Grace died in Victoria Hospice on January 29, 2019, age 98, after several months of declining health. Aptly named, she was gracious to the end, and stoic beyond belief.
She was born in Grande Prairie, Alberta to parents Fanny and Alfred Field, who were homesteaders in the Peace River country. In Grace’s elementary school years, she and her brother Jim rode to school together on one horse named Sugar Babe. In 1942 Grace married Ernie, an RCM Policeman. This began a marriage of 61 years and many RCMP postings. Their first posting, as newly marrieds, was to the remote northern Alberta hamlet of Notikewan. They lived in a log house with a dirt floor and Grace got their water supply from the river. More civilized postings followed to Edmonton, Peace River, Red Deer, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and a retirement posting to Victoria in 1966. Grace and Ernie then enjoyed many winters in Palm Springs along with a gang of Alberta friends. In 1979 they did a big European tour, including time in Germany visiting daughter Carol and her family who were living there. In 2012, as a widow, Grace chose to sell her townhouse and move into Wellesley Independent Living. It was her happy home for the past 6 years and aided in maintaining her highly-valued independence.
Grace loved fashion so she was perfect for her part-time jobs in ladies’ retail clothing shops. At her 95th birthday, she reluctantly admitted that she owned 35 pairs of shoes. She will be remembered for always looking stylish and elegant. She said her dream job would have been as “a hired personal shopper”. Grace was a quiet woman, but deeply interested in people and who they were. Shortly after meeting someone new, she would know their life story, and could remember it for the next time they met. She also loved reading, was an avid curling fan, and paid close attention to politics. Her quiet, soft spoken exterior belied a mind that held some firm ideas. Blessedly, she remained mentally sharp until the end.
Grace is survived by grieving daughters Carol Bremner and Arlene Elies (Ken); by 4 grandchildren- Lara (Geordie), Colin (Ingrid), Dean (Kari), Jennifer (Alex); 9 great grandchildren- Tyrus, Kiana, Bennett, Tassanie, Dayton, Brooke, Hazel, Ian, and Tom. Grace also leaves behind cousins Marj, Barbara, Muriel and Doreen; nephews Don and Pat, niece Erin, and Beth in Edmonton, her friend for 72 years. She was predeceased by Ernie in 2003, her twin daughter Linda in 2010, son-in-law John, and her three brothers, Alec, Jim and Frank.
Many thanks to family physician Dr. Michael Jones for many years of excellent care, to Laura from Physio Care and to the lovely staff of The Wellesley. Thank you to Denise Bull, a private worker for the past 6 years, and a favorite of Grace. The busy workers from Beacon Community Services are remembered with gratitude. A million thanks to the amazing staff and volunteers at Victoria Hospice for their kind and compassionate care of Grace in her final month.
As much as Grace adored flowers, floral gifts are respectfully declined. Instead, a donation in Grace’s memory to The Salvation Army, Victoria Hospice or the Arthritis Society, would please her.
A memorial service for Grace will be held on Tuesday, March 12 at 2 pm, at St Michael and All Angels Anglican Church, 4733 W Saanich Road, Victoria.
Condolences may be offered to the family below.
Donna KirkFebruary 3, 2019
Sharon SmithFebruary 1, 2019
Martha WalaceFebruary 1, 2019
Carolyn CourtrightJanuary 31, 2019
Sue WoodwardJanuary 31, 2019
Michelle CarreiroJanuary 31, 2019
Marjie WelchframeJanuary 31, 2019
Peggy TallyJanuary 31, 2019