It is with great sadness that we had to say goodbye to our wonderful mother on Monday the 19th of November. She passed away at Cairnsmore Place in Duncan, B.C.
Kathaleen was born on the 8th of June, 1923, in Bengough, Saskatchewan; the first born child of Orval Hicks and his wife Hazel McDonald. She was raised on a farm very near the Montana border in a small hamlet called Buffalo Gap. Kathaleen was the eldest of a large family of 12 siblings. She and her siblings grew up during the “dirty thirties” and she told us of being lucky to live on a farm where they always had lots to eat, but not always the other necessities of life. She loved school, but as a young teen she had to quit school to help out at home.
She married her childhood sweetheart Auby when they were both very young, and not long afterward in the spring of 1944 boarded a train with their three little girls and headed for the West Coast. They arrived in Chemainus in May and lived with relatives for a short time before moving to Duncan where Auby found work as a mechanic at the Duncan Ford Garage.
Soon after they bought a piece of property on Cowichan Lake Road and built a house, which was her home for many, many years. She was the wife of a very hardworking ‘business’ man when Dad bought a truck and hauled everything from sawdust to railroad ties, and any thing else that he could haul in that truck. They made many friends thru Dad’s business connections. Mom was a busy lady, raising so many children and entertaining many friends. She was happiest when all the chairs were full at her big kitchen table. Christmas at her house was the original Christmas Chaos.
She loved to sing along with Dad when he played his guitar, Prairie picnics of long ago, watching her grandchildren play the sports of their choice, camping, watching the birds feed outside her window, and Daniel O’Donnell songs.
She had her sad and bad times like most, but she always had a wonderful smile for all. When Auby died, it became a very sad time for her, but she tried her best to cope with a lot of change, but cope she did and we admired and loved her for her resilience.
She is survived by sisters Velda Mortenson of Govan, Sask., Shirley Holbrook of Coronach, Sask., brothers Dean Hicks of Big Beaver, Sask., Doug Hicks of Coronach, Sask., and Ian “Butch” Hicks of Medicine Hat, Alta. ; their spouses and offspring, as well as many other nieces and nephews, who she loved dearly.
She was predeceased by her husband Auby, daughter Luanne Palmer, son Milo, and son-in-law Roger Ketch, Lana’s husband.
She leaves to mourn her passing, children Gailene (Herb) Branting, son- in- law Don Palmer (Luanne), Audrey (John) Svetich, Bob (Carol) Nelson, Jackie (Dennis) MacGregor, Kirk (Chris) Nelson, Wendy (Jim) Holden, Judy (Rennis) Ketch, Lana Ketch, Brenda (Wally) Tomporowski, Denise (Glen) Ramsey, Kim (David) Gunn.
She is also survived by 28 grandchildren; 48 great grandchildren and 3 great-great, grandchildren. She cherished every one of them and they loved her unconditionally.
The family would like to thank the staff at Cairnsmore Place and Dr. Susan Barr for all the care and support they gave our Mom.
There will be a tea to celebrate Mom’s life from
1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, December 9th
at St. John’s Anglican Church Hall,
486 Jubilee St., Duncan, B.C.