Patenaude passed away on May 21 at the age of 88. Branwen was predeceased by three brothers, David, Evan and Owen Hughes and her husband Wilfred Honor Patenaude. She was dearly loved by her surviving family including her daughter Anne (Kjell Nilsen), Son David (Mary), grandchildren Joseph (Nicole), Kimberly (Charles), Christina (Andrew), Ida, David (Lailani) and great grandchildren Abigail, Maxwell, Kyla and Jayden.
Branwen lived a remarkable life. In 1927 she was born in the British Colony of Shanghai, China, as her father was a Royal Engineer who surveyed land and supervised road building well before the Chinese Revolution. After the Japanese entered Shanghai, her family settled in West Vancouver. Later she moved with her parents to the Cariboo where she met the love of her life, Wilfred. As well as raising two children and supervising their home-schooling, she was always there supporting Wilfred in his various endeavours as a rancher, miller, civil servant, minor and father. The family settled in Quesnel in 1960.
Once her children were on their own, Branwen took up the life-long passions of painting, drawing, writing, history and story-telling. As well, Branwen was very involved in her community. She was a founding Director of Island Mountain Arts in Wells, a volunteer and active fundraiser for the Quesnel & District Museum, a member of the committee that created the River Park Trail, a member of the Quesnel Heritage Association that created the Machinery Park and a member of the Quesnel Arts Council. Because of these and many other contributions to her community, Branwen was honoured in 2002 with the Golden Jubilee Medal of Queen Elizabeth 11.
Thanks to the staff at the Dunrovan Park Lodge for the care and attention Branwen received over the last few years.
She will be interred next to Wilf at the Quesnel & District Cemetery on
May 30 following a 1 p.m. service at Clayton’s Funeral Director. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution in Branwen’s name to your local museum. There will
be refreshments after the services; please join the family.