Sheila Edith Johnson

July 6, 1938 – October 6, 2021
We said goodbye to our beautiful, gracious Mama on October 6, 2021. Sheila Edith Hewlett Johnson was born in the Kelowna hospital on July 6, 1938 and grew up in Westbank in a log house next to the Hewlett family garage and general store. She lived for a time in Enderby and then Kelowna after her dad became Forest Ranger there. She attended the University of Victoria and following her education, lived first in Blue River, then 100 Mile House and finally Vanderhoof before moving back to her beloved Okanagan.
She was a creative and inventive mother to her four girls, Sheena, Sheri, Tracy and Carol; a grandma and great grandma; a sister to Bette, Larry and Brenda.
She was a primary school teacher first in Kelowna, then in Forest Grove, 100 Mile House and Vanderhoof. She loved teaching kindergarten best… the kids, the art, the crafts, the songs and the stories! Her love of stories flowed easily to her children and grandchildren and you could often find our mum with us kids, down on her hands and knees, creating a fort with pillows, sheets and blankets… under a table or behind a sofa!
Mum was a lover of nature, music, design, colour, and texture…. She designed and redesigned several homes including a log home. The colour palettes and textures she chose were always taken from the natural surroundings… the houses blended into the landscape.
An artist, she happily explored the Summerland hills and Okanagan lakeshores, and cleverly incorporated these natural resources of pine, moss, bark, shells, feathers, and sage brush in her fibre artwork… artwork that was featured in art shows and galleries across BC and Alberta. A highlight for our mum was having art shows at BC Place in Vancouver and at Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts… and she was delighted to be part of the Convergence show at Granville Island and in 2003 presenting her fibre art at the Summerland Art Gallery’s Okanagan Memories.
She loved God… she loved people! Our mum so enjoyed studying theology and led a women’s study group for many years at the Summerland Baptist Church. Her frequent visits to the Summerland Thrift Store were not just for the funky and sometimes eclectic, colourful ‘designer labels’ she discovered, but for the lovely conversations she had with so many people.
She was a prolific writer, storyteller and historian of her family’s early years in the Okanagan and had several of her articles published including ‘Chinook: The Vanishing Voice’. She wrote poetry, children’s stories, and long letters to her grandchildren.
She recycled, repurposed and reused! She treasured family heirlooms, books, photos, and her uncles’ letters written in France from WWI… and she kept files overflowing with clippings showcasing the accomplishments of her four girls, ten grandchildren, and twelve great grandchildren.
She loved her daughters and their partners, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren. She loved her family. She loved her friends.
She was our biggest fan… supporter and defender and cheerleader!
Rest sweetly in the arms of Jesus, Mum! Rest in peace.
With our love, Sheena & Ken, Sheri & Dan, Tracy & Ken, Carol & Nikki.
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