Alice Mary BULLENFebruary 17, 1925 ~ May 6, 2017 (age 92)
BULLEN, Alice Mary passed away on May 6, 2017, peacefully and contentedly after a long and productive life. She spent her last days in the gentle care of the staff at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Comox and in the constant company of members of her large extended family. It was fitting that her room allowed her a clear view of the town she loved so deeply and served so well.
Alice was born on February 16, 1925 on her parents’ farm near Cut Knife, Saskatchewan, the fifth of five children and the bonus baby of an unexpected set of identical twins. She and her sister Amy were each other’s shadow growing up, attending rural schools, teaching for a year at the tender age of 17 and graduating as interchangeable RNs from the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. Although through the years they were separated geographically, they were never really apart, as seems to be the way with twins.
In 1952 Alice married Dennis, at the time an itinerant dentist and student. Their travels took them from Vancouver to Powell River, Trail, Portland, Toronto, Nanaimo and Comox. Along the way, Alice gave birth to Celia, Denise, Brian and Suzanne (and Amy kept pace with the births of Greg, Geoff and Kevin).
Settled and happy in Comox, Alice took a strong interest in serving on the executives of various charitable, educational, environmental and arts organizations and in participating directly in the civic affairs of the Valley. She poured herself into her service to the community. Her determined approach earned her a reputation as a faithful and outspoken ally and a formidable opponent. Her efforts were recognized formally and informally on many occasions, but notably with the award of the Governor General’s Golden Jubilee Medal, 1985 Citizen of the Year and, more recently, Freedom of the Town of Comox, the first private citizen to be so honoured.
Alice’s pivotal role as an alderman in initiating, promoting and shepherding the acquisition by the Town of Comox of the Filberg property was the achievement of which she was most proud. Her dedication to this beautiful property and to the idea of establishing exceptional public spaces was demonstrated repeatedly during her 19-year term as chair of the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park. She was a decisive leader but also appreciated and recognized the important contributions of others in securing the Park and then in founding the Filberg Festival.
In addition to her brother Tim, Alice leaves to follow her example a large and growing family. She received long and often playful bedside visits from her children and partners, nephews and partners, grandchildren and partners and great-grandchildren, together with many friends and members of the Unitarian Fellowship. She was grateful on every occasion. She was very thankful, as well, for the compassionate care and support over the past several years that allowed her to maintain her own residence in the heart of Comox, where she so rightly belonged.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2 o’clock on Saturday, June 3rd at the Unitarian Fellowship at the United Church, 250 Beach Drive in Comox. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park in Alice’s memory.