On February 19, 2012, after a lengthy illness, Shirley Ellen Parent (nee Coates) passed away peacefully with her family by her side at her home in Armstrong, BC.
Shirley was born in Nakusp on November 15, 1932 and lived there through her school years. On July 22, 1950 Len and Shirley married and have been together for over 62 years. Celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary was a very special occasion which brought together a large gathering of family and friends. During their married life they lived in Toronto, Whitehorse, Edmonton, Vancouver and Armstrong. Shirley enjoyed raising a family balanced with pursuing her career in retail merchandising. After working at various locations she eventually became store manager at Shoppers Drug Mart in Tsawwassen. When Len retired in 1978, they moved to Armstrong where Shirley fulfilled her dream of opening her own retail store. Yards and Cards’ doors were open for 15 years before Shirley decided to retire and devote her time to her family and volunteering. Shirley developed a love for curling in Whitehorse and she and Len enjoyed many bonspiels and she continued the sport for many years. Shirley served as president of the Legion Ladies Auxilliary and for a time spearheaded the Legion Ladies Catering Services. Up until her illness, she was an active volunteer at the Armstrong Kindale Thrift Store. She made many cherished friends during that time and looked forward each workday to spending time with co-workers and customers who meant so much to her.
For many, Shirley will be remembered for her beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. Every year she raised over two thousand bedding plants and nurtured them until she and Len transplanted them into their gardens. Visitors to their home commented on how colourful the flowerbeds were and how lush their vegetable and fruit garden was each year. She loved watching the birds that visited their back garden throughout the year. She always made sure the bird feeders and bird baths provided a welcome stop along the way for a variety of species each season.
Shirley is survived by her loving husband of 62 years, Leonard Eugene Parent, her four children Janice (Rod) Payson, David Parent (Joni Murray), Shirley Della Parent (Dave Wilson) and Raymond Parent; grandchildren Jennifer Payson (Jim Swingle), Jessica Austin ( AJ Martin), Julia Payson ( Jason Queck), Susan Austin (Winford Rader), Leone Payson, Lisa (Nick) Larkin, Daniel Parent and Rory Parent; great-grandchildren, Malcolm Swingle, Anthony Martin, Alexzander Martin and Hazel Payson; brothers Ollie (Shirley) Coates, Crossley (Sandi) Coates , Donald (Ellen) Coates, Garfield (Pat) Coates and sister Grace (Leno) Zanier; sisters-in-law Doreen Desrochers (Tony Bobicki) and Sister Judy Parent, O.P. and brother-in-law Milton (Rosemarie) Parent. Shirley was predeceased by her parents, Agnes and Frank, brothers, Jimmy, Pete, Bliss (Tubby) and sisters, Dorothy Jones and Lou Hakeman.
The family would like to recognize and thank Judy Parent for her kind and loving care of Shirley during the last 6 weeks of Mom’s life. Thank you as well to Catherine Huculak from Kamloops, B.C. who assisted Judy on weekends. We also wish to thank Dr. Rankin, the Home and Community Care nurses, RT and Home Care workers, who made it possible for Shirley to remain in the home she loved with her family by her side. Finally, we wish to thank all of our extended family and the many friends that provided us with love and support through Shirley’s illness. Shirley will be cremated and a reception in recognition of her life will be held at a later date.
Expressions of sympathy may be forwarded to the family at www.MyAlternatives.ca.
Cremation Arrangements entrusted to
ALTERNATIVES FUNERAL & CREMATION SERVICES®
Armstrong 250-546-7237 & Vernon 250-558-0866