrounded by her family. She is predeceased by her Mom (Elli) and brother (Larry). Melinda was the core of her family and will be dearly missed by Kyle, Kirsten (Charlie), Kameron, and her beloved twin sister Melody. Melinda became a grandmother to Theodore who brought her so much happiness for the last 3 years. Melinda came from a large family and her loss has left a huge void for her siblings, Linda, Audrey (Mel), Alvin (Vikki), Melody, and her many nieces and nephews.
Melinda lived in Nanaimo all of her 57 years. Born at NRGH, she was the eldest of the twins by 18 minutes. From the time she was born she and Melody were inseparable. They lived a happy life on Kennedy St with her siblings and Mom. She met Kyle when she was 18 and married in 1989. She made sure they purchased a home before they were married and lived there happily until she could no longer. She created a warm and loving home where she and Kyle brought home their two children whom she loved more than anything. She made sure she stayed close to her extended family and hosted countless celebrations at their home. One thing everyone knew about Melinda is, you would not leave her house hungry.

Melinda was a fiercely dedicated and loyal employee and friend. She gave to all of those around her before she took for herself. She worked at Turley’s Florist until the last week of her life. It was her happy place and gave her so much joy. She will be missed by all of the Turley’s Florist community and customers.

The family has set up a memorial fund to honor Melinda’s life.

Donations can be made to the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation in Melinda’s memory to be directed to the Nanaimo cancer clinic expansion.

In Loving Memory: Dwaine James Barclay 1945 – 2022

By Memorial Tributes

Dwaine James Barclay beloved husband of Lucille, passed away April 22, 2022 at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital after a courageous battle with lung cancer. He was predeceased by his parents Charles and Assunta Barclay. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Lucille.  Dwaine is also survived by numerous brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends in Saskatchewan, Alberta, British, Ontario, and New Zealand.

Dwaine was born at Pincher Creek, Alberta on May 26, 1945, the only child of Charles and Assunta. He grew up on the family ranch at Pincher Creek and spent many hours in his father’s shop tinkering, and at a young age brought electricity to the farm through the use of a windmill. After high school, Dwaine moved to Calgary and one of his first jobs was with Atco Industries. This job took him to numerous counties and his love of travel was ignited. His first business venture was a paint and wall paper store in Calgary. This lead to a purchase of a sign company which eventually evolved to Camtec Industries, where he designed and manufactured a computerized routing machine. He sold these machines around the world and was proud to say they were in 50 countries.

Dwaine earned his pilot license in 1969 and his hobby of flying and rebuilding of small aircrafts began.

Dwaine and Lucille retired to Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island where Dwaine pursued his love of boating. He spent many hours on the water and loved his fishing trips with his buds. They continued to travel to many countries and eventually made their winter home in New Zealand.

The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at Nanaimo Hospital for their kindness and compassionate care.

In lieu of flowers memorial tributes can be made to Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation, 1200 Dufferin Cres., Nanaimo, B.C. V9S 2B7, or online below.