June 13, 1932 – September 11, 2020
With great sorrow, the family of Ellen Bradshaw announces her passing on September 11, 2020.
After years of stoicism around ongoing health issues and eventually cancer, Ellen decided to enact her MAID procedure and passed peacefully. She was predeceased by her parents, Tom and Anne Hall (nee Lauriente), her husband Ron Bradshaw, sister Dorothy, and son Wayne.Cherishing her memory are her daughter Sheila (grandchild Julia Bradshaw), son Russell and wife Daeng (grandson Kevin Fletcher, wife Crysta, and greats Jayden and Raylia), her remaining sibling Don (wife Helen), many loving nieces and nephews, and several exceptional long-time friends.
Ellen like her husband of 69 years, Ron, was born during the Great Depression in Calgary, Alberta. In 1934, she went to live with her Italian grandparents in Revelstoke, BC for many months while her parents coped with the surprise of her twin siblings. Upon returning to Calgary, she attended St. Mary’s and St. Ann’s schools until she was sixteen, later attending business college in Penticton, BC where the family moved in 1948. Ellen worked at Ontario Laundry, Greyhound Bus, and Parker Motors; once she’d completed her business certificate, she worked with Unemployment Canada, the Provincial Dept. of Public Works, Pacific Pipe and Flume, and Desbrisay Hack, Accountants. She was pretty, intelligent, witty, competent, and conscientious. She delighted in writing reminders to herself in Pitman Shorthand until her last days.
Marrying Ron in 1951, she worked alongside him renovating small homes, before starting their family in 1957, building a larger home in Penticton as Ron began his business. Even though experiencing chronic health problems, Mom spent many hours raising her family, canning and preserving, sewing, gardening, volunteering with the local United Church, and hosting relatives who visited over the hot summers. From June through August, she took us to a beach almost every day, and cooled us with home-made rootbeer and countless popsicles. She was famous for her lasagna, a spotless home, her ribald and often punny humour, a passion for mystery novels and crossword puzzles, a lifelong love for Dachshunds, and for creating magical Christmases and birthday parties.
Ellen and Ron were very social, and made decades-long friendships in the Okanagan, visiting friends and relatives for many years after moving to the Island.
After moving to Duncan, BC in 1970, Ellen took a bookkeeping course, later working at the CVRD. During these early years in the Valley, she met some of her very best lifetime friends, Jen, Marilyn, Sharon, Lillian and Shirley who kept her giggling, and supported her through the loss of her son Wayne, in 1975, and beyond. She learned Tai Chi, joined exercise groups and the TATS ladies, and took lessons for bridge. In the ’80s Ellen returned to work, bookkeeping for Nowrath Jewellers, where she took great satisfaction in accounting for every last penny!
Ellen loved to travel, first with her whole family, later with Ron, and then with close friends, creating memorable adventures. Her favorite journeys were the lengthy RV trip across and Canada and the USA, and a river cruise in Europe with Dad. She loved her family, doted on her grandchildren, and strove to be kind and positive, even as she endured a 12-year journey with Dad through his diagnoses of T2 diabetes and vascular dementia. Mom famously supplied cookies to almost everyone who came to do maintenance on their home of 47 years. It was her way of saying thank you… and keeping her own hand out of the cookie jar! with her favorite stash of treats.
Ellen and Ron were also grateful for the outstanding neighbours they had throughout the time they lived on Bradshaw Rd., who helped with snow removal, corralling escaped cattle, and mending fences, among other things.
Mom had high standards for herself and for us, modelling integrity, honesty, and a great sense of humour about anything and everything. She loved to laugh and was a great joker and superb story-teller. She tried to keep her whole clan close, passing on family histories and lessons, cuddling her grandkids while telling stories about hidden worlds. And though a very careful planner and well-organized, she learned to take risks and discovered her own sense of adventure. Most of all, she deeply loved her husband and her lifetime friends, who adored her right back and shared with her many hours of laughter. Mom hoped to become a guardian angel for babies and dogs after her passing; we like to believe her wish came true!
Ellen’s family give special thanks to Jane, a great support, helping Ellen transition from her home of 47 years to her “patio” home, laughing with Mom all the way to the end. Our greatest thanks goes to the many, many caring health professionals who looked after Mom over the years, especially Greg Augustine, and Drs Younger (Vancouver) for her ankle surgeries, and Robinson, Thompson and Wilhelm who ensured her last days were respectful of her needs and final plans. We wish you all continued good health.
Funeral services will be held privately through H.W. Wallace Funeral Home. Ellen wished to be cremated and buried within the family plot at Mt. View Cemetery. The family requests no flowers, but instead that donations be made in her name to the Cowichan Valley Hospital Foundation, Cowichan Valley Hospice, or the Salvation Army.
Online condolences may be made at: www.hwwallacecbc.com
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