Elma Jean James (Waterlander) passed peacefully from the loving care of her family into the eternal arms of her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the late hours of Thursday, March 17, 2016, at the age of 79.
Elma is predeceased by her husband Doug, brother Jack Waterlander, and brother-in-law Earl James. She is survived by her loving daughters Kathy (Wayne) Cooper and Colleen (Colin) Entner; loved always by her grandchildren Elizabeth (Patrick) Johnson and David Cooper. She will be greatly missed by brother-in-law and sisters-in-law Grace Waterlander, Margaret James, and Wilber and Barbara James. Numerous nieces, nephews and cousins remember her with much love.
Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Elma moved to Nanaimo after marrying Doug in July 1958. She taught at Quarterway and Rock City Schools until her daughters were born. Her family loved the security of having a stay at home mother, and at the same time learned from her example of leadership and service in her church and community. Elma was a member at First Baptist Church Nanaimo for almost 58 years. She taught Sunday School for 25 years and led in hospitality, missions and seniors ministries. Within the denomination she served on the boards of the Baptist Union of Western Canada, Carey Hall, Beulah Gardens low cost housing, and as the president of the Baptist Women of BC. She felt honoured to be a part of overseas missions through her time on the Canadian Baptist Ministries board. Most recently, Elma combined her concern for seniors and her love of singing by sharing regularly at the worship services at Wexford Creek. Following her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer just 6 weeks ago, Elma continued to be a blessing and witness in her home and community.
The family would like thank everyone for their love, support, prayers, visits, and phone calls during Mom’s illness. To all those who helped make it possible for us to care for Mom at home, our heartfelt thanks: Dr. Dodo, Dr. Otte, home care nurse Deanne, and all those who sat and visited with Mom or provided meals for her family.
A memorial celebration service will be held at First Baptist Church, 1650 Waddington Road (Nanaimo) on March 26, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations would be gratefully received by Canadian Baptist Ministries (cbmin.org) or the National Pancreatic Cancer Canada Foundation (pancreaticcancercanada.ca)