June 8, 2019
The family sadly announces Mom’s passing on June 8th, 2019.
Mom grew up during the Depression and WWII. In spite of the difficult times, she had fond memories of those years. Mom married her first husband, Hans Gillmann when she was twenty years old and they raised Carol and Allan on a farm near Kitscoty, Alberta. In 1965, Mom married Jack Heslop in Kelowna, B.C. Together, they raised Jack’s six children: Madelaine, Michael, David, Pat, Kelly and Erica. During those years they lived mainly in Victoria and Nanaimo. Parksville was always their dream location and after they were on their own they had a home built there and made the move.
It was during Mom’s years on Vancouver Island that the farm-girl became an avid fisherman. Woe to anyone who tried to help her bring in “her” fish. Mom loved to laugh, even if the joke was on her. She made us laugh with her subtle, playful humour. Mom was a wonderful cook. People dreamed about her many specialties. She also enjoyed knitting and her family received many beautiful sweaters, afghans and her special knitted dolls.
Jack suffered a stroke in 1995. In 2007 they moved from Parksville to Lakeside Gardens in Nanaimo. Jack passed away on April 13th, 2007.
It was at Lakeside Gardens that Mom met many new friends who became very dear to her. She spent many hours playing card games and a special challenge-shuffle-board. In spite of her claims of being a terrible player, she won the trophy three times.
Mom celebrated her 95th birthday with her family joining her in a feast. A delicious sea-food chowder and four pies were prepared by Wilma and Kelley. Who could ask for more?
Mom’s voice became very weak during her last days, but her dying words were “I love you all”.
Mom was predeceased by her parents, George and Jenny Wiggins, sisters Margaret Houben and Hazel Macdonald, and brother George (Nelson) Wiggins. Also her husbands, Hans Gillmann, Jack Heslop, step-daughter Madelaine, step-son Pat, and step-grandson Johnny Dirks.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Lakeside Gardens and her many special friends who were gracious enough to let Mom win so many games of cribbage, dominoes, canasta, Wizard and shuffle-board.
Many thanks also to the kind and caring staff at the Nanaimo General Hospital Palliative Care unit.
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