Browning Family Genealogy Forum
September 21, 1910 July 9, 2008 Our beloved left this world on July 9th exactly as she had wanted to ... suddenly and at peace with her life. The day before she died she had lunch in the garden with her daughter enjoying the profusion of lavender and a G and T. She leaves to celebrate with joy for a rich life brilliantly lived, her daughter Alexandra (Sandra) Browning Moore and her son Stuart Browning (Jean Prescott); her grandchildren, Jason (Deanna) Dave ( Eugenie) Tony (Mo) and Jessa-Chapelle; her great-grandchildren, Brooklyn and Austin; her sister Doris, and her nieces, nephews and extended family. She was born in Aberdeen and spent her childhood and adolescence there. She excelled at school in languages and was captain of her hockey and netball teams. At the age of 16 she came to Canada with her mother and sister to join her father who had come on ahead to make a new life. He died very shortly after their arrival but her mother chose to remain in Canada and build a new life. In 1929 mom went into nursing at St. Paul's Hospital and graduated in 1932 during the depression. She took an extended course in Emergency and stayed on at St. Paul's first in Emergency and then as Head Nurse on the 4th Floor North Wing. She belonged to the Young Peoples Group at First United Church and one summer accompanied them on a trip to their summer camp on Gambier Island. "I fell in love with the place and ultimately with the man who built it. " Enter Alexander Browning and a love match which lasted for 60 years. They married in 1939 and went to live at Britannia Beach where they spent 8 years. Dad was in construction and mom was the relief nurse in the Emergency Hospital. The doctor only came once a week so mom had to attend to many emergencies. She often had to accompany patients to Vancouver on the float plane. With WW II in full swing mom joined the Red Cross Peace Corps and as an Honorary Officer did drills and gave lectures and exams in home nursing. In 1945 they moved to Vancouver where dad started up his own construction business. In 1949 they moved to West Vancouver where they settled. With her children at school, mom began studying art at the Vancouver School of Art. This was to become a profound and lasting joy in her life. She was a founding member of the West Vancouver Sketch Club. In 1957 she won first prize in a major exhibition, and she continued to paint seriously and exhibit for many years. In the 60s she also took up print making and won recognition for her sophisticated interpretations of the natural world. She and dad travelled extensively in Europe and mom always had her sketch book with her to reinterpret as etchings when she got home. Dad and mom spent many happy years in West Vancouver but moved to Nanaimo in the 80s where they had a lovely home and garden and where mom continued to pursue her printmaking and dad continued with his pottery. In 1991 they moved to Victoria to be closer to Sandra. After Dad died in 1997 mom made a remarkable adjustment to living alone. She survived a hip replacement and tossed away her cane, she continued to travel to Scotland to see her relatives, to Toronto to attend concerts and visit old friends, to Kamloops to visit her sister, to Calgary to visit her nephew, and more than once hopped onto the helicopter to celebrate her birthdays in Richmond with Stuart and family. She reluctantly surrendered her driving licence at the age of 95, and spent her last two years living with Sandra. It was only in March that she went into care where she adapted to her new environment with her usual flair. Mom was a classy lady with inner strength who never flaunted her many talents. She simply showed by example how to live with grace and elegance. This was her gift to her many friends and her family. A heartfelt thanks to the staff at Glenwarren Lodge for excellent and compassionate care. Family and friends will gather together later in August to honor her life. Condolences may be sent to 2826 Arbutus Road, Victoria. If desired, a contribution may be made to Oak Bay United Church, 1355 Mitchell Street, Victoria, V8S4P9. 483802
Published in the Victoria Times-Colonist from 7/11/2008 - 7/12/2008
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