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Memorial Tributes

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 www.nanaimohospitalfoundation.com/donate.

-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.

We Remember Brenda

By Memorial Tributes, News, Thank You!
Brenda Rositano worked for the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation beginning in 2000 until she passed away in 2019. Today, four generations of Brenda’s family came to make a donation to the hospital in her memory. Her brother is visiting from Australia, and came in to enjoy a coffee at the beautiful Code Brew at NRGH, which was completely rebuilt last year. The opening was dedicated to Brenda’s memory.
The Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation is grateful to Brenda’s family for their ongoing support of the hospital, and honouring Brenda’s memory in such a special way.
Pictured from left: Brenda’s daughter Emily and granddaughter Claire, Brenda’s husband Bruno, her brother Byron, and her mother Bernice (Perky).
Frankie Sam

In Loving Memory of Frankie Sam 1950 – 2022

By Memorial Tributes

It is with great sadness that we share the news of our beloved Frankie Sam’s passing on 25 April 2022, with loved ones by his side.

Frankie is survived by Lorraine, his loving wife and partner of 49 years.

His children together with their spouses, daughter Janeen and partner Margaret and sons, Anthony and wife Alvina and Clayton and wife Nicole, will treasure the special memories.

A cherished Yeh-Yeh to Rebecca, Addison, Elijah and Avery and will be greatly missed by extended family and the many friends he made over the years.

In lieu of floral tributes, donations for charity may be made to the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation.

Family and friends, kindly accept this intimation.

In Loving Memory: David Alan Dollman 04/28/55-08/07/21

By March 8, 2022, Memorial Tributes

David Dollman tragically lost his battle with alcoholism on August 7, 2021 at the age of 66. We had the opportunity to connect with his daughter, Adreanna, to find out a little more about this dynamic and intelligent man.

“More important than how he died, I think, was how he lived. Dave was the only dad I have ever known since I was a year old, and I have always appreciated that he accepted me as his daughter when he met mom in 1978. My dad and I were movie buddies, fishing partners, and proud organic gardeners before it was cool. He enjoyed teaching me anything new he’d learned. He collected a lot of unique trees and I learned a lot about lumber. It was also very neat that he had a navy Daytona blue 1964 Corvette stingray since dating my mother and kept it throughout the decades, even in the face of financial pressures. It was a very unique car and always a part of my life. I think his dad Walter, aka ‘Speed’, would have been proud.

Our favourite decade was the 80s. We lived in a little oceanfront cabin on the old highway in Qualicum Beach, which is still there to this day. Together, we grew many gardens, preserved many crops, blasted music, and watched sunsets together. Many family visits and fun times were had.”

Dave spent 30 years working at the Western Forest Products mill, commuting for over an hour each way, working long shifts with damaging shift work for over 30 years.

Dave’s older sister Barb passed away 20 years ago, and his mom, Elbie passed in 2006. Dave is survived by Adreanna, her mother Maureen, his older brother Barry, a niece and a nephew, and a large extended family.

“Always cheeky with a teasing comment and a ready grin, I am, always have been, and always will be proud to call you Dad,” says Adreanna.

In memory of her father, Adreanna is asking her community to consider giving to the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation in support of mental health and substance use programs at the NRGH and in the community.