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



  • Ellen Retelle
    November 10, 2019

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

  • Judith Ann Southern
    November 10, 2019

    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
    November 10, 2019

    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
    November 10, 2019

    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
    November 10, 2019

    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
    November 9, 2019

    Geoff, Katharine, Mel, Lesley, David and family

    This is a lovely tribute to your Mom.

    Our deepest sympathies,

    Don & Tracy Swainson

  • Jim & Lois Clyde
    November 9, 2019

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

  • Ken Christie
    November 9, 2019

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


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