November 7, 2022
In Loving Memory ~
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Caren Pia Brookes (nee Cristofoli) on November 7, 2022.
Caren was predeceased by her husband Joseph (Joe) Stanley Brookes in 2021, as well as her sister Yvonne and two brothers Brian and Roger.
She is survived by her daughters Kathy Brookes (John Dando) of Terrace and Lorraine Gerard (Philip Gerard) of Calgary and brother Richard Cristofoli (Arlene) of Duncan, sisters and brother-in-law and nephews and nieces.
Caren was born in Trail, B.C. in 1939 to Florence and Giacomo Cristofoli and spoke fondly about her early childhood there in the neighbourhood known as “The Gulch”. In the early 1950’s the family moved to Castlegar where Caren completed high school. After secretarial school, she worked in the post office where she met her husband-to-be Joe who was working
on highway construction projects in the area.
Caren and Joe were married in 1963 and moved to Nanaimo where Joe had begun work as a surveyor with the City. There they raised their daughters and Caren made good friends with neighbours, took art courses and produced watercolour paintings which adorned the house, cooked marvellous meals and pies, volunteered in the Fairview School library, worked for several years as a bookkeeper, shared road trips with Joe across Canada and down the U.S.
west coast, and later as his health declined, cared for Joe as long as she could at home.
Caren persevered through serious health problems over the years, including life-long mobility challenges after numerous leg surgeries, cancer and later heart failure. Still, she will be remembered for her smile, warmth, curiosity and goofy sense of humour.
Caren spent her last eight months contentedly living at Nanaimo Seniors Village. She died after several weeks in hospital – her final days in the gentle care of staff and volunteers in the palliative care unit.
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