May 5, 1910-June 16, 2012
Nancy Viola Lee died peacefully in Nelson, B.C. on June 16, 2012 a month after her 102nd birthday. She was born to Turner and Edith Lee on May 5, 1910 in East Bridgford, near Nottingham, England, the youngest of four children. When she was 14 months old the family came to Canada, settling in Bonnington, B.C. Nancy attended boarding school in Vernon for several years and was a graduate of Nelson High School in 1928. Nancy graduated from the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing in 1932 and then went to England for further training in midwifery and paediatric care at Queen Charlotte’s Maternity Hospital. When she returned to British Columbia she worked at hospitals in Nelson and Quesnel and was subsequently offered a job at Vancouver General. When WWII broke out she joined the South African Military Nursing Service, serving in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein from 1942 to 1944, then went to Italy where she nursed wounded soldiers 12 miles behind the front lines. After the war she received a diploma in Public Health from UBC in 1946 and worked in this field for the remainder of her career. She received a Bachelor of Nursing from McGill University in 1960. Nancy held a number of supervisory public health nursing positions in the province, the last one being Director of Nursing for Greater Victoria until she retired in 1973. Nancy was an avid gardener and was among the first group of volunteers that evolved into Friends of the Government House Gardens Society. She loved to travel and made dozens of wonderful trips all over the world. She took up weaving and was involved with the Victoria Handweavers and Spinners Guild. For over 20 years Nancy volunteered at the Garth Homer Society. She spent many years helping with Meals on Wheels, the blood donor clinic and served on the Alter Guild at St. Luke’s Anglican Church. She was a great friend to many cats over the years. In 2004 she moved to Jubilee Manor, a Long-Term Care Facility in Nelson, in order to be closer to family. During her time there Nancy was able to make three trips back to visit her friends in Victoria. She is survived by several nieces, nephews, and godchildren and was known and loved as a “great” aunt.