Patricia Parker (nee Whiting) departed with dignity at a time and place of her choosing, surrounded by family, in her 91st year.
She wrote the following to be included in her obituary: “I chose my own path, I did the best I could with what I had, and I died the way I wanted. I had a very successful life and I couldn’t have asked for anything else.”
Tricia was the eldest daughter of Joyce Bobbinette Crighton and Edward Glossop Whiting of Kelowna, B.C. She was soon joined by two sisters: Donna Llewelyn and Eileen Margaret. Patricia was the last survivor of her birth family.
She bore two daughters with Rainald Webb Thomas: Bobbinette Patricia and Lia Fraser. They in turn gave Tricia three granddaughters: Abby, Devon (Adam), and Hali (Grant). Hali is the mother of Tricia’s two great-granddaughters: Brin and Kendra. Patricia’s extended family grew through marriages to include a step-son, six grandchildren, five great grandchildren, three great-great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. Though she knew of them all, she did not meet every one. Such is the way of life today as families expand, change, and relocate.
But some were particularly close. Bobbi (Stuart), Lia, and Abby all live in the B.C. Interior but visited a few times every year. Step-son Ross Parker (Chris) and Anthony visited from Seattle. Tricia’s niece, Allison, was a frequent visitor, accompanied by her daughter Cayce. Patricia’s niece, Karen, often travelled from Ontario to visit. Nephew, Hadyn Thomas, lives in Victoria B.C. and shared many weeknight home cooked meals and conversation-filled evenings with Patricia. Others visited as time and distance allowed and many were present at Patricia’s 90th birthday celebrations this past February. Lasting memories were made on that occasion and are now especially cherished.
Tricia and her husband, Rainald Thomas, raised their two daughters in various, sometimes isolated, locations dictated by his work as a forest ranger. Have you been to Echo Bay?
Patricia and her second husband, Arthur Parker, forest pathologist, and her favourite polo- playing coffee companion, lived in Victoria until his death. She was then content to live alone for these past four decades.
She was not lonely. Many of her neighbours have come to say how much Patricia was loved and shall be missed. Many of her friends have called and some were able to visit Tricia at Royal Jubilee in her last week. She relished all of her friendships, some of whom were fellow
volunteers at Goward House, some were those with whom she played bridge with four times a week, and others were those collected along the way.
Tricia ventured to Scotland to honour her ancestors, and to Turkey, Russia and Alaska for the experience. One excursion took her to the Arctic on a cruise through the Northwest Passage. She ventured with Ruth, a friend for 43 years, to innumerable locations near and far. They had such fun together.
Almost daily, she watched the Blue Jays and played bridge. She walked within her neighbourhood and drove her own car when going further. She spoke regularly with family and friends, using her land-line, but she never had a cell phone nor a computer, nor access to the internet, nor any form of social media despite the persuasion and instruction of Haydn. Talking face-to-face or on the traditional phone in real time was her preference.
She did, however, generously support some charities and similar organizations, including KCTS Public Television and Cool Aid.
The family thanks the medical staff at the Royal Jubilee Hospital for their compassion and their care. Tricia was very well served by the nurses and doctors who attended her final days, and she told them so.
In accordance with her wishes, there will be no service. The family intends a memorial gathering at a date to be determined.
It was a life well lived.
Condolences may be offered to the family below.
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