It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our sweet Mom and Nana, Ethel Lee, on Tuesday, June 7 at the fabulous age of 97.
Ethel was strong and her story is extraordinary. Born with her twin sister, Mona on March 8, 1925 in Victoria, BC, the twins were early and tiny at approximately two and three pounds. They were not expected to survive. God and the nuns at Royal Jubilee hospital had other plans and those tiny babies went on to live full and rich lives. Ethel weathered the loss of her own mother in 1936 at the tender age of 11 while visiting family on the Isle of Man “to show off the twins”. An impending war meant that the vacation turned into over three years without their father, and more than twelve away from Canada. Surviving this loss, becoming a young woman during the war years, and supporting and caring for her father shaped Ethel into a strong and resilient woman. Upon returning to Canada Jesus found Ethel, she met her husband Jim, went on to raise three kids, and be the most amazing homemaker, mother, grandmother and friend,
When Ethel lost her husband Jim in 1996, she poured herself into her grandchildren’s lives. She could be seen picking them up from school in her little green Echo, carpet bowling with her church pals, and running laps of her neighbourhood or the track at PA. Ethel continued to show her grit and determination when she kicked cancer to the curb at 88…making a full recovery, enjoying many family trips and so much more precious time together with those who loved her.
Her resilience (and maybe just a bit of tough love from her family) saw her recover from a stroke in 2017, and a move from her beloved cottage to long term care at Elim Village. Ethel’s family created a new routine of daily visits to their precious Ethel.
Covid was an especially difficult time, with family being kept from Ethel for 16 months because of lockdown of the care home. She did not understand the “lockdown” after having weathered a world war and previous pandemics like a champ…Ethel’s family did their best to find a way to be together, including moving Ethel back in to her daughter’s home in the summer of 2020, where she was lovingly cared for for 6 weeks. Our Ethel survived the very trying Covid time and it was indeed a joyful day when family were able to be back “inside” to hug her once again. We are so thankful for this last gift of time together.
We are deeply comforted by Ethel’s unwavering faith and that her forever home is with our Saviour Jesus. She is reunited with Jim, Mona, her beloved parents, and so many gone before.
We cherish the 97 years of Ethel Fenella Higgins Lee, our Queen, who appropriately went home to her King in the Royal Jubilee Week.