It is with great sadness that our family announces the passing of Frances Bird (née Chatley). Frances passed away Friday, November 1, 2019. Predeceased by her loving husband Harold, she will be greatly missed by her daughters Lesley (David), Melanie, and son Geoffrey (Katharine). She will also be fondly remembered by her grandchildren, Andrew (Sara), Jennifer (Clay) and great granddaughter Freya, and cousins on both the Chatley and Costley sides of the family.

Born May 13, 1933, Frances grew up in Twickenham, UK. She would often speak about her time growing up during the Second World War. At 17, Frances met Harold, and starting in London their 69-year adventure together began. Married in 1953, the great journey to Canada took place with Mum and three-year old Lesley braving the Atlantic in February 1958 to meet Dad in Ottawa.

After Ottawa came Victoria, Mum and Dad residing in the same cozy home in Oak Bay for 43 years. Trips back to England to visit her family were frequent; Mum never tired of the sights and sounds of London and the beauty of the English countryside. Mum loved travelling with Dad and spending time with the family. Sunday dinners were special events exemplifying how mum was the bond for family celebration, laughter, loyalty, and love.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 2:00 p.m., in the Sequoia Centre at McCall Gardens, 4665 Falaise Drive.

In lieu of flowers, we welcome donations to BC Knowledge Network.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens



  • Lou & Jean

    Mel, our hearts go out to you. We are glad that you and your siblings are all together now sharing in your grief for the loss of your mum.
    You must know how lucky you are to have had so many years of unconditional love and security, the true gift of our parents.
    Take Care, we know it’s been an exhausting time and we’ll been thinking of you.
    Lou & Jean

  • Alan Costley

    Dear Lesley, Melanie and Geoffrey,

    We are very sorry to hear of your loss. We keep in touch with Pat in Ottawa and she told us the sad news. We have a wonderful memory of the visit of your Mum and Dad with Dan and Pat when we were living in San Diego. We remember your Mum’s lively personality, and that memory will stay with us forever. We send our deepest sympathies and condolences.

    Alan and Rea Costley and family (in the UK and US)

  • Ellen Retelle

    Dear Mel, sorry to read about the loss of your mother.

  • Judith Ann Southern

    Dear Lesley, Melanie and Geoffrey,
    I was so sorry to read of your dad’s passing – and now your mom. They were both such fun-loving and wonderful friends to have had. I know you will miss them greatly.
    My memories of Ottawa and seeing them in Victoria are all so good.
    Judy Southern (Garland)
    Condolences from Cam and Karen as well.

  • Debra

    Our deepest sympathies, Mel — we will be there with you in spirit on the 20th. What a lovely write up about your mom.

  • Joan Nicholson

    Our sincere condolences to the Bird family. A tough year losing both your parents.
    Although we can’t be there to celebrate your mum’s remarkable life we will be there in spirit.
    Joan and Debra

  • Jo

    We feel your loss Mel. Mothers are so precious. This we know, they are with you always even though they are physically gone. Our thoughts are with you. Jo & Barb

  • Don Swainson

    Geoff, Katharine, Mel, Lesley, David and family

    This is a lovely tribute to your Mom.

    Our deepest sympathies,

    Don & Tracy Swainson

  • Jim & Lois Clyde

    We are so sorry Lesley, David & families. it’s been a tough road for all of you.
    Our deepest sympathies,
    Love & prayers.

  • Ken Christie

    So sorry to hear of your loss Geoff. Wishing you and your family comfort in this time.


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