Both Dennis and Shirley Young passed gently into the next world on January 27, 2024 with only 12 hours between them. We told Dad that he needed to hurry to catch up to Shirley and we guess he heard us!
Dennis and Shirley were married in Victoria on September 28, 1973 and have had a good life together. The highlight of their retirement was a year-long sojourn to Italy which impacted everything they did for the remainder of their lives. Cortados! Espressos! Freshly made pastas, homegrown and homemade basil pesto. Italian music, Italian food, books on Italy (and for Shirley, books and more books on every topic: what a reader she was!!) They lived in Parma for a year and delighted in being immersed in the Italian way of life. Dennis began to write a memoir about that year but dementia ended that particular journey.
Shirley was born in Nelson, BC on February 18th, 1933, the first born of Eustace and Emily (Wildman) Humphries and she was most definitely the oldest and most senior of three girls. A big sister to Barbara and Pam, they grew up in Trail, BC. She was an independent soul and before long, set out on a single person journey to Europe, travelling by boat and then trains and buses. She then returned to Canada and began a lifelong career in par excellence organising! In the era when women didn’t naturally hold career positions, Shirley thrived in her role as an Executive Secretary in Municipal Services. Even in her last year of life she was asking for pens and post-it notes!
Dennis was a native Vancouver Islander, born in Duncan on March 1, 1923 to William and Margaret (Watson) Young. He was very proud that he was a second-generation British Columbian and took pride that there is a naming brick on the sidewalk of Government Street, recognizing his father. As with many young men of his age, he served overseas in the Royal Canadian Air Force and met his first wife, Patricia Featherstonhaugh at the Maple Leaf Lounge in London. On his return to Victoria, he attained his CA designation and continued in a lifelong career in Municipal Affairs, specifically as Victoria’s City Manager and as Executive Director of the Capital Regional District.
Dennis was predeceased by his infant daughter Moira. Dennis and Shirley are survived by Dennis’ children, Michael, Jennifer and Hilary, Shirley’s sisters Barbara and Pam; 8 grandchildren (Chris, James, Ketha, Nissa, Britta, Michael, Savanna and Katya), 11 great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and Shirley’s nieces and nephew, Allison, Marieke, Robyn and Timothy. They also leave behind many good friends at their Chateauneuf condo building where they lived for many many years. The family thanks all the good neighbours who helped Dennis and Shirley in these past few, difficult years.
By their own request, no services will be held. They have been cremated and their ashes will return to the earth to nurture new growth. If you wish to celebrate their lives, we suggest you smell some basil, shop for and eat wonderful food – or better yet, grow some food, read a good book and if you come across a labrador retriever, give it a loving pat on the head. As they have gone together, may they continue their journey with learning and grace.
Condolences may be offered to the family below.