Joyce Hirst

Our Mom,

Joyce Hirst,

passed away Saturday

August 13, 2016 at the age of 88.

Joyce began her long adventurous life on June 18, 1928 in the east end of London, England. Her parents, Mary and William Boud, had three daughters, Patricia, Joyce and Peggy. At the start of the war in 1939, Joyce, only eleven years old, was evacuated out of London and went to a family on her own because no family would take in three children and Peggy, the youngest, needed to be with Patricia, the oldest.

Before the end of World War II, Joyce met the love of her life, Billie Hirst, on a holiday in Bournemouth. Dad was on leave at the same place and because Dad was stationed in Canada, he was very attractive in a Canadian uniform. They kept up written communication until they married on August 28, 1948. The next few years, in the north of England, brought us three girls, Sally, Jacqueline and Elizabeth, into their lives.

In 1956, they made the decision to immigrate to Canada in the hopes of forging a better life for their family. Dad came to Quesnel ahead of us to establish a home and start his new job as a Chartered Accountant at Rigsby Lee. Six months later, Mom, courageously travelled seven days by ship across the Atlantic and four days by train across Canada on her own with three children seven, five and four years old. We met Dad in Vancouver and then made the fourteen hour trip by bus on the dirt road up the Fraser Canyon to Quesnel.

Dad became the Secretary Treasurer of Quesnel School District and Mom was the heart of the home; always there to greet us when we came home for lunch or after school. Mom was very active as a volunteer at the Library and the Hospital. Together they made many close friends and they became very engaged in the Quesnel community. Long before “You Think You Can Dance” became popular Joyce and Billie took Ballroom Dancing lessons and then taught it at Adult Education sessions.

Eventually, we three girls went away to College and University and earned degrees, entirely supported by our parents, who had to scrimp and sacrifice during those years. Later came marriages: Sally to Robbie Googel and after divorcing, to Bob Cuthbertson; Jacqui married Bryan Allan and Liz married Brian Maki. And then the precious grandchildren arrived. Miranda, Ben, Dana and James were the focus of Mom and Dad’s love and devotion. Mom was in her glory at the yearly family get-togethers at Shuswap Lake because we did the cooking and she was able to spend quality time with her beloved grandchildren.

Sadly, the time came when Mom and Dad could no longer maintain a home so they moved to a retirement home in Victoria near Jacqui and her family. Dad predeceased Mom on New Year’s Eve 2007 and her son-in-law, Bob Cuthbertson, left Sally a widow in 2008. Mom’s health began to decline and she spent the last few years in Victoria’s Glenwarren Nursing Home. During this time three of her grandchildren got married and Mom welcomed grand-in-laws into our family. Miranda married Paul Simpson; Dana married Adam Parkes and Ben wed Katy Witthoeft. Another bright spark in her life was the birth of four great grandchildren: Ella, Henry, Charlotte and Sybil.

Quesnel was always “home” to Mom and Dad, so we will bring both our parents’ ashes to Quesnel probably in the Spring where we will say our final goodbyes to our feisty, caring and capable Mom.