Sadly, we announce the passing of Elizabeth Ellen Marie Spence on August 28, 2019. Elizabeth is survived by her loving husband of 53 years, Jay Spence; children, Robin (Paul) of Washington DC, Christie (Craig) of Chelsea, Quebec, Drew (Kirsten) of Seattle, Washington: grandchildren,
Adelaide, Benjamin, Kai, Alexandra, Asher, Claire; and brother, Richard Yake (EJ) of London, Ontario.
Liz was a devoted and cherished wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, and friend. Born and raised in London, Ontario, she moved with her husband, Jay, to Ottawa, where they raised three children and made many dear friends. In retirement, Liz and Jay moved to Nanoose Bay, British Columbia, to fulfill their dream of living near the ocean.
With a beautiful smile and a deeply caring nature, she took the time to make everyone in her life feel known and valued. Liz always put the needs of others first, whether supporting Jay’s medical training and practice, waking up in the middle of the night to help with infant grandchildren, or flying across the continent to help nurse others through sickness or facilitate a major move. She carried the troubles of others on her shoulders and was a great source of wise counsel and comfort to family and friends.
Liz always sought ways to make the lives of others better. In Ottawa, Liz found a lot of joy teaching English as a Second Language to new Canadians. In British Columbia, with Jay and other volunteers, she helped to initiate Nanoose Community Services, which provides food, holiday gifts, and other support to neighbors in need. She also volunteered at Haven Transitional House; she felt privileged to be able to help support women and families fleeing domestic violence.
In her private time, Liz loved to explore the natural beauty of Vancouver Island, read broadly, play bridge, do crossword puzzles, and travel extensively with Jay. They lived together in Bermuda, England, and Australia, and visited fascinating places around the world, including the islands of the South Pacific, Antarctica, China, Southern Africa, and Europe. Infinitely curious about history and culture, Liz was always learning and sharing what she learned with others.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to one of the charities that Liz supported: Doctors Without Borders (International), The Salvation Army (Domestic), BC Cancer Clinic – Victoria, the Haven Society (Local), or a charity of your choice.
Lives Cherished and Celebrated
To send flowers to Elizabeth's family, please visit our floral section.