Over its decades-long history, the Players Guild has lost a number of dedicated individuals. This list is far from complete; we don’t have photos of everyone, and any omissions are completely unintended. If you know of anyone who has passed on who was ever a Guild member, please get in touch with us at communications@playersguild.ca. Even people who were only members for a matter of months have contributed to the fabric of the organization and deserve to be acknowledged here.

Please note: The photos and information on these pages have been provided by family and friends, not by the webmaster. We would be very grateful if you would contact us at communications@playersguild.ca if you have anything to contribute to this page.

 


Please click on the person’s name for their details, which will appear in the section beneath all the names.

 

Gail Berger
Gail was involved with several shows and was a always a strong Players Guild supporter. She warmed the stage as hardworking, sarcastic Betty Meeks in 1989’s The Foreigner.

Her published Obituary: Mar 16, 1942 – Dec 9, 2017

Our family is extremely saddened to share that Gail Berger died on Saturday, December 9, at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, BC. The cause of death was a complication from a brain aneurysm and stroke. She was 75.

Gail Marguerite, the youngest of three girls, was born on March 16, 1942 in North Battleford, Saskatchewan to Marguerite and Orval Maywood. After growing up in North Battleford with older sisters Dawn and Pat, Gail graduated from NBCI and then entered Teacher’s College in Saskatoon from which she graduated in 1961.

While enjoying a summer at their family cabin at Jackfish Lake in 1960, she met Klaus Berger. Love bloomed when she volunteered to drive him to the hospital after a minor boating accident. The two were married in 1961 and shortly after moved to Regina. Their first child, Heather, was born in 1962, followed by their son, Michael, in 1964.

The family moved to a small home in Yarrow, BC in 1966. Shortly after, Gail began working as a part-time secretary at Diamond Construction. In 1971, Gail and her family moved to a 10-acre farm just three houses down the road from their previous home.

While raising their family, Klaus and Gail tried their hands at growing raspberries and corn before settling on raising beef cattle for breeding and to show. It was during this time that Gail began work at the Yarrow library, where she served as the Community Librarian for nearly three decades. She also spent several years as a Children’s Librarian in Chilliwack. Through this job, she instilled her love of reading and learning to her family, something that continues to this day with Gail’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Over the years, she met thousands of Yarrow and Chilliwack families and one of her biggest thrills was to see the children of the children she first introduced to the library, come in for story time.

Along with Klaus, in 1986, they transformed their farm into The Apple Farm – a speciality high-density orchard with over 10,000 trees and more than 20 varieties of apples. It was here that Gail’s creative side really shone. On the farm, they built a country store with a bakery, a processing plant, and a picnic garden. In just a few short years, the farm became known locally, nationally, and internationally as busloads of local and foreign tourists would regularly arrive for a warm welcome, a tour of the orchard, some samples while there, and perhaps a quick story or laugh. Children from school districts throughout the Lower Mainland made annual treks to the farm and were entertained with stories told with great engagement by Gail.

After 29 years on the farm, Gail and Klaus made the difficult decision to sell the farm, followed shortly by her retirement from the library. These decisions were made easier by the fact that they would now be able to travel more frequently. In addition to numerous trips to Germany to visit with Klaus’ family (where she also learned to speak German), they travelled throughout Europe.

They also frequently travelled by RV throughout Western North America and Mexico. A particular highlight was their 2004 trip across Canada, down the east coast and through the American south before returning home after 10 months. One of her favourite places on this trip was the time spent in Newfoundland.

Gail had a lifelong interest in the arts – whether it was watching classic musicals and interesting movies, listening to music by Max Raabe, classics by James Last, opera from the New York Met, along with many other artists, attending shows and events, or acting in plays with the Chilliwack Players Guild. She loved to share the stories of Stuart McLean and Garrison Keillor with her grandchildren; it was a family tradition to listen to recordings in the RV while travelling.

