Nancy passed away peacefully in hospital after a short illness on March 24, 2021 in Victoria BC.  Born on August 27, 1921 in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England, Nan was the loving daughter of George and Myra (Gledhill) Chester and sister of Geoffrey Davidson Chester of Reigate, England (predeceased).

Beloved wife of John (Jack) Cameron Archibald, FCA of Saskatoon and St. Brieux, Saskatchewan (predeceased); cherished mother of Margaret Ann Amoroso (Roger) of Ottawa and William (Bill) Bruce Archibald (Kay Norton), Coquitlam and devoted and loving “Nana” of Geoffrey Norton Archibald and Robert (Rob) Cameron Archibald of Vancouver.

Nan will be deeply missed and warmly remembered by her English cousins including Peter and Jenny Davey and their extended family, Angela King and Hilary Levitt as well as by her many friends in Victoria (including “second daughter” Kathleen Campbell); Vancouver, Saskatoon, Ottawa, England and New Zealand.

Nan will be remembered for her love for and pride in her family, her indomitable spirit and sense of purpose, her generosity, good humour and zest for life. Nan, an architect’s assistant, joined the W.A.A.F in May 1939.  Flt/Sgt Chester was “Mentioned in Despatches” on January 1, 1943.  She met Jack, an RCAF Squadron Leader, in 1942 over a pint at the Black Swan pub in Stratford-upon-Avon. They were married in September 1943.

As a Canadian War Bride, Nan and her daughter arrived in Canada at Pier 21 nearly 75 years ago aboard the Queen Mary and travelled by train to Saskatoon. There she spent 40 wonderful years on the prairies creating a home for her family and pursuing her many interests and hobbies.  In 1985 after Jack’s death, Nan moved to Victoria to be closer to Bill and his family and spent 35 happy years enjoying life to the fullest.

Always active in her community, Nan served as the first president of the Saskatoon YWCA Overseas Wives Club (1946) and was a member of both the Saskatchewan and Canadian War Brides Associations.  In the 1960’s Nan served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saskatoon YWCA and was a founding organizer of the YWCA’s Opportunity Shop.

A knowledgeable gardener, Nan had a true “green thumb” which she applied to the beautiful English gardens she created in both Saskatoon and Victoria.  She was also a skilled seamstress and knitter, adventurous cook, wine maker and consummate hostess.  Nan played golf, enjoyed curling and was a loyal fan of the Saskatchewan Rough Riders.   She loved fishing with Jack in Northern Saskatchewan lakes.  She and Jack enjoyed many outdoor weekends in their cozy trailer at Redberry Lake during their 20 years as active members of the Saskatoon Sailing Club where they delighted in the camaraderie of its members many of whom became life-long friends.

As a member of the Saskatoon and the Victoria Camera Clubs, she honed her talents as an award-winning nature photographer.  Her interest in family history led to a trip to New Zealand to meet newly discovered cousins with shared roots in England.

She loved to travel, making return visits to family and friends in England, exploring Canada and the USA by car with Jack and, among other adventures, touring China by train in the 1990s and visiting the magical Haida Gwaii and the Ninstints. Dogs and cats were special companions to Nan throughout her life whether they were hers, her neighbours’ or her Amoroso grand’kits.

The family offers a heartfelt thank you to the management, staff and friends at Berwick House Seniors’ Residence who provided Nancy with such kindness, friendship and attentive care over the last four years.  A special thank you also to the doctors, nurses and staff at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, including the Seniors Outpatient Clinic, for their excellent medical care in recent years.

A Celebration of Nan’s Life will be held later this summer in the Sequoia Centre at McCall Gardens in accordance with Covid guidelines.

In lieu of flowers, in memoriam donations may be made to The BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Victoria Humane Society or a charity of your choice.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens

  • Karen Weeks

    I was saddened by the passing of Nan, a beautiful lady. I remember her well from the days she and Jack lived in Saskatoon. I’ve often thought of her since she moved but unfortunately we lost touch. My deepest sympathies to Margaret, Bill and families.

