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Stephanie (Stephina) Vonnie (Ninow) Vance

July 3, 1934 ~ March 16, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old

Stephanie (Stephina) Vonnie Vance Obituary

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Stephanie (Stephina) "Vonnie" Vance. 

Predeceased by: Mother-Stephina Ninow (Els); Father-Albert Ninow; brothers- Bert, Richard and Ted Ninow.

Survived by: (Children): Son- Mark Vance of Surrey, B.C.; daughter-Jeannine Krefting (Vance) of Nanoose Bay, B.C. & Deryk Krefting (Jeannine's husband)- Nanoose Bay

Grandchildren: Sydnie (Nanaimo) & Katarina Krefting (Nanoose Bay) -Jeannine's children

Stephanie was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and grew up in Capetown. An artist from birth, Stephanie was often seen drawing and doodling in school at a young age. This passion for art turned into a career as she spent 2 years learning commercial art and gaining a certificate in post-secondary school. In her early '20's, Stephanie was hired by Koret of California as a model for Sears and other magazines. She also drew and painted illustrations for various magazines. 

In her mid-20's, Stephanie made a big move, along with her parents and three brothers to Calgary, Alberta, as they sought a better life in Canada. Stephanie continued her modelling career in Calgary and turned her love of art into a career of window dressing for several well-known department stores. She returned to South Africa 3 years later on a Mormon mission for 20 months, followed by travel to various destinations in Europe.

A couple of years after returning from Europe, Stephanie met her now ex-husband in Hawaii and in 1962, married and moved with her husband to Ucluelet. A year later, they moved to Castlegar where her son and daughter were born. A few years later, she and her husband moved to the lower mainland and while raising her children as a loving stay-at-home mother, Stephanie learned, practiced and performed opera, painted many backdrops for church events and dances and created many beautiful oil paintings. After her divorce, she returned to a career in window dressing and carried on her love of music throughout her life.

In 2008, Stephanie moved to Vancouver Island to be closer to her daughter and daughter's family and lived happily in Parksville until she passed peacefully on March 16th in the care of Stanford Senior's Village, a few months shy of her 90th birthday. 

A private celebration of life will be held in late June. In lieu of flowers, a donation to an arts program (ie. MacMillan Arts Centre) would be appreciated.

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