August 30, 1948 – July 3, 2020
With deep sadness, we announce our dear Brenda passed away peacefully at the Palliative Care ward in Nanaimo, after a long five year battle with cancer, courageously borne with her two beloved Westies, Abby and Misty, regular visitors to the end. In her own words “dragging her feet all the way”.
Predeceased, much too soon, by her loving husband, Edward R.G. Cooper (1992), sister Buryl Leighland (1998) and parents Edward and Velma. Brenda is survived by brother Brian Vandale, niece Meredith Patey and her son Aiden, Brother and sister-in-law Dave and Marlene Wiens, nephews Colin, Wes, Mike and many cousins including Judy Hockney and her daughter Pammy, with whom she held a close bond.
Brenda was born and raised in New Westminster, B.C., graduated with a Medical Secretarial degree in Nelson, B.C. and married Ed in 1969. Through Ed’s Banking career they lived in different locations across B.C., eventually landing in Whitehorse where they both grew to love the Yukon.
Then it was Faro, where Brenda learned to cross country ski and also received her first West Highland Terrier – a life-long love affair with the breed. Brenda and Ed led a very active and social life in the North. They purchased a cabin on Tagish Lake which, after Ed’s passing, Brenda added on to. She, and now two Westies, spent every summer, for years, at Tagish, where she found the solitude, water and sunshine rejuvenating.
In 1999 she moved south to Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, beginning a grand new chapter in her life. She built a lovely, and much loved, home and garden across the road from Georgia Strait. Brenda became volunteer member #5 at the newly opened Milner Gardens and Woodland in Qualicum Beach, serving faithfully for over 20 years. Her life was proudly filled with many activities and organizations over the years, including; Beta Sigma Phi Sorority; Mid Island Walking Club; Newcomers’ Club Odyssey; her supportive Circle Group; the QB Family history Society, where she enthusiastically delved into her own genealogy and helped organize several conferences. Amongst all these activities, this special lady made time to enjoy amazing cruises and trips, heading off in all directions, inspiring others to do the same.
Brenda’s family, her many friends, colleagues and fellow volunteers will remember her feisty, loyal, strong-minded outlook on life and her laugh-out-loud sense of humour – with love and affection.
The family is very grateful for the understanding and sensitive care she received from the staff at Palliative Care, Nanaimo General Hospital.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Brenda’s name to Milner Gardens and Woodland, Qualicum Beach or B.C. Cancer Society.
A celebration of life is pending.
Online condolences at www.firstmemorialnanaimo.com
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