Una Houghton (Tilley)

Passed away at St. Vincent’s, Langara, Vancouver on February 25, 2002 after a long illness. Una was a true “Daughter of the Regiment”, born in 1910 on the North-West Frontier of then India and Afghanistan, where she spent her early life. Her love of children and teaching began in her teens and continued throughout her life. Her marriage to Charles Tilley who had begun a career with the North-western Indian Railways took her to many remote parts of India, where she was often the only British woman for many miles. Wherever possible, Una established playschools and tutored children. The Imminent partition of India in 1946 caused her to take her four children to England where she was joined the following year by Charles. In 1947 the family emigrated to Ladysmith, sponsored by Charles’ cousin, Percy Glen, a pioneer of the city. Two more children were born. Una began her work with the “Happy Lark School”, founded by a society to educate and care for mentally challenged children. The school evolved into Ta’alt kwe na’tul School and expanded to include physically handicapped children, as well. Her work with the children gave her her happiest times, and she continued until the students were integrated into the mainstream school system. She was 73 years of age at retirement. Una worked tirelessly for St. John’s Anglican Church as Sunday School Superintendent, Organist and member of the Choir, A.C.W. and the “Monday Night” Bible Study Group. Her husband, Charles, suffered a lengthy illness, passing away in 1970. Later she married a family friend, the Rev. David Houghton, who had retired earlier from St. John’s. Both loved to travel and visited many parts of Canada and Great Britain. After David’s tragic death in 1982, Una, herself, suffered a stroke in 1993. When her health failed she moved to Vancouver to be near her children, but her heart remained in Ladysmith. Her service to her community garnered many awards. Among them, Citizen of the Year, B.C. Teachers Assn. Special Award and the Paul Harris Fellow from the Rotary Foundation International. Una leaves six children with abundant memories; Florence Louise (Youngs), Jill (Wyckoff), John, Richard, Margaret (Rowe) and Jennifer (Trudeau); as well as 22 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter. A celebration of Una’s life will be held April 13, 2002, in St. John’s Anglican Church, Ladysmith at 3:00 p.m. The family welcomes her many acquaintances to join them in this special occasion.

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