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Ethel ‘Lila’ Stichbury | Passages

Ethel "Lila" Stichbury
(Jan. 1, 1930 – Nov. 25, 2009)

Lila was born Jan. 1, 1930, in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, daughter of James Leslie MacKenzie of Prince Edward Island and Annie Ethel Jones of Ontario. She was a fifth-generation Canadian. Alive in her lifetime were her adored grandparents, Donald "Nana" MacKenzie and Mary Jane Kimberley Jones.

She was preceded in death by her parents and all her siblings, Harold Leslie (Roberta "Jimmy"), John Gordon (Nell) and Wilbert Donald (Audrey); and by her nephew, Donald Gordon MacKenzie.

She married Francis (Frank) Henry Stichbury on July 12, 1952 at Knox Presbyterian Church in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Frank resides in Cordova Bay. Lila and Frank raised three children: Jacqueline Ann Rudelier, Vancouver, B.C.; Allan Leslie Stichbury (Joanne), Victoria, B.C.; and Janice Frances Stichbury-Riley (Jerry), Friday Harbor, Wash.

Lila is also survived by two grandchildren, Sarah Melanie Shragie and Katherine (Kate) Lesage Stichbury; and nine nieces and nephews. 

Lila trained as a registered nurse at Moose Jaw General Hospital, Saskatchewan. In Saskatchewan, she worked at Assiniboia Hospital, Moose Jaw General Hospital, and Saskatoon University Hospital. In Victoria, B.C., she worked at Mount Tolmie Hospital. She was dedicated to her craft and brought heartfelt comfort and care to many over the years.

An accomplished soprano, Lila sang with the St. Andrews Church Choir in Assiniboia, the Nurses Glee Choir in Moose Jaw, and the Knox Presbyterian Church Choir and the Good News Choir in Victoria.

Lila’s youth was filled with poverty and insecurity. From that experience, she grew to be a thoughtful, generous and caring person. She enjoyed many friends and was a warm, smiling presence at gatherings and in her workplace. Her laughter will always resonate with those who knew her.

She prided herself on loving her family and thoroughly enjoyed moments filled with song, good food and loved ones. Her professional and personal lives were guided by a special sense of compassion and sensitivity to people that earned her the respect of her family, friends and colleagues.

The garden was her sanctuary, and she and Frank created a rich tapestry of flowers for all to enjoy. The sweaters she lovingly knit for her family will always be treasured. The pies, cookies and cakes she baked are forever savored. Her jam and canned goods were simply extraordinary. The clothes she made for her children were made with care and tenderness. The sacrifices she made for her family, loved ones and friends can never be fully recounted. She was a gift to us all.

Lila passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at Mount Tolmie Hospital from complications of advanced Alzheimer's. Family, friends and hospital staff comforted her and kept a vigil until her last moment. The family wishes to extend enormous thanks to the staff at Mount Tolmie Hospital, where Lila worked for many years, for their advice, generosity of spirit, and remarkable devotion to "Stich's" comfort and care, and also to relatives, neighbors and friends who were so supportive and kind.

Lila (Mom) is ever loved and remembered.

Nana keep her safe
when you see her again in
the sweet, clover’s glow

A celebration of life will be held in her garden in the spring. All are welcome. Donations in her memory may be made to the Mount Tolmie Hospital Staff Fund, 3690 Richmond Rd., Victoria B.C., V8P4R6.

— Family of Ethel "Lila" Stichbury

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