We are saddened to announce the passing of our beloved Katherine after a courageous, drawn-out struggle with a profusion of acute health problems.

Katherine was born in Witkow, Saskatchewan where she spent her pre-school childhood before moving to North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Her parents Nicholas and Justyna (née Swiston), her sister Victoria (Ivan), sister-in-law Janis (Gus) and her brothers Edward (Florence), Albert (Elsie, Marie), Henry (Martha) and Morris (Francis) predeceased her. She leaves her loving husband Louis, son Nicholas, daughter-in-law Marilyn (née Devine), grand-daughter Willow, sister Millie (Victor), brother Gus (Janis) and many sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews too numerous to mention.  However, she would never forgive not noting that, among her very most favorite, were: nephews Art, Jeff and Jerry, nieces Evelyn, Kelly, grand-nieces Lindsay, Sara, and sister-in-law Janis.

After obtaining her RN nursing degree from St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon, she accepted a position at Queens Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1960.  While there, she became the operating room “scrub nurse of choice” for world-renowned Neurosurgeon Dr. Ralph Cloward who developed the technique called Anterior Cervical Interbody Fusion also known as the Cloward procedure. Dr. Cloward designed over 100 surgical instruments still in use today by practising neurosurgeons. Katherine was an operating room scrub nurse for virtually her entire 30-year nursing career.

In 1963, Katherine met Douglas Aerospace US engineer Louis Lovejoy on the beach in Waikiki. Lou was spending the weekend in Honolulu while in transit to Johnston Island (US atoll 750 nautical miles SW of Oahu) to work on a classified rocket test project.  After one year of courting (mostly by mail), she accepted Lou’s proposal of marriage made at an overlook on the slopes of Diamond Head. She returned to California with Lou, where they married in Northridge in June of 1964. For the next 25 years, Katherine worked as an RN in California (3 locations), Florida (where they bought their first home in Cocoa Beach) and Honolulu (4 twelve-month postings of Lou to Johnston Island over a period of 8 years), while following Lou from assignment to assignment.

As an example of how hectic this was in the early years: Katherine became pregnant in 1968 while living in Cocoa Beach, Florida. She flew to California eight months later and their son Nicholas was born in Carson, California in 1969.  She moved to Honolulu, again, with Lou when Nicholas was only one month old.  She was, for the most part, a single mother during these next many months as Lou was only able to be in Honolulu for five days after each 30 days on Johnston Island.

Finally, in 1970, Lou’s Johnston Island assignments were over and Katherine and Lou settled into their first permanent home, since marriage in 1964, in Fountain Valley, California Although Lou was still away from home much of the time, traveling for McDonnell Douglas, Fountain Valley was their home until they both retired in 1989.  During those 19 years, Katherine spent some of the happiest years of her nursing career at nearby Humana Hospital with her favorite nurse friends Soon Syn and Rosalie and a host of the most friendly and appreciative nurses and Doctors with which one would ever want to work.

Lou decided to retire after 30 years with McDonnell Douglas and in 1989, Katherine and Lou retired to Victoria, BC.  Katherine sponsored Lou, he being a US citizen, as a Landed Immigrant to Canada. Nicholas moved to Victoria with his parents, studied at Camosun College in Victoria and BCIT in Vancouver, becoming an instrumentation electrician presently working in the oil and natural gas industry out of Fort St. John, BC.

Over the past 27 years, Katherine and Lou have lived in five homes in Victoria:  (Queenswood, Cordova Bay, Broadmead, Bear Mountain, and their present home in Tanner Ridge). Katherine’s love was gardening and she created beautiful flower gardens at each one of these locations. Although she was always busy with her Victoria gardens, she missed Hawaii and longed to spend the winters there.  In 1997, Katherine and Lou purchased a waterfront condo in the Elua development of Wailea, Maui. They rented the condo to tourists most of the year and spent a month or so themselves in the winters until 2007 when they sold the Elua unit and purchased a townhouse at Wailea Fairway Villas. They vowed never to rent this unit and undertook many fancy upgrades that one would hesitate to accomplish if renting.

It was in Maui that Katherine found her greatest gratification in her love of gardening. They would stay for five months at a time and everything grew so fast. She was in heaven!  She not only planted about every exotic flower you could think of, but also planted dozens of trees. There were bananas, mangoes and papaya, which would bear fruit in a single year, or less. She also tried pineapple, but they would always disappear before maturing. They are the slowpokes, taking 18 months to ripen!

Katherine’s health started deteriorating rather dramatically in 2012 and winter excursions to Maui ended that year with the sale of the Wailea Fairway Villas townhouse. She yearned to continue the extensive gardening she had so enjoyed in Maui, hoping that it would help to restore her health, but the garden space at their Bear Mountain townhouse was quite small. Later that year, they found the ideal property for Katherine’s gardening aspirations and they purchased their Tanner Ridge home.  Sadly, her health continued to deteriorate and she was never able to renew her gardening before becoming bedridden.

The Lovejoy family wishes to express its sincere appreciation for the professional and loving care provided to Katherine by the Baptist Housing staff at The Heights Care Home in Victoria over the 5 ½ years of her residence there.

Respecting Katherine’s wishes, no public service will be held. A private, family only, memorial service will be conducted at McCall Gardens for the commitment of her ashes.

Flowers are gratefully declined.  Donations may be made, in Katherine’s name, to a charity of your choice.

With credit to authors Charles Dumont and Michel Vaucaire and especially to French diva chanteuse Edith Piaf, her English lyrics of “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” recorded in 1961:

 

No! No regrets, No! I will have no regrets

All the things that went wrong

For at-last I have learned to be strong

 

No! No regrets, No! I will have no regrets

For the grief doesn’t last. It is gone

I’ve forgotten the past

 

And the memories I had, I no longer desire

Both the good and the bad, I have flung in a fire

And I feel in my heart, that the seed has been sown

It is something quite new. It’s like nothing I’ve known

 

No! No regrets, No! I will have no regrets

All the things that went wrong

For at-last I have learned to be strong

 

No! No regrets, No! I will have no regrets

For the seed that is new

It’s the love that is growing for you

 

Je ne rien regrette, mon petit piaf, c’était “La vie en Rose”!  Reposer en Paix.

I have no regrets, my little sparrow, it was “Life in the Pink”!  Rest in Peace.

 

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens
www.mccallgardens.com

 

 

 

 

 

  • Sherry Mulcahy
    May 14, 2019

    Uncle Lou and cousin Nick my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time, love Sherry

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