Gail was celebrated for her curious and loving spirit, as well as her warmth, sensitivity and sense of humour. She was a superb cook, master storyteller, passionate reader, swimming devotee, inveterate list maker, Scrabble champion, lover of charades, and wonderful mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Gail was a long-time member of Beta Sigma Phi, and after retirement, became a member of Probus. She made friends easily, and stories of her travels with Klaus are filled with experiences with people that they had just met, but somehow had become friends with for the rest of her life. Her family dinners were always full of fun, flavour, and friends.

Gail cared deeply for her family, and was proud of their many and varied accomplishments. She loved and supported everyone in the family wholeheartedly – attending sporting events, cheering on graduations, enjoying musical and theatre productions, learning about university studies, and staying up-to-date on everyone’s love life, school, and work.

Gail will be greatly missed by her loving husband of 57 years Klaus Berger, her daughter and son-in-law Heather and Russ Bailie, her son and daughter-in-law Michael and Gillian Berger, her five grandchildren Krista Bailie (Sean Sturm), Corbin Bailie, Caitlin Bailie (Matt Monosky), Patrick Berger, David Berger, her three great-grandchildren Isabella Sturm, Grayson Sturm, and Kayden Monosky, the families of Gail’s sisters Dawn Kellock and Pat Shivak, and many cousins. She lives on in the hearts of all she touched.

In Gail’s memory, donations may be made to the Fraser Valley Regional Library at www.fvrl.bc.ca/donate.php or 45860 First Avenue, Chilliwack, BC V2P 7K1.

 

 

Edith Gustafson
Edith was in several British Night productions, and she loved nothing better than a comic song — especially when teamed with her good friend Eileen Smith. Edith’s rendition of “Walter”, and her hilarious monologue, “I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth” brought down the house every time. She was also a talented actress in non-musical roles.

Her published Obituary: December 7, 1923-October 11, 2017
On October 11, 2017 Edith Violet {Allchorne} Gustafson, left this world to join her loving husband Jack Axel Gustafson. Edith was born in Bromley Kent, England on Dec. 7, 1923. She married her handsome Canadian Army boy on Sept. 22, 1941. They were blessed with their first child Dec. 1, 1942. With a kiss and a promise that he would return from the war, Jack put Edith and their son on a ship to Canada in 1943 to live with his parents. This was a very lonely time for Edith, so far from her family and home in England. What seemed to be a life time alone ended in1945 when the love of her life kept his promise, returning from the war. Jack and Edith built a home in Edmonton and in the next four years they added two daughters to the family. Two weeks after the birth of their second daughter found Edith, Jack and family headed north to Athabasca where they took over the homestead from Jack’s parents. Edith had 2 more children a boy and a girl. They continued farming for the next 21 years. In 1969 they moved to Chilliwack BC and took up working in a lumber mill. The muscles Edith gained from farming came in handy to pile the lumber as it came off the saw. When they retired they became snow birds for a few years traveling to the States. By 1992 the air quality in Chilliwack had dropped significantly and they moved back to the old homestead in Athabasca that now belonged to their youngest son. They enjoyed life on the farm again for another 16 years. Edith was always proud of her family, never dreaming that it would grow to 12 Grand children, 28 Great Grand children and 6 Great Great Grand children. Edith was overwhelmed with joy this past August seeing nearly all of her family at a reunion held in her honour.

Edith Gustafson, Christine Newsome in Slap & Tickle, 1983

 

John Plowman 
John was deeply involved in the Guild for almost 50 years. In the 70’s and 80’s John served on the Executive in almost every capacity and appeared in countless productions. His rendition of “The Miner” in several British Nights was legendary. In the 90’s, John and his lovely wife Rita moved to Kamloops to be closer to their family. Despite the distance, they maintained close ties to the Guild (both were awarded life memberships for their tireless work) and attended many, many productions. ~ Clint Hames
His published obituary: August 1, 1925 – August 30, 2017
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John Plowman. He is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years Rita, daughters Christine and Hilary, sister Jean and grandchildren Laura (Ryan), Steve (Megan), Trevor (Christya), Kayleigh (Matt) and great-grandchildren Jaxon, Eloise, Abigail and many loving relatives in England.

