Sylvia Elaine Olsen (nee Kohut) passed away peacefully on November 22nd, 2017 in Victoria, BC at the age of 78 after a lengthy illness. Sylvia was born in Souris, MB on April 26th, 1939. She was the second of four children born to John and Effie Kohut. Sylvia is predeceased by her parents, her older brother Ron and her husband Kjell. She is survived by her sisters Pat Ennis of Calgary AB and Victoria Simmons of Victoria, BC. She is also survived by several nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews in BC, Ontario and Norway.

Sylvia grew up on the family farm near Elgin, MB. She attended school in Elgin and was a good student and athlete, especially in curling. After graduation, she attended nursing training at Misericordia Hospital in Winnipeg, MB. She received the Agnes Wilkie Award for General Proficiency and stayed at the Misericordia after graduation as head nurse on her ward and instructed nursing students.

In the late 1960’s, she moved to Vancouver where, in 1969, she married Kjell Olsen. After their marriage, Sylvia continued to use her nursing skills while employed by the Red Cross and BC Tel.  Sylvia was also a regular volunteer at the Vancouver Police Department Victim Services Unit.

Eventually, Kjell and Sylvia retired to the Morgan Creek community in South Surrey, BC where they were both active in the community. Sylvia was an especially committed Rotarian and a very active member of the Semiahmoo Rotary Club.  She ultimately received an honorary lifetime membership to thank her for her contributions to the rotary and the community.

Kjell passed away in 1999 and Sylvia eventually moved to White Rock. Her health began to deteriorate in 2012 and over time she required higher levels of care. She moved into the Pacifica Assisted Living facility in White Rock and eventually, she moved to Clover Point Care in Victoria where she passed away.

Her family thanks all the professional, caring and compassionate staff at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock, Pacifica Assisted Living in White Rock and the Clover Point Care facility in Victoria.

A Private Memorial Service will be held at a later date.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens





  • Marg Yuill
    February 17, 2018

    Our deepest sympathy. I have been unable to find Syl for about 5 years…so sorry …she was so vivacious…a special person.
    Marg Yuill
    Anne MacVicar
    Miseri classmates 1960B

  • Sheri Johnson-Horsley
    December 8, 2017

    Dear Patty, Vicki & Pat,
    My deepest condolences! I loved Aunt Sylvia.
    I have the deepest & fondest memories of her & Uncle Kjell! I remember looking up to Sylvia and admiring her style & confidence and thinking how special I felt when I was in her presence. I am sure she elicited those feelings in most people whom hearts she touched! She was a true, genuine person whose beauty just emanated from within. Memories of her will live on, within all of us.

  • Jacqueline Senning
    December 5, 2017

    I have learned the sad news of Sylvia’s death.
    Sylvia and I were both student nurses at the Misericordia General Hospital in Winnipeg. Sylvia was in the class of 60-B and I was in the class of 61-A.
    I remember Sylvia as a dynamic, enthusiastic person who was well liked and popular with other students and staff. From the notice of Sylvia’s death I note that she was active in helping others and using her nursing skills and knowledge in various capacitis which would be very characteristic of her.
    My sincere condolences.
    Jacqueline Senning

  • Valerie Giles (Semiahmoo Rotary, past)
    December 1, 2017

    Leo and I are sad to hear of Syl’s passing. I know her last several years were a challenge. She was missed at Rotary by all of us after her many years of hard work.

  • Greg Vanstone
    December 1, 2017

    Pat and Vicki,

    I was saddened to learn of Syl’s passing. She was a real fire cracker and an inspiration to those who worked with her. I had the pleasure and honour of doing that through Semiahmoo Rotary. I will always remember her line when things got complicated with a project – “I’m going up the walls and across the ceiling”. But she always persevered and did an amazing job.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Greg Vanstone

  • Jim and Bette-Jean Kohut
    December 1, 2017

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Patti and Vicki. Sylvia was always sure a fun loving person. You will miss her.

  • Barb Nilghe
    December 1, 2017

    Sorry for your loss Patti and Vicki. Thoughts and prayers are with you. I know mom will miss her phone calls.

    Barb Nilghe (nee Parham) and sons.

  • Joyce Smith
    December 1, 2017

    Vikki and Pat, our thoughts are with you at this most difficult time. One should never have to experience losing a sister. Love to you both and your families. Joyce and Jay

  • Dan and Irene Ritchie
    November 30, 2017

    Pat and family, you are in our thoughts at this difficult time. Treasure your lifetime of memories.

  • Carolyn Moen
    November 30, 2017

    We were so sorry to hear of Sylvia’s passing and wish to extend our sympathy and love to Pat and Vicki and their families.

  • Sissel Svartberg
    November 30, 2017

    On behalf of Sylvia’s family in Norway I will like to express our deepest compassion and participation in your sorrow.
    Warm thoughts to you all. Rest in peace dear aunt Sylvia.
    Love from Sissel ( niece, Mary’s daughter)

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