October 6, 2022
In loving memory ~
It is with great sadness that we must announce the passing of Lois Elizabeth McNestry on the 6th of October in Campbell River BC. Lois lived life to the fullest from her birth in Borneo to her last day in the beautiful town of Campbell River where she had lived since 1990.
The daughter of Lutheran Missionary Parents she moved to Ontario as a pre-schooler with her family and upon a further Pastoral calling to Maple Ridge where she spent her high school years. She graduated as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse while in Maple Ridge and spent many years as a Community Mental Health Nurse in Vancouver’s East side communities in service of the under privileged.
At age 37 she met her life partner and the love of her life John, married shortly after and moved to Campbell River in 1990 to settle and raise her family. Lois enjoyed a very happy, long productive marriage.
Unable to find work as a Mental Health Nurse in Campbell River, Lois turned to Real Estate and in typical Lois fashion went all in and became Rookie of the year for the US and Canada at Realty World Advance in her inaugural year. She had many successful years and remained a top producing realtor until 1999 when an opportunity to get back into changing lives presented itself in the form of Discovery Community College, then a one room 20 student operation. Lois has said on many occasions that since that eventful day, she changed many more lives through education that she ever did through medication and became enabled to give back into local communities’ time and again through the college.
Ever energetic, innovative and motivated Lois bought Discovery Community College in 1999 and over the ensuing decades expanded throughout BC to the point where, in this her final year, a survey by the magazine Business in Vancouver placed her at; “the 2022 #6 female, BC wide, entrepreneur of the year for a business in her class.”
To illustrate the prodigious educational contribution and consequent changed lives Lois facilitated during her lifetime this obituary would not be complete without documenting her contribution to the ranks of front-line healthcare workers in British Columbia in the last three years of her life.
During these last three years, in the throes of the covid pandemic and despite failing health, she adapted and with the help of her team at Discovery College, embraced the reality of covid 19, adopted remote delivery for healthcare programs, and succeeded through the depths of the pandemic in enrolling and progressively graduating over 2,500 frontline healthcare workers from the; Health Care Assistant, Licensed Practical Nursing and Community Support Worker Programs who were immediately available upon graduation to reinforce the Healthcare Frontlines. No mean feat. Lois, your Missionary Parents are no doubt very proud of you as we all are.
Lois was honored to Serve as the President of the BC Career Colleges Association, as a board member of the National Association of Career Colleges and a board member of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) a branch of the BC Ministry of Advanced Education.
She was the proud recipient of a Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for her contribution to Private Post-Secondary education in Canada.
Lois was a remarkable, bright and diverse woman, a loving wife, homemaker and mother, a gardener, skier, walker, fisher, cook and gracious host, an un-impeachable straight shooter and the best companion and friend that a husband could ever hope to meet.
She is, and will continue to be, sorely missed by her many family members, and the friends who’s lives she has touched. This is a very sad occasion, but reflecting upon the very full productive life she lived and the happiness she brought to others, sadness must be weighed against the joy she brought into our lives. It has always been a pleasure and a joy to know and love her, we were all very lucky and privileged to have her so generously share her life with us.
She is pre-deceased by her father and mother and her brothers-in-law, John and Bruce and her daughter-in-law Kim, and is survived by; her loving husband John, her three children, Krista (Stan), Brennan and Molly (Jason), her stepchildren Gillian (John) and Paul (Kate), her eight grandchildren, her four siblings, Paul (Cathy), Mary, Anne (Duane), Stephen and their families and her sister-in-law Margaret.
A service will be held at Bethany Lutheran Church, 201, Birch Street, Campbell River on November 5th at 1:30 pm.
The service will be followed by a family gathering to reminisce and console in her favorite place where she loved to entertain and be with family and friends, her kitchen.
May you rest in peace our loved one you are in God’s house and kitchen now.
In lieu of flowers we ask that if able you donate to the “Cancer Research Society”
They can be contacted at: 1-888-766-2262 or firstname.lastname@example.org