John was born on August 1, 1925 in Leicester, England. John’s education started at Wyggeston Boys’ School, Leicester and later at Pangborne Nautical College. In 1939, he became a King’s Scout. During World War II he served in the Merchant Navy as an apprentice officer, sailing to many countries around the world. After the war he joined Leicester City Police. It was during this time that John met his soul-mate Rita and they were married on January 8, 1949.

In 1952, John, Rita and their two year old daughter Christine emigrated to Canada where John joined the Vancouver City Police. Another daughter Hilary, was born in 1953. John enjoyed playing soccer and curling with the Police teams. As the children grew up, the family enjoyed many happy holidays around BC and down to California. Being a dedicated father, John attended many of his daughters school and sports activities. A change of career came in 1969 when the family moved to Chilliwack and John became an Official Court Reporter for the BC Government, retiring in 1988. John and Rita loved to travel to the United Kingdom and Europe. John was a life member of Chilliwack Player’s Guild where he enjoyed many facets of theatre. In 1993, John and Rita moved to Kamloops and became active members of St. Paul’s Cathedral congregation. Retirement allowed John more time to enjoy his many interests such as sailing, tennis, travelling and community theatre. He spent many cherished hours with his family.

John was a charter member of Valley Squadron (Canadian Power and Sail Squadron) where he taught safe boating for many years and became a life member. Tireless hours were spent volunteering with Canadian Cancer Society, Thompson Valley Orchestra Board, Canadian Red Cross and B.C.G.R.E.U. Executive.

 

Joan Dmytryshyn
Joan was a strong backstage presence for a large number of the Guild’s productions. She was well known in the Guild for her secretarial skills, her prowess in the kitchen, and her cheerful energy.

Her published obituary: Friday, 30 June 2017

Joan Dmytryshyn of Chilliwack, BC, passed away peacefully at the age of 84 on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at the Waverly Seniors Village, Chilliwack. Joan was born in Winchester, England, on May 2, 1933.

Following high school, Joan held a variety of secretarial positions at companies in central London At one company, a recording studio – exciting for a young woman – she met and socialized with Edith Piaf and Les Compagnons de la Chanson. On one occasion, elegantly dressed and on her way to work, she was approached by a photographer. A photograph was taken and the next day Joan was the “page 3 girl” in a major London Newspaper.

Joan lived happily in a variety of South London locations, but a favourite home was in Little Faringdon, a remote community in tranquil secluded English countryside in the upper reaches of the River Thames. Joan and her sons, Michael and David, relocated to Canada in the late ’60s. Joan’s first home in BC was at Cultus Lake. From there she developed a connection with Chilliwack, where she met and married Gordie. Joan was always a gregarious person and she embraced and joined community events. Her involvement with the Players Guild and the Dixieland Jazz events gave her much pleasure.

Joan and Gordie traveled to many exotic locations, such as Russia and Korea. They loved their RV trips, in which they circumnavigated all of North America. Joan talked of her adventures often and the wonderful people that she met along the way. Joan never met a stranger, and those of you who had the good fortune to meet her know that Joan too was unforgettable.

I first met Joan way back in 1972. We were both in the hospital. Being English, it didn’t take much for us to become friends. When her boys were young, Joan and Gordon had a small holding where they grew grapes and raised her two boys Michael and David, and they always had dogs. Joan worked as a copywriter for the CHWK radio station and then became a secretary for a local doctor. When her mother moved back to the UK, Joan and Gordy moved into her house in Lynn Valley. While there, she did some stints as an extra at the movie studio. When they retired it was off to see many places, having bought a gif 5th wheel. They traveled all over the American continent loving every single minute of their travels.