  • Bev Hall and Maurice Robinson

    We met Nan through the Victoria Camera Club about 30 years ago. She was a one of a kind lady – so fun, so positive, so full of knowledge and wonderful stories of her past – and she was an excellent photographer and gardener. How we will miss her! We send our sincere sympathy to Margaret and Bill and their families.

  • Terry and Donna Brash

    Sincere condolences to Bill, Margaret and families. We were so saddened to hear of Nan’s passing. What a mark she left on our world. We can both say that Nan, without a doubt, was the nicest person we had ever met, and we have met many! We looked forward to each time we got together with the MSI group that Jack was involved with. When Nan entered the room it lit up. She taught me so much about photography and shared so many stories of her travels. We cherish the day spent with her on a visit to Victoria and an afternoon spent with her at the local pub! Always positive, always happy. It was contagious! I always said, “when I grow up I want to be like Nan Archibald.” Those of us who had the fortune to have Nan in our life in one form or another were truly blessed. Love you and we will miss you, Nan. Now you and Jack are together. God Bless!

  • Don Smith

    Bill and family,
    On behalf of the Smith family, I send our deepest condolences on your Mom’s passing. So many fond memories come to mind of summers spent with the Saskatoon Sailing Club at Redberry Lake. You and your Mom and Dad were such great friends of our family. We enjoyed sharing many glasses of wine and the odd cool one on the clubhouse balcony overlooking the lake often admiring the beautiful sunsets. We will always remember your Mom’s infectious laugh along with your Dad’s dry wit. One of your Mom’s photographs of sailboats on the beach at Redberry, with impending storm clouds in the distance, still decorates our home. May you find peace in knowing she led a life well lived!
    Don Smith (Shirley Finell), Randy Smith (Janis), Mary Lou (Kevin Jaansalu)

  • Jeanette Dean

    No visit to Victoria was complete without a day with Nan. She would take us out to lunch and then we would go back to her townhouse for tea and catching up on photography and news of Saskatoon. Her zest for life was infectious and we always came away uplifted and happier because of her. We shared her pictures and her travels and took pictures of her and her flowers. A photo of her has adorned our fridge for many years. We will miss her.

  • Dianne Brydon

    What a life Nan led! She was full of vim and vigour, ideas and opinions. I admire her spunk to take a chance on a Canadian, move halfway across the world, and establish a new life in a different life and culture. i think of her every time I pass a garden, watch a curling game, or read about War Brides. My thoughts are with Margaret and Roger, and their families.

  • Leslie Waters

    Nancy and I met in the mid 2000’s on a PCL bus to Vancouver. She told me she was on her way to visit her son. Our conversation made such a lasting impression on me that I remember her to this day. My condolences to Nan’s family. You must miss her so much.

  • Peter Harrison

    Dear Margaret: I read your mother’s obituary in the Ottawa Citizen yesterday. What and extraordinary person she was! I join you in your grieving, and offer my sincerest condolences to you and your family. It is so difficult to lose one’s mother…..

  • Marcos Castrillo

    Condolences were given and as our telecom: Passing away could have deep meaning for many to understand.
    Claire and I will keep memories in our hearts/minds about Nan. What a lady, so strong, smart, so bright… great sense of humor. Margaret mentioned she was kinda of bossy (in a nice way) to some friends…well maybe she’s driving a bus to paradise with others with beautiful smiles to meet Tio Henry, Neil, Tia Una, Toinon (Claire’s mother)…ordering Venezuelan steaks…watching the Unicorn races… far away…we could see a new shining Star named Nan.
    Small tears of love for the shining lady.

  • Merlis Belsher

    My sincere condolence to the Nan Archibald Family on Nan’s passing. Nan’s husband Jack FCA, was an excellent mentor to me (1957-1960) when I was articling with his firm Harris Fingarson & Co. of Saskatoon to become a chartered accountant. It was during this time that I met Nan on several occasions. She was a lovely lady, always cheerful, happy and full of energy. Nan was involved in community events. I have fond memories of Nan and Jack.

  • Brenda Gardner

    Nan was an inspiration to her ‘girls’ – Margie’s friends from primary school. From get togethers in the Archibald rumpus room through to our mature adulthood she entertained with her wonderful adventurous tales and her boundless energy. Such a lovely tribute the family has written. She will be in so many hearts and greatly missed.

