June 15, 1945 – July 24, 2020
Wilhelmina (Willi) Burleson died peacefully at Victoria General Hospital from complications following surgery. Left to mourn are her husband of 54 years, Gordon, daughter Deborah (Don), son Ronald (Wendy), grandchildren Daniel and Hailey, brother Henry (Donna), sister Betty (Tom), sisters-in-law Ria and Nettie, as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her parents, and brothers Hendrik, Jan and Chris.
Willi was born to Gerrit and Alida Lok in Haarlem,TheNetherlands. FromaproudDutch family, she was named after the Queen of the Netherlands. The post war years were difficult, and the family sought opportunity in Canada, emigrating in 1952 and settling in Central Saanich where they owned a berry farm. After high school she worked at Eaton’s and in 1964 met Gordon on a blind date for a masquerade party. On April 9, 1966 they were married and in 1967 moved to Port McNeill — sight unseen — where Gordon had a teaching opportunity. They had planned to stay only two years but remained for over 30 where they made many wonderful friends and were integral to the community. In 2001 they started a new life in Metchosin, which led to many more great friends and community connections.
Willi had a strong faith in God and was very committed to her church. She loved to use her baking and organizational gifts to give back to the community through bake sales especially in pie production and baking mountains of cookies. No matter where she lived, Willi was renowned for her passion and skill for sewing, whether sewing for herself, for others, or by sharing through instruction.
The family would like to thank all the medical professionals who supported Willi with kind, professional and compassionate care in her final days. There will be a small service for immediate family held shortly, with a larger celebration of life to be held in the future. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Crohn’s and Colitis Canada or the Victoria Women’s Transition House Society.
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