Nancy Viola Lee

Nancy Viola Lee

Nancy Viola Lee died peacefully in Nelson, B.C. on June 16, 2012 a month after her 102nd birthday. She was born to Turner and Edith Lee on May 5, 1910 in East Bridgford, near Nottingham, England, the youngest of four children. When she was 14 months old the family came to Canada, settling in Bonnington, B.C. Nancy attended boarding school in Vernon for several years and was a graduate of Nelson High School in 1928.

Nancy graduated from the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing in 1932 and then went to England for further training in midwifery and paediatric care at Queen Charlotte’s Maternity Hospital. When she returned to British Columbia she worked at the hospitals in Nelson and Quesnel and was subsequently offered a job at Vancouver General.

When WWII broke out she joined the South African Military Nursing Service, serving in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein from 1942 to 1944, then went to Italy where she nursed wounded soldiers 12 miles behind the front lines.

After the war she did additional training in Public Health at UBC and worked in this field for the remainder of her career. She received a Bachelor of Nursing from McGill University in 1960. Nancy held a number of supervisory public health nursing positions in the province, the last one being Director of Nursing for Greater Victoria until she retired in 1973.

Nancy was an avid gardener and was among the first group of volunteers that has evolved into Friends of the Government House Gardens Society. She loved to travel and made dozens of wonderful trips all over the world. She took up weaving and was involved with the Victoria Handweavers and Spinners Guild. For over 20 years Nancy volunteered at the Garth Homer Society and she also spent many years helping with Meals on Wheels and the blood donor clinic and served on the Alter Guild at St. Luke’s Anglican Church. She was a great friend to many cats over the years.

In 2004 she moved to Jubilee Manor in order to be closer to family. During her tenure there Nancy was able to make three trips back to visit her friends in Victoria. The family wishes to thank the staff at Jubilee for the excellent care provided to her.

She was predeceased by her parents, her sister Doris, her brothers Wilfred and Gerald and her nephew Edward Lazenby. She is survived by nephews Richard Lazenby, Geoffrey Lazenby, Hugh Lazenby, and James Lee, and nieces Joan Lee, Linda Crosfield, Shelley Lee and Sharon Lee, and was known and loved as a “great” aunt to several of their progeny. She is also survived by three godchildren.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. in Nelson, B.C. Cremation has taken place and her ashes will be interred in her mother’s grave in Nelson. A memorial service, officiated by Rev. Peter Parker, will be held at St. Luke’s Anglican Church, 3821 Cedar Hill Cross Road, Victoria, B.C. at 2 o’clock on Tuesday, June 26th 2012. Tea will be served afterwards. In lieu of flowers, a donation in Nancy’s memory may be made to St. Luke’s or to a favourite charity. Online condolences may be expressed at

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