March 1, 1940 – June 12, 2023
In loving memory ~
It is with heavy hearts and sadness to say our Mom, Nana, Grandma Tanner, and GiGi, Christine Mary Tanner, passed away suddenly on Monday, June 12, 2023.
Christine’s passions included singing, musical theatre, sewing, entertaining, collecting plates, dolls, elephants, and miniature pianos, and most importantly to her, having all the kids and grandkids around. Mom truly was a kid at heart. She was not only a nana to her grandkids but to the whole family’s kids and friends.
Mom was full of life and love despite the many challenges she faced over the years; her simple look on life was to just make everyone happy. Over the years we spent many crazy nights with Mom, David, and all of the kids together for dinners, playing in the pool, taking over the house, and enjoying crafting and ice cream at all hours of the night.
Born March 1st, 1940, in Bromley County, Kent, England. Mom’s life started a lot different than the life we live. Their family home roof collapsed from a bomb falling a block away during World War 2, so Mom and Grandma had to sleep in an iron cage known as a Morrison shelter under the table. She didn’t even remember knowing her father until after she was 5 as he was in the army assisting with the liberation of Europe.
Mom, her baby brother Ted, and parents Ted and Marj Wills came to Canada when she was 7. They flew to New York and encountered all the bright lights, stayed in a hotel for the first time, then took a train to Montreal and journeyed across Canada to Vancouver, and finally settled in Victoria in 1947. She graduated from Victoria’s former high school, Mt View High School on Carey Road, was runner-up for the 1958 Miss Victoria Pageant, and married her high school sweetheart Ken Neal at 20 years of age.
Mom was very organized if you’re wondering where we all got that from. Her first job was working at the Motor Vehicle Branch in Victoria at 16 but at 20 and newly married was let go when she became pregnant with Ron, again very different times. She moved to Thompson, Manitoba for a few years with her second husband John where she worked for the government; one of her jobs was delivering goods across frozen lakes to First Nations. She then returned to Victoria and was very involved with musical theatre and the Pacific Opera Society.
Christine married David Tanner on March 20, 1982, and they moved to the Cowichan Valley for their retirement. They both loved the valley and opened their home to everyone. David (papa) was so good to Christine and the grandkids. Together they swam, did theatre, danced, sang, gardened, travelled to England, Hawaii, went on road trips, cruises, and much more.
Son Ken and his family were also fortunate to travel together with Christine on trips to Hawaii, Florida, Disney Land, Disney World, San Diego, and a few cruises. Watching her with the kids on trips such as Disney Land filled all of us with joy, she really was a kid at heart.
Christine was pre-deceased by her husband David Tanner, her parents Ted and Marj Wills, her brother Ted (Paula), and her lifelong best friends Delores Bell and Gwen Glover. Mom leaves behind her children Ken (Kari), Ron, Richard (Karen), Kathy, Delphine (Pierre), and Bev, her grandchildren Michelle (Andrew), Krystyna (Tyler), Cameron, Justin (Noelle), Gareth (Kassidy), Rhys, Taunya (Troy), Emily (Hector), Kayden (Katherine), David, Amy, Daniel, and Jeff. Mom also leaves her great-grandchildren Blake, Grayson, Charlotte, Jaxson, and Crew. Lastly, she leaves behind her nieces Lani (Colin), their daughters Aria and Tatia, her daughter Darienne and her son Jaxsen.
John and Diana Smithson also had a special place in their heart and warmly welcomed Christine into their family. Special thanks to Wilma her neighbour and best friend, Lori her housekeeper, Leslie, Dr. Rimmer (Somenos Medical staff), Duncan City Oasis Church, the many choirs she sang in, and everyone that brought joy to Mom’s life.
Service to be held at the Duncan Oasis City Church @ 2 p.m. July 21, 2023
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