  • Lynette Thurber

    Sorry to hear of your loss, Marg and Bill. She was such an upbeat person and a wonderful friend to my Aunts Alice and Kay and, along with Jack, to my parents, Art and Olive Goff. I have many happy memories of visits with her in Saskatoon and Victoria. Hers was a life well-lived!

  • Pierre Soucy and Stan Moore

    Nan was indeed a force to be reckoned with… Her zest for life was totally contagious!! Stan and I first met Nan a few years ago during one of her many visits with Margaret and Roger in Ottawa – we were smitten with her from the get-go! Once we moved to Vancouver six years ago, we had the opportunity to see her more regularly, for which we are so very thankful. A visit to Victoria became incomplete for us if it did not include a visit with Nan, often over a meal at the Oak Bay marina restaurant. We had hoped to see her this last winter during our next visit to Victoria which got postponed again and again because of pandemic restrictions, and alas, our window to do so has now closed. We shall always treasure our memories of the wonderful times that we spent with her, and will of course attend her memorial in the summer. We are with her closest family members in spirit during this painful time for them. May your many loving memories of Nan bring you comfort.

  • Chuck wilson

    Bill, Kay Our condolences on the passing of Bill’s mom. She had a remarkable life. Treasure your memories.
    Chuck and Darla

  • Stéphane Carret

    Dear Marg, Bill and family, please accept my sincerest condolences. I was saddened to learn of your Mum’s passing. Having read this fascinating obituary, it must give you comfort, however, in knowing how much life Nan packed into her near-century of life. I’m certain she will enliven Heaven and perhaps plant some flowers there as well as have a wine and cheese party with my Auntie Mary.

    With warmest regards,


  • Oxana Sawka

    Oh, Nan! What a force she was. She ran circles around those half her age. Nan was an avid photographer and amazing storyteller. Whenever she came to see Margaret and Roger in Ottawa, we would have a visit–usually over a meal. She was like the Energizer bunny, chatting throughout dinner. She had a lot of material to draw from: her travels, her photography, her War Brides get-togethers, her family. The list goes on. And we treasured the delight she caused whenever her visits were timed to take in a Sunday afternoon whisky tasting at an Ottawa pub. Peter and I were lucky to have known her. I must say, however, that I was disappointed that she decided to leave us before her 100th birthday. We were so looking forward to celebrating with her. Heartfelt condolences to Marg, Roger, Bill, Nancy and all her relatives and friends.

  • Jack Vicq

    Sincere condolences to the family of Nan Archibald . Nan was always a gracious host to the many events held at her Saskatoon home related to Jack’s work. Her good humour was contagious. On many occasions these events were held outside in her wonderful yard – wonderful despite the attempt of her dog to burn up most of her lawn.

  • Don Ward

    My condolences on the passing of your mother, Bill. I have fond memories of her.

  • Pauline Cohen

    Margaret and family, So very sorry to hear of your loss. As you know we met at the Victoria War Brides and families reunion here in Victoria. Finding out that the 4 of us were all on the Queen Mary coming to Canada was truly fate! It was a real story of how she and the rest of the War Brides endured that voyage from England to the vast land of Canada. I hope that you and your family will cherish those memories. She will be greatly missed by all! So fondly missed.

  • Lindsay

    Being part of the British contingent I met Nan a few times whilst in Victoria and I loved her instantly. What a great lady- her stories and her great interests while in the UK just added to good conversations. Marg you are so like her, that’s why I love you too. Condolences and love to all who will miss her.

  • Elaine Spilos

    Oh, Bill, what a force of nature – strong, independent, intelligent, multi-faceted, full to the brim of life – was your mother, Nan. Although it is sorrowful to see important people in our lives pass, we are so glad that you and Marg could be with your mother at her very end. And through her later years you, Marg, Kay and your sons were a devoted family, visiting her and spending time with her frequently.
    Our deepest sympathy, Elaine and Michael

  • Michael Farquhar

    A well deserved, heartfelt and impressive tribute to an extraordinary and delightful friend.

  • vaughn wyant

    My most heartfelt condolences. Our moms were real besties. I remember her kindness and English spirit.
    God Bless.

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