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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Patricia Margaret Slark (nee Forbes). Patricia passed away peacefully at St. Michael's Centre in Burnaby after a short but brave battle with cancer. She was born on May 7, 1928, at Grace Maternity Hospital in Vancouver, BC. She is survived by her sons Michael (Heidi), Jeffrey (Robin) and Iain; and her wonderful grandchildren Kristina, Colin and Kaitlyn. She is predeceased by her husband of 57 years Gordon, sister Elizabeth and parents John and Nellie. She grew up in Collingwood and attended Sir Guy Carleton Elementary School. As a child she showed her talent at singing, dancing and on the piano. Pat began her love of animals at home and on the family farm in the Sumas prairie. She had many pets during her lifetime but her beloved Irish Setter Strathbogie (named after a castle in Huntly, Scotland, where her parents grew up) was her favourite. Strathbogie also became the Buckerfields signature dog in the 1930s. As a teen, Patricia moved onto the Grandview School of Commerce. She left school at 16 to begin a career working at the B.C. Telephone Company. As a young adult she followed in her mother's footsteps, joining such organizations as the Eastern Star (60-year member) and the Royal Scottish Country Dancers. In 1951 she was maid of honour for her childhood friend Audrie Cochroft. It was there that she met Gordon who turned out to be the love of her life. After a two-year courtship, they were married on July 18, 1953. As Gordon was teaching in Rutland, B.C. at the time, she moved there to be with him. While in Rutland, they forged many lifetime friendships that are still a part of this family today. Eventually, they settled in Burnaby, B.C. and never left. Pat had been working at the Vancouver Sun before her move to the Okanagan. Upon returning to the coast she continued that career until the birth of Michael in 1959. She became a full time mom at that time and with birth of Jeffrey (1961) and Iain (1966), things were quite busy for a number of years. It wasn't until 1979, after the boys were grown, that Pat returned to the workforce. She embarked on a 23-year career at Purdy's Chocolates and loved every minute. She finally retired in 2002 but not by her choice. Pat and Gordon loved to travel, including many trips to California to visit Gordon's brother, 50 plus years of going to the cabin at Christina Lake, several trips to Hawaii and a countless number of cruises. Pat was an avid football fan had been going to B.C. Lions games since their inception in 1954. She was season ticket holder for the past 20 years and loved them, win or lose. She was most happy around family. The addition of grandchildren in the early 1990s just meant a bigger smile on her face. She will be fondly remembered for always caring for others and knowing what we needed to make us all smile. She was an amazing cook and should have won awards for her baking. Her modesty was admirable and, although she never wanted the spotlight, she deserved it. She made lifelong friends wherever she went, which is evident with her bridge club of over 50 years. Her extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews were always treated as if they were her own. She will be sorely missed, but has taught us to be kind, help out when you can and above all share a laugh every day. A celebration of her life will be held on March 16, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in the First Memorial Burkeview Chapel, 1340 Dominion Avenue, Port Coquitlam, B.C. As per Pat's wishes, we will not have a formal service but a celebration with food, photos and memories. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to charity of your choice in Patricia's memory. Lang may yer lum reek. Until we meet again. Love you, Mom. Iain, Michael and Jeffrey.
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province from Mar. 2 to Mar. 3, 2013