Elza MAYHEW

Obituary

MAYHEW Dr. Elza Edith Lovitt, RCA. A sculptor. Died with gentleness at a pace of her choosing on Sunday morning, January 11, 2004. She was in the loving presence of her daughter and granddaughter, and faithful companion Stella, at the Lodge of Broadmead, Victoria, British Columbia. Joined in her peaceful room soon after by her devoted son, Garth Alan, and her grandson. Elza was born in the great snowstorm of 1916, in Victoria, on January 19, to Alice (Bordman) and George Lovitt from Cheshire. She was predeceased by her husband, Flying Officer Charles Alan Mayhew, in June 1943. Both born in the same snowstorm, four days apart, they were sweethearts since their early teens, and married in September 1938. They are survived by their two children, Anne and Garth Alan; and grandchildren Morgan and Rhondda Price. Elza was also predeceased by her older brother, Gordon Lovitt. Left to miss her lively spirit is her younger brother Leighton; sisters-in-lawJune (Lovitt) Beattie, Jean (Mayhew) Lawrason, and Margaret Mayhew; and cousin Eric Edwards. Elza was a founding member of the Limners Society, and Director of the International Sculpture Symposium, 1968 79. She was actively making sculpture from the 1950s through the 1980s. Most of her work is bronze, the monumental pieces cast in Eugene, Oregon. She represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1964. She earned a Double Honours BA from UBC in 1937, French and Latin, an MFA at U of Oregon 1963, and received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from UVic 1989. Her brilliant mind and disciplined intellect were nicely camouflaged by a sweetness of nature, and a love of fun and laughter. But as her son Alan points out, she taught him 'cooking and sewing skills and always said, If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well'.' For the past twelve or so years, Elza suffered deteriorating dementia caused by styrene poisoning for toxins in the styrofoam moulds she used for her sculptures. The family wishes to thank Dr. Pat Slobodian, her doctor of many years, and all the staff of Palm Court in the Lodge at Broadmead. Also, warmest thanks to her caregivers, among them Stella - with her for over a decade - Kit, Mario, Lin, Meredith, Janet, and Arlene. A memorial service will be held in the Sanctuary at First Unitarian Church of Victoria, 5575 West Saanich Road (across from the Red Barn Market), on Saturday, January 17, 2004, at 3 p.m. Instead of flowers, donations could be sent to the Open Door, the Lodge at Broadmead Foundation, or to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Published in The Times Colonist on Jan. 15, 2004