M. Louise F.T. RN Williamson (nee Archer)

M. Louise F.T. Williamson

(nee Archer) RN

Louise Williamson (of Chemainus BC) passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 25, at age 78.

She was a beautiful person with a caring and amiable personality, but with an independent streak, and leadership qualities when the occasion demanded it. In her professional life as a Registered Nurse (RN) she was firm but fair, and well-liked and respected by her colleagues and associates.

Deeply saddened by her passing are her husband, Fred, of 54 years and her sons and their wives, Blair (Margaret) of Sidney, BC, Grant (Donna) of Vancouver, BC, and Warren of Chemainus, BC.

Louise was the 3rd child of Vital and Jeanne (Lafont) Archer, born in November 18, 1935 in Arborfield SK. She leaves behind two brothers, Paul Archer of Nipawin, SK, and Roger Archer of Edmonton, AB, as well as two sisters, Laurette Halliwell of Saskatoon, SK and Vitaline (Lynn) of Tisdale, SK.

Her childhood was very eventful which no doubt contributed to her determined personality. Her mother died when Louise was 3 years old. She and her sister Laurette were subsequently raised by relatives in Prince Albert and Duck Lake SK, before returning to Aborfield to complete high school. Louise was a stellar student.

Louise’s father suffered a fatal heart attack when she was 16. Although she had never driven a vehicle on the roads before, she hopped into a truck and drove to a neighbouring farm to get help for her dad, who died 3 weeks later in hospital.

When she was 17, Louise followed her sister to Saskatoon and entered the nurse’s training school at St. Pauls Hospital, graduating 3 years later (with a proficiency award) in the summer of 1957 as an RN.

After graduation, she and two of her close classmates, seeking new adventure, traveled to Vancouver. All three were accepted by the Royal Columbian Hospital as RN’s in nearby New Westminster, BC.

Louise met her husband, Fred, in New Westminster. They were married there in 1960, and started a family in nearby Fraser Mills. Subsequent moves took them to Vancouver Island, first to Campbell River and then Chemainus (where they have lived for 46 years). Over this time she was largely responsible for raising her 3 boys to healthy, well adjusted, successful adults, and made many personal sacrifices on their behalf.

Once her children were on their own, Louise returned to nursing at the Ladysmith Hospital for a further 10 years.

She had many adventures with her husband, during trips to Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Thailand and Malaysia, on their boat “Striker” on the BC coast, and in a small Taylorcraft airplane. Not a few of these experiences were frightening at the time, but amusing later in the telling.

Louise was an active member of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Parish in Chemainus. She was involved in and presided over number of committees and projects (including a history book and archives) with her close friend, Helen Lacy. She also represented her church at the Inter-Church Council

She also became interested in quilting and produced many exquisite quilts. One took first place in a local show and all are treasured reminders of her to her family.

Life became more complicated and challenging when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the year 2000. Despite this she dealt with the limitations imposed by her disease quite successfully, without complaint, to the time of her passing.

In April she suffered a bad fall and concussion in her home, leading to an extended coma. She was admitted to the Cowichan District Hospital (Duncan BC), where she received exemplary care, but to no avail.

Her husband, Fred, will miss her dearly every day, knowing that he was exceptionally privileged to have met and loved her, and to have been a major part of her life these many years.

A prayer vigil will be held on Friday, June 6, at 7:00 pm, at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, in Chemainus, BC (9745 Elm St.). A funeral mass will be held at the same church the next day, Saturday, June 7, at12 noon. This will be followed by a reception in the adjacent church school hall. All family and friends and past associates are most welcome.

Internment will be at the Chemainus Cemetery at 9485 Chemainus Rd.

A memorial celebration is being planned for sometime during the summer months, for those unable to attend the above proceedings.

Flowers are welcome, as are donations to the Parkinson’s Society of BC – If desired you can indicate , “for research”, on your donation.

Online condolences may be offered at telfordn@shaw.ca