Joan loved her boys, but sadly lost both of them within one year. That was very hard on her. Joan always dressed and looked very nice, smart, and she was intelligent. Joan joined our local Players Guild, always working backstage. She loved it and all the friendships that came with it. Joan loved to volunteer and worked many times at the Jazz Festival. Joan would help with cooking when we were doing a fundraiser. There was much laughter while cutting and sorting vegetables. We often went out for a girls’ lunch and chatted about what we had been doing since we last met. Joan loved Canada but always enjoyed trips back to UK, visiting family and friends.

 

Thorp, Moreen passportMoreen Thorp
Longtime Guild member Moreen Thorp passed away on July 3 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. She leaves behind her husband, Harold Thorp, and her daughter, Mary Spani, as well as many others who have sadly watched her slip away over the past few years. But prior to the sadness was a life filled with a passion for theatre so fierce that it inspired three subsequent generations of theatre-loving women. Moreen was a member of Vagabond Theatre for many years before joining the Guild when she and Harold moved to Chilliwack in 1995. She was a gifted costumer with a strong feel for fabric and its movement. As a costumer she obviously had an eye for colour, but she also had a knack for finding the telling detail that elevates a good costume. Our sincerest sympathy goes out to to Harold and Mary.

Her published obituary: April 27th, 1929 – July 3rd, 2016
Moreen M. Thorp (nee Hamar) died in Chilliwack on July 3, 2016, athe age of 87, following a long decline due to Alzheimer’s disease. She is survived by her husband, Harold Thorp, children Mary & Howard Spani, grandchildren Moreen Brooks & Daniel Goodrich, great-grandchildren Jonathon & Marissa Brooks, stepchildren Wendy Smith & Cindy Evans, Sharon Giesbrecht & Debbie Wooffinden, and their families. She was also
a favourite aunt – “Auntie Reeny” – to many nieces & nephews. A courageous traveller, Mom has left us with many stories and memories of her adventures. She was a very active supporter & participant in community theatre where ever she resided: in New Westminster with Vagabond Players, in Roslyn (Washington), in Hixon B.C. with Canyon Creek Players & in Chilliwack with the Chilliwack Players Guild. The family wishes to express deep thanks to the nursing and care-giving staff at Eden Care Centre, and especially to Dr. Ralph Jones. In lieu of flowers, for those who wish to honour Moreen, the family asks that you
support your local community theatre, however you can.

 

Proft_BernieBernie Proft
Bernie and Dalle joined the Guild in the late 1970’s and were involved in every aspect of work possible. Bernie’s time was a little more restricted as he was the General Manager of the (then) East Chilliwack Credit Union, which under his leadership, became one of the largest Credit Union organizations in Canada – Envision Financial.

Bernie was happiest building sets, having worked on nearly every production from the 70’s until he moved from Chilliwack to Langley as the Credit Union expanded in the late 1980s. He was always providing innovative solutions to the growing complexity of putting shows together in a variety of challenging venues. Despite his time commitments which limited his physical role, he always pledged the resources of the Credit Union to help in the success of productions. Photocopying was almost always donated by Bernie and the Credit Union was a constant sponsor of CPG shows. Even today, we maintain our bank accounts at Envision Financial as a result of a promise of free services in the early days.

Bernie’s one and only stage role came in the Guild’s first production of “Never Too Late” directed by Mel Stewart and featuring Dave Menzies and Dalle Proft in the leading roles. Bernie played a contractor helping Dalle’s character decide on home renovations – a role I am sure he duplicated many times in real life.

Bernie is survived by his wife Dalle, who continues as an active CPG member, and three children: Joanne, Roland and Norman.

