Corinne Olive Sainsbury (nee Mitchell) and Lawrence Alton Sainsbury, of Victoria, BC, passed away on January 2 and January 4, 2018, respectively.  A Memorial Service will be held for them at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 680 Courtney Street, Victoria on Saturday, January 27, 2018, at 1 pm, followed by a reception at the church from 2 – 4 pm.  Interment will be at a private ceremony at Royal Oak Burial Park.

Corinne and Lawrence are survived by their three children, Lawrence Robert (Bridget Beeching) of Victoria, BC, Suzanne Lillian (Roland Wright), of North Vancouver, BC and Stephen Frank (Sandra Brenton) of Barrie, ON; by their seven grandchildren, Lorna Catherine Sainsbury of Victoria, Benjamin William Sainsbury of Victoria, Mellissa Corinne Wright of Ottawa, Peter Arthur Wright of Calgary, David Lawrence Wright of Toronto, Whelena Maureen Sainsbury of Toronto and Grace Marion Sainsbury of Toronto; and by their four great-grandchildren, Justin Leclerc-Wright, Noah Leclerc-Wright, both of Ottawa, William Wright of Toronto and Jasper Wong of Toronto.

Corinne was born on December 12, 1927, in Joggins, NS, the daughter of Lillian and Arthur Mitchell, both deceased.  She is survived by her younger siblings, Gloria Stott (of Victoria) and Carl Mitchell (of Toronto). Lawrence was born on April 2, 1924, in Amherst, NS, the fourth child (of nine) of Evelyn and Frank Sainsbury, both deceased.  Lawrence was predeceased by all of his siblings: Vaughan, Marjorie, Jean, Dorothy, June, Harry, John, and Gerald.

Their story is a love story, spanning the decades. They met at a Sadie Hawkins dance and from

that moment on a future together beckoned. They were married on August 20, 1946, at Moncton NB.  In Corinne, Lawrence saw beauty, diligence, and strength of character; in Lawrence, Corinne saw determination, kindness and that same strength of character; their life together was distinguished by love, by hard-work, by good humour, and by generosity to all, both spiritual and material.


Corinne was a homemaker extraordinaire.  In addition to her household pursuits (which were many and varied), she was prominent in the Girl Guides of Canada, rising to the rank of Division Commissioner in Ottawa. She was a collector of all small things exotic and interesting, and also of books. Indeed, Corinne’s greatest passion was for books, which eventually became the centre of her and Lawrence’s life together.

 Lawrence joined the Air Force during World War II and was trained as a navigator. After the war, he went to Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB and then to Nova Scotia Technical College in Halifax, NS (now part of Dalhousie University), graduating in 1950 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He then pursued a career as an officer in the Canadian Army, rising to the rank of Major, and serving in many locations over the following 20+ years, including Camp Borden, ON, Shilo, MB, Washington, DC, Halifax, NS, England, and Ottawa. After the army, he joined Canada Post, rising to the position of Director of Engineering at the head office in Ottawa, before retiring in 1985 and moving to Victoria, BC.

In Victoria, Corinne and Lawrence indulged their long-held interest in books, opening and managing Yesteryear Books on Fort Street for more than ten years. Of all the happy years they shared, these were, perhaps, the happiest. For the first time in their lives, they were able to go to and from work together, merging their personal lives with a business both loved. When the bookstore became too much for them, they sold it, but nevertheless continued to collect books as the new century dawned.

Each of their children and grandchildren has cherished memories of them, memories of family gatherings, of Corinne’s meals, of cottage life on the Northumberland Strait and in the Gatineau Hills, of that shovel with their bathing suits hanging on it, of Lawrence’s desire for a birth month rather than a birth day celebration, of Christmas stocking riddles and the need to attend all Christmas bazaars in order to fulfil the “duty” to sample all culinary products, of time spent with them at Yellow Point Lodge and in Hawaii, and of ALWAYS being there when you needed to talk. They were, quite simply, the best.  We will miss them forever.

No flowers, please.  Donations in their name may be made to the Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation and will be gratefully appreciated by the family.

The family wishes to express their sincere thanks to the staff at Douglas Care and Hart House.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens




  • Patti S. MacPhee
    May 25, 2018

    To the families grieving I send my condolences. I am Patti MacPhee ( Mitchell), daughter of Carl Arthur Mitchell.
    I have just been told of my Aunt and Uncle’s passing and wanted to share my story.
    I will never forget the visits we had, the walks after dinner and the hugs before bedtime. Both of which I didn’t know were possible nor have I ever forgotten. Those memories I will hold dear forever. Thank you

  • Marilyn Bullock
    January 27, 2018

    To Lawrence and Bridgette, Suzanne and Roland, Stephen and Sandra. It was a gift knowing your Mother and Father and working with them both at St. Andrew’s especially at the Bazaar. Visiting them at Berwick and both Care Homes I always felt welcomed.

    I look forward to sharing this time with you all at the Service today.

  • Robin and Cathy Keirstead
    January 26, 2018

    Our sincere condolences to everyone in the family at this sad time. We hope that your memories of happy times together and also of their love and support during life’s challenges will help you though the days, weeks and months ahead. I remember fondly their visits to the Valley and also spending time with them at Yesteryear Books, stopping by for a chat, a cup of tea, and even sometimes to buy. You are all in our thoughts.

  • Sherri Cooknell
    January 20, 2018

    I am sending my sympathy for all the family. Janet will be missed by all. My mom and dad send their sympathy as well.
    From Bill and Gail and Sherri Cooknell

  • Eileen & Rhodes
    January 17, 2018

    STEVE and SANDY :

    Very sorry to hear of the passing of your parents, Steve. Based on what we read and see above, they must have been lovely people.

  • Bonnie Keirstead
    January 17, 2018

    So sad to lose two special souls of the family.Many condolences to Sue, Larry and Steve and their families. We were very fortunate to have them and will always remember their great visits.

  • Sharon Sainsbury
    January 11, 2018

    So sorry for your loss. May you feel God’s love and presence at this time.

  • Ralph Lawton (Australia)
    January 10, 2018

    My thoughts are with you, the family, at this most difficult time.

  • Cathy Wright
    January 10, 2018

    Sending you Sue and Roland our deepest sympathies!! We were so fortuate to have met both of your parents Sue. Know that we are thinking of you and sending love and hugs. CAthy and Jamie and FAmily XOXO.

  • Jennifer and Gary Lippman
    January 10, 2018

    Our sincere condolences to all those grieving the earthly departure of two dear souls. May each of you continue to feel their love through all your days.

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