Michele Arnesen (Perry) passed away on April 16, 2021, following a year long struggle with lung cancer. Michele passed away peacefully in her Vancouver home with her sons, Ty and Marc Lacroix, and her husband John at her side and friends about for support. Michele is also survived by her parents Frank and Sally Perry, brother Greg and beloved relatives across BC.
Born in 1968, Michele was raised in Osoyoos, BC where her parents continue to reside in the family home. She graduated from Osoyoos Secondary School in 1986 and earned diplomas in Psychiatric and General Nursing from Douglas College in 1988 and 1990 respectively. Michele worked at Riverview Hospital and at Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre in the Lower Mainland between 1988 and 1991. She took specialty training in Emergency Nursing from BCIT in 1994 and then worked in the emergency department at Surrey Memorial Hospital until 2001. Michele had a passion for medical research and between 1998 and 2006, she worked in Cardiology Clinical Trials at SMH, the last seven years as Manager.
Between 2006 and 2017, Michele worked for Vancouver Coastal Health, initially as the Regional Planning Leader and lastly as the Director of Planning and Strategic Development of the Regional Cardiac Program. As Michele was always keen to improve herself professionally, she secured her Bachelor of Nursing degree (UVic) and her Master of Health Administration from UBC in 2012 and was working toward a doctorate degree in Health Informatics at the time of her passing. From 2006 onward, she continued in cardiac research with a team of UBC professors and cardiologists, resulting in several published articles.
2017 saw Michele at the BC College of Nurses and Midwives as a Regulatory Practice Consultant. From 2018, she was the Manager of Clinical Operations of intensive care, telemetry and cardiac care at Burnaby Hospital. In May 2020, Michele became an Adjunct Professor of the School of Population and Public Health at UBC.
Michele's remarkable career in healthcare was born out of deep care and concern for the people around her. She delivered this compassion and interest tenfold in her personal life to family, friends and community. She sought out the best in people which brought out the best in her: good humour, smiling eyes and a calm, graceful consideration. A strong and vibrant woman, Michele infused possibility and positive energy into every occasion.
Michele was a remarkable mother – intensely proud of Ty and Marc – always ready to assist, but not hover. Their lighthouse – guiding, encouraging, enthusiastic and instilling in them her zest for life, adventure and endless potential. She is John’s kindred-spirit; gently and generously sharing love and friendship that can only persist and prosper.
Michele was very proud to hail from Osoyoos. She and family returned to Osoyoos frequently each year. Her favorite pastime was to simply float in the family pool to be followed by a glass of wine, good food and cheer.
Due to current restrictions, a celebration of life will be announced in the future. Michele asked anyone so to inclined consider donating to the Osoyoos Museum Society: www.CanadaHelps.org
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence for the family.
We were so sad to hear the news of Michele's passing. Our deepest condolences.
Incredibly sad to hear about my lovely friend. Michele and I went through Nursing School together. She was a dynamic RN. I was so proud of all she accomplished. Her career & being an amazing Mom to her 2 boys. Her laugh & smile will always be in my heart when I think of her.