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Marley Eileen Illerbrun (nee Wood)

August 18, 2023


June 5, 1946 - August 18, 2023
In loving memory ~
Marley Eileen Illerbrun (nee Wood). Born June 5, 1946, in Edmonton, died August 18, 2023, in Chemainus, B.C., of ovarian cancer complicated by Alzheimer's. She is survived by her husband of almost 57 years, Bill, their son Kurt, his partner, Crisia, and their boys, Nico and Roan, of Edmonton. Also a sister, Jane Louie.
Mar received an RN from the Royal Alexandra Hospital School of Nursing, Edmonton, in 1966 and obtained an honours English degree from Waterloo University nearly 40 years later! She used both credentials. The first, notably as Head Nurse of the newly-established Coronary Care Unit at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, and, on returning to Canada, as a Practical Nursing instructor at Malaspina College (now Vancouver Island University) in Nanaimo. She ended her time at Malaspina by doing the Long Term Care/Homemaker Resource Handbook for the BC Ministry of Education, then took up her real career, which was raising Kurt. While that labour of love never ended, once he left home, she put her English skills to work tutoring school kids at the Kumon Math and Reading Centre in Nanaimo, which is still going strong. Mar was great with young people.
What else? She read widely, spent meaningful periods of time in a number of countries—including, especially, Japan, and never ceased to marvel at the workings of life. She had a great touch with plants and produced first-class needlework and quilts, all of which she gave away to acknowledge weddings, births, and other special occasions. Sadly, her Alzheimer's was such that she was unable to do either for her grandsons, which bothered her...until it didn't.
That Mar kept going as long as she did was a testament to her formidable inner strength, bolstered by the good wishes and kindnesses of friends and the exceptional work of all of the health sector/medical world people, from cleaners to oncologists, who dealt with her along the way. Their thoughtfulness and dedication will never be forgotten by her family. Heartfelt thanks to each and every one, along with additional, special "thank yous" to the super staff of the Chemainus Long Term Care facility; to Dr. Prithpal (Paul) Manhas of Chemainus, the template for a caring family physician, who diagnosed both of Mar's maladies and oversaw her treatments to the end; and also to Jill Amy, for the hours she spent bringing sunshine to Mar's cloudy final days.
At Mar's request, no funeral or memorial service will be held. For those who wish to remember her with a donation, please consider the Chemainus Health Care Foundation, Box 462, Chemainus, B.C. V0R 1K0.