LAYCOCK, Penelope Anne
August 7, 1941 – November 25, 2014
Penelope passed away peacefully and courageously in her home, as was her wish, with her three sons gathered from around the world. A private cremation has taken place, and at Penelope’s request there will be no funeral service in Canada, however a ceremony and celebration of Penny’s magnificent life will be held in Chipperfield (England) in the summer of 2015, where she has asked to be reunited with her maternal grandparents of whom she had very fond memories.
A loving and much loved mother of Graham Western of Barrie, Ontario, Paul Western of Sydney, Australia, and Mark Western of Clearwater Bay, Hong Kong; grandmother to Kara Western, Taila Western and Healy Western. Sister to Fenella Ellis and Tony Gordon-Laycock; and aunt to Peter Ellis and Amanda Blinco and Stephen and William Gordon-Laycock. Daughter of Joan and William Gordon- Laycock; and former wife of John Western (recently deceased). Always there to nurture and support her three sons, her loss is deeply felt but softened by the knowledge she is now free of pain and at peace.
Penelope was born in Chipperfield (UK) and spent much of her childhood abroad – in India, Barbados and France. These early experiences influenced Penelope deeply, giving her a lifelong passion for travel & adventure; and fuelling her genuine care and concern for those less fortunate. Penelope married John Western (her “only true love”) in 1962, and had her first two sons (Graham & Paul) in England. The family later migrated to Canada in 1964 where her third son (Mark) was born, and where she spent the rest of her life. In the early years living in Pickering, Ontario, where the boys fondly remember holidays to Prince Edward Island, learning to sail dinghies on Frenchman’s Bay, canoeing and playing ice hockey. At the same time, the family spent seven years building a 40ft sailboat and eventually sailed it to the Bahamas in 1978 on a one-year journey. John and Penelope separated in 1979 and Penelope returned to Toronto (with a mere $7 in her pocket) and continued to raise her three sons as a single parent, living in Cabbagetown and The Beaches. In the boy’s teenage years she is remembered for her compassion, opening her home and heart to boys less fortunate and more troubled then her own. She built a respected career at the University of Toronto (Scarborough campus) as the Manager of Student Residences & Conference Services, receiving many awards and the respect of her colleagues and students. Always curious, Penny travelled widely and continued her passion for sailing yachts, bravely crossing the Atlantic Ocean, plus numerous other sailing adventures around the globe. Penny was also interested in theatre (acting in several plays), golf, gardening, philosophy, and at the young age of 60 received her scuba certification. After retiring in 1997, Penelope moved first to Brighton Ontario where she acquired her beloved dogs (Poppet & Chipper) and lived on the water (a lifelong dream). Penny later moved to Ladysmith, BC, where she settled in a cozy home, surrounded with flowers in the garden and a view of the mountains. It was here that Penny passed away.
The family would like to thank all the wonderful and compassionate carers that supported Penelope with her final wish – allowing her to stay in her home – and the kind and caring Dr. Kilvert and nursing staff that assisted the boys to provide palliative care in her final weeks.
Penelope’s sons will keep a remembrance book for Penelope’s grandchildren. If you knew Penelope and would like to share your memories of her, please email messages and/or photos to: email@example.com