Phyllis Helen Cairns
March 9, 1920 ~ November 14, 2014.
A life well lived.
Phyllis was born in Shaunavon, Sask., to George & Frances Olive Barr. The youngest of seven siblings, Phyllis had an independent, practical nature and a quick wit. She loved to laugh and verbally spar. A minimalist at heart, she had reduced life to its essence and appreciated individuals with creative expression. Her education and career as a social worker in government adoptions put into practice her gift of helping others. On Dec. 2, 1961, in Calgary, Alberta, Phyllis married William Cairns, with whom she created a warm, inviting home where family and friends were always welcome. Phyl and Bill loved dogs. As a kid, Phyl had a companion, Rover, and over the years, along came Buster, Monty, canine pal of Diggy, and Bear, adopted from her niece, Joan, and her husband Butch Takenaka.
Phyllis is survived by her many nieces, nephews, their children and grandchildren. She had no children of her own, but she was everybody’s favourite aunt!
Upon retirement, Phyllis and Bill moved to Qualicum, B.C., where they golfed, played bridge and entertained. Bill passed away too soon, on Feb. 27, 1987, at the age of 63. Phyllis moved to Parksville, where she enjoyed living by the water, travelling and playing her favourite game of bridge. She moved to Origin at Longwood, Nanaimo, and then to the Kiwanis Lodge, where she was cared for by its wonderful staff.
The last days of Phyllis’ life were spent as she had always lived, with dignity and grace. She was a strong, self-effacing woman who was greatly loved.
No funeral service will be held. The family will host a celebration of life in her honour at a date to be determined in Spring, 2015. If desired, donations may be made to the Salvation Army or the SPCA.