Elizabeth Young Huddleston
Mum was born in Edinburgh, Scotland , one of twelve children. Her sisters described her as “the quiet, sweet one”, words that have always suited Mum perfectly. She crossed the Atlantic after the war, beginning life anew in Canada. There she twirled in polka dots in the Olympic Gardens dance hall in Halifax; stomped (and fell) in snowshoes in a village on Hudson’s Bay as she did nurse’s training; stayed out til the wee hours with other nurses in Montreal; and gently side-stepped date requests as she connected male callers in her job as a telephone operator in Vancouver. Nursing took her to Alert Bay, where she was told soon after arrival that “girls don’t stay single for long in this town.” Sure enough, she didn’t, marrying Robert Huddleston in 1959. Together they raised four children in Port McNeill.
Mum raised her kids with a gentle hand; a tissue tucked in her sleeve for all emergencies; and a bar of Mackintosh toffee ready to crack into equal portions for all. She loved her children and grandchildren; her cats; the birds outside her window; a cup of coffee and a chat with a good friend; and a nice slice of lemon meringue pie. The end of her life came peacefully, just as she had always lived it. Completely selfless to the end, she waited for her youngest child to make it across the country on October 23rd , then held on for twenty minutes more before making her exit gently and gracefully, but with a surge of spirit that her surrounding children felt as she left, and for this we are thankful. Mum, you are now “the gentle autumn rain”.
She is loved and missed by children Bruce (Thuy), Heather (Dale), Patty (Scott), and Jackie (Josh); and grandchildren Cassie, Kara, Todd, Allesha, and Max. The family wishes to thank the caring staff at Eagle View in Comox, the nurses and home support staff in Port McNeill, the Happy Gang, Lois Kollman, Diane Hitchcox, and especially Mum’s good friend Kathy Jickling for her loving friendship for so long. You all made a difference in Mum’s life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Port McNeill Hospital.
Afternoon tea in honour of Mum’s life will be held at the Port McNeill Legion on Friday, November 2 at 2pm.