Friend and colleagues,
I am posting this obituary for my mom who died on Wednesday morning, at her home on Gabriola Island.
Thanks for emails and phone messages that have arrived this week. As I am not checking facebook or blogging at this time, please do not hesitate to correspond directly with me.
Kath and Ted
Yetta Lees Strasdine nee Olesen died after a short illness on Gabriola Island, surrounded by her family. She faced her death with curiosity and openness, like everything else in her life.
Predeceased by her first husband John Lees, and survived by husband George Strasdine, her sisters Tinne Fink and Lissi Olesen and children Erik Lees (Kathi), Barbara Lees (Svend), Kath Murray (Ted), Michael Lees (Maree), and her sister-in-law Frances Montgomery.
Yetta was born in Denmark in 1931, came to Canada at the age of 19, where she worked as a commercial traveller covering western Canada, and raised her family in West Vancouver. In the mid ’60’s she was a charter student in sociology at SFU. She returned to earn an MBA the year she turned 50 and became a grandmother – the first of 26 grand and great grandchildren. Upon retirement, she moved from Toronto to Gabriola Island, where she designed and built a home, and later married George and joined him on Cooper Road.
Yetta was a teacher, business woman, and a fibre artist. She loved community and wove many circles of friends and colleagues across Canada, Denmark and around the globe. Circle Craft Cooperative, which Yetta founded in 1974, was one of her proudest endeavors. She taught at Capilano and Seneca Colleges, helped support craftspeople in Canada’s North and in developing countries including a woman’s felting co-op in Kyrgyzstan. In her last years Yetta contributed her time to the Gabriola Commons. She would be delighted in lieu of flowers, for contributions to be extended to “The Commons.” (htttp://www.gabriolacommons.ca/donations.html)
Memorial Services will be held: at Dragon’s Lodge on Gabriola Island, at 1 PM on Tuesday, January 22 and at the Vancouver Unitarian Church, Oak St. & 49th Ave., on Saturday, January 26 at 1 PM.