It is with sadness we announce the death of our dearest wife, mother, and grandmother, Gillian, on December 5th, 2021.
Gill was born in Twickenham in 1945 and grew up in Stoneleigh, England. Her first jobs after completing 8 “O” levels at school included working for an Ordinance Survey (overseas mapping) Company and a European Holiday booking company – so when she met her future husband, Doug, at a New Year’s party, and they got engaged, they dreamed and planned to travel the world. After getting married in 1966, Gill and Doug set off to Canada to work a few years - then onwards on their world tour to United States, Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand (where they worked again), Australia, Singapore, and Thailand. They joined a group that travelled by bus and camped their way through India and Pakistan, Afghanistan,Iran, Turkey, Italy, Austria and Germany. They returned to England in 1970 but decided they would go back to Canada to settle and raise their family. Gill and Doug lived in many small towns in beautiful British Columbia (Cranbrook, Kaslo, Vernon, Penticton) before settling in Salmon Arm from 1982 until present. Gill lost her mother at a young age but her father, Albert Collins, joined them in Canada, and lived with and was much loved by all of us until his death in 1992.
Gill loved reading, and many an evening was spent playing Scrabble with her dad and Doug as well. Gill’s two daughters, Theresa and Elizabeth will always remember and be grateful for her amazing support and dedication to us in everything we did. She helped at Brownies and Girl Guides, was on the Home and School Committee, and she planned and hosted the best birthday parties ever. Then she sent us off to university and into the world - but stayed close and knew the details of our lives and was always there with a listening ear or ready to come and help. She was a hands-on Grandma too. She was always willing to go with Ashton and Emma to the skateboard park, and planned adventures for them whenever they came to stay. Gill was active in the church her whole life. She was a Sunday School teacher for many years, involved in the Cursillo movement, a church warden, and in recent years, she loved Thursday morning services at St John’s Anglican Church. Gill loved the outdoors. She knew the names of the birds and flowers we might see on our travels.
With Doug and the girls, she went on many camping and hiking trips to the Rocky Mountains, adventures in the Gulf Islands, and then further abroad again once Doug retired. Gill and Doug then travelled across Canada together and went to Hawaii twice, and also loved annual trips to the Kootenays and hot springs. On a trip to Switzerland in 2017, Gill hiked through the Bernese Oberland and showed us beautiful places she’d seen on a school trip at around age 15. The entire family went on an Alaskan Cruise together in 2018. Gill was a talented seamstress, knitter, and crafter – our house is filled with her beautiful afghan blankets, a homemade nativity scene, and we each have hats or mittens she knitted for us. She also sewed her own wedding dress and both the girl’s graduation dresses. Doug and Gill celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2016 surrounded by family and friends. She has preserved for us all of these wonderful memories in a set of incredible photo albums she created and we will treasure always.
She is survived by her loving husband Doug, daughters Theresa (John) and Elizabeth (Michael), and grandchildren Emma and Ashton. Gill was the heart of our family and we will miss her incredible strength and presence dearly but send her now into God’s loving arms. Celebration of Life Service will be held at St John’s Anglican Church on December 19, 2021 at 10 am.
For those who would like to attend the service via zoom, please contact the family for the required link.
To send flowers to Gillian's family, please visit our floral store.