Linda Jane Neville 1945-2015
Linda Jane Neville, aged 69, passed away peacefully at home on October 20, 2015 in Nanaimo, B.C. Her family was at her side providing loving end of life care with tremendous support from her Iyengar Yoga community and the Vancouver Island Health Authority Homecare Nursing Services. Linda’s passing will be mourned by family, friends and artists all over the world. Her art will live on.
Linda grew up in Ladysmith as the daughter of Dr. Jack Wilkes Neville and Gladys Mary Neville (Lindemere). She was a true Island girl, riding horses and painting from a young age. Having two professional painters for grandparents on her maternal side, Gladys and Richard Lindemere, meant the idea of becoming a professional artist was natural. Following high school, Linda left the small seaside town for the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, and then went on to the University of Washington in Seattle to complete a BA in Fine Arts.
Returning to Canada to do teacher training at UBC, she met Vaughan Fraser Corbett (1946-2014) at a party. They married the next year, 1970. Upon finishing their studies, the newlyweds moved to London, England, coining it “the centre of the universe.” While in London, Linda completed her M.A. in Fine Arts at Middlesex Polytechnic. The couple quickly found a tribe of smart, fun, witty, welcoming friends and had their first child, Cleo, in 1978. Vaughan’s work as a transportation economist took them all over the globe and gave Linda the freedom and further inspiration to paint. They returned to Vancouver, B.C. in the early 80’s and immersed themselves in a circle of well-known social activists, musicians and artists.
In 1988, their second daughter, Emma, was born. In 1991, the family relocated their home base to Nanaimo, B.C. Vaughan’s work allowed the family to continually travel, including long stints in Ethiopia, Algeria and Uganda, where Linda taught art at Makerere University in Kampala, often having to scrounge makeshift teaching supplies. Linda also taught for over 20 years with the Nanaimo Art Gallery Artists in the Schools program. One of many commissioned pieces, her portrait of Nanaimo Mayor Frank Ney hangs in the foyer at Nanaimo City Hall.
Later in life, Linda found a passion for yoga. She trained in the Iyengar tradition of yoga, practicing daily, sharing her knowledge and inspiring others by teaching students, friends and family. Linda also had a profound fondness for the local Colliery Dam Park where she visited often. It featured prominently in many of her later paintings.
Linda’s talent, intelligence, wit, good looks and vivacious courage to speak her truth dazzled those around her. The life Linda and Vaughan led was far from traditional and numerous people described them as a most glamorous and daring couple. She was a loving mother who made sure her daughters had access to a wide variety of opportunities, travel and the arts. Those wanting to know more about Linda, her art and her life, a documentary on Youtube under her name will be available in two weeks.
Linda is survived by daughter’s Cleo and Emma Corbett, son-in-law Jaret Nield, grandson Malcolm and another grandchild due in January 2016. She is also survived by sisters Rosamond and Paula Neville, numerous Lindemere, Day, Pease and Archer cousins across B.C., and the Corbett clan in-laws of Kingston and Presqu’île Point, Ontario, including her beloved mother-in-law Beatrice Corbett.
In keeping with Linda’s style, a celebration of life will be held in Nanaimo on Sunday, November 8, 2015, including yoga sessions, an open house and a candlelight ceremony. For more information, please call 250-754-2704.
In lieu of flowers, the family is accepting donations for a memorial picnic table to be placed in Colliery Dam Park.