Fern Porteous passed away very peacefully at Hospice on May 17th, 2014. Her family is grateful for the care taken of her by the Hospice staff and volunteers, the medical staff at the Royal Jubilee, the staff at the Oak Bay Lodge and the care aids from Beacon Community Services.
Fern was born in Nelson, BC, on February 23rd, 1927. She went to school there and started her working career at a bank, leaving them in disgust when the bank gave her a raise only because the new minimum wage law required it.
She was much sought after, and much better paid, as a “girl Friday” for various businesses in Nelson. She met Donald Porteous when he returned to Nelson after serving as a pilot in WWII. After a three year courtship, they eloped and on October 9th, 1948, they had a double wedding in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, with their lifelong friends Peggy and Bob Collinson.
Fern was a hard worker, organized and disciplined, which she needed as she worked outside the home while the children were young. Whatever she took on, she did it with a will. She was one of the driving forces behind the Nelson Riding Club, she played duplicate bridge and became an avid golfer. She was sought after by novice golfers for her kindness, patience and advice during the arduous rounds at the Nelson golf club.
After she and Don moved to Victoria, she became a regular on the garage sale circuit and learned all the best thrift stores in Victoria and Sidney. She repaired and refurbished items for the craft fairs at Capital UU church in James Bay and supported Our Place with donations of cash and kind. She followed style and fashion in clothes and decor and loved to know “what people are wearing”. She enjoyed volunteering at the Hospice gift shop, until her husband’s health made that impossible.
She was known for her big smile and her great sense of humour. She even had the hospice nurses laughing with her during her final days.
She was a generous, practical and principled person with a deep sense of fairness and a disdain for hypocrisy and arrogance. She followed politics and voted in every election, often cancelling out her husband’s vote. She would be disappointed not to be able cast her ballot in the next election. Her husband died in 2010 and she greatly missed discussing news and politics with him.
She was also predeceased by her brother, Bill Openshaw, but is survived by her children: Lee, Neil, Laraine (Shedden), Janice and her son- in- law and friend Frank Shedden; grandchildren, Lee Shedden (Fiona), Lindsay Shedden, Bonnie Belan (Kurt); great-grandchildren Raine, Cleo and Kasey; and cousins June, Kathy and Hannah Hewitt.
No service by request.