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The Great Dane left us suddenly on Wednesday, March 14th, 2012. Born in Randers, Danmark on May 2, 1928 to Martin Andre and Hustru Kirstine Sorine Olesen she laughed her way through life. My three girls as she always called them - Jacqueline Howardson (Arnold), Barbara James and Jennifer Saywell (Derek) will miss her greatly. The adventurous Mum moved to England where she set her sights on a handsome RAF Bomber Command Flight Engineer, Ron Bull. Ron never stood a chance once the exuberant Dane set her eyes on him and despite the disapproving looks from staunch English villagers he and that foreign woman tore up and down country lanes on Ron's motorcycle. Ely married her Ron on September 9th, 1950 in Skanderborg, Danmark in a double wedding ceremony that united Ely's sister Tove to Henning Orregaard. She will be sadly missed by her sister's children, Jesper, Lars and Lone and the rest of her Danish family.
After two years with West African Airways on Africa's Gold Coast they took to running a quaint pub called the White Hart Pub in Eversley, Hants. This corner of olde England was Mum's all-time favourite place. Although she was now more English than the Queen, Ron and Ely took the three girls off to Canada in 1959 when Ron joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 1965 a lucky transfer to Baden-Soellingen, Germany brought them all back to Europe. Europe was never the same and it was a happy madcap time for all.
Ron and Ely moved to Lantzville in 1980 where they spent 32 happy years living by the sea, always liked to be near the sea said Mum (she was a Viking after all). When her Ron passed away in 2006 she was devastated, but with true spirit carried on. She was a wonderful Grandmother to Ryan (Christine), Melissa, Joshua (Mindy), Taylor and two Great Grandsons Baby Carter and Baby Frank. It was full and rich life and if she had anything to say about it (she always had an opinion) she would still be here with us. Coronation Street will never be the same, the gang at Heartbeat have lost their favourite fan and the Royals might as well pack it in! A celebration of Ely's life will be held on Saturday, March 31st 2:00 p.m. at the Lantzville Legion. Please join us! No flowers by request. I like them in the garden she said.
Published in Nanaimo Daily News from March 28 to March 29, 2012