His published obituary: March 26, 1933 – June 14, 2016
Bernhard Heinz (Bernie) passed away peacefully Tuesday June 14, 2016 in the company of his loving wife Dalle and daughter Joanne. Bernie is also survived by his sons, Roland and Norman, granddaughter Emmanuelle, daughter-in-law Julie, sister Suse and extended family in Germany. Bernie was born March 26, 1933 in Schoenbach, Germany, emigrated to Canada in 1953 and became a Canadian citizen in 1959. Bernie loved his new country and enjoyed all it had to offer – developing a career in finance and a passion for rally driving, camping and skiing. After marrying in 1962, and many moves, Bernie and family settled in Chilliwack when he became General Manager of East Chilliwack Credit Union, and then Chief Executive Officer of what is now Envision Credit Union, until retirement in 1998. During his time with the Credit Union, Bernie was very active at the board level of the Credit Union Members Insurance Societies group of companies including time as Chair. Bernie was a great supporter of education, community arts and sport and gave his time to many organizations in and around Chilliwack. He was a member of the Rotary Club, the Chilliwack Players Guild and was a volunteer board member and past-President of the Cheam Figure Skating Club. The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to staff at Menno Place in Abbotsford whose care and compassion during Bernie’s final days will always be remembered. Donations to the Alzhiemer’s Society of Canada would be an appreciated way of showing remembrance for Bernie.

 

Jim LathamJim Latham
Jim was a strong supporter of the Players Guild and the arts, primarily when his wife Freddie was active with the Guild in the 1980s.

His published obituary: Friday, 27 May 2016

After his valiant battle with cancer, the Latham family announces the passing of James Ernest Latham. The web of support and love for Jim during the final stages of his life was truly remarkable. He was never alone in the process and even during the most difficult times he somehow managed to take care of those who took care of him. Jim felt that he was “lucky in life” beyond his wildest dreams, and because he believed it, he truly was. He will be forever loved by his wife Freddy (nee Lowe), daughter Megan, and son Steven. They will always be the 4 Jolly Lathams. He will also be fondly remembered and deeply missed by his brothers Bob (Linda) and Bernie, sister Joan (Bob), brother-in-law Ron, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and his Cultus Lake family Elaine, Minda, Michael, Cedar, and Kasey Chittenden, as well as his feline friend, Murray. Jim was predeceased by his parents Ernie (Papa) and Marg (Gramma), and many great friends including Harold (Oscar to his Felix). He was a consummate educator whose passion for learning led him to a distinguished career in Public Education (Trail, Abbotsford, Hope-Agassiz, and Chilliwack). He was a treasured colleague and valued mentor who treated everyone he encountered with dignity and respect. Jim’s positive energy and upbeat attitude remain a part of his legacy.

 

VernaVerna Clarke
Verna passed away just months after her husband, Keith. She had been a member for twenty years. She often did make-up and helped with set painting, and she rarely missed a meeting or social event. Verna had a lifelong love of live theatre, and she was always an enthusiastic ambassador for the Guild.

 

Rolly and JanetRolly Fox
We regret to announce the passing of Rolly Fox. He is, of course, well known to Canadians for his life in the public eye as the father of Terry Fox. But on the private side, he was also Guild member Janet Fox’s husband, and her biggest fan. Our deepest sympathy to Janet, and to the rest of the Fox family.
His published obituary
Rolland (Rolly) Murray Fox was born March 22, 1935 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Rolly was the third of nine children born to Rodney Fox and Bertha (Shale) Fox. The early years were difficult financially for the large Fox family resulting in Rolly, at the youthful age of 9, calling Saint Michael and All Angels Church his home for 2 years. He would get a taste of the west coast when he attended a cadet camp in Abbotsford, B.C. Rolly would meet Betty Lou Wark on Winnipeg’s busiest and coldest intersection, Portage and Main, and they would marry in 1956. The following year their first child Fred was born, Terry would arrive in 1958, Darrell would follow 4 years later and finally Judith, the daughter Betty wanted, completed the Fox family in 1965. Rolly would begin a 36 year career with CN Rail in 1954. Working outside in the harsh Manitoba winters prompted Rolly to consider raising his family in a warmer climate. The Fox family would make the move to Surrey, B.C. in 1966 where they rented a house. With the move Rolly would lose 12 years seniority at CN and would have to start fresh in his new role as switchman on Vancouver’s north shore. In 1968 they would purchase 3337 Morrill St in Port Coquitlam which would be the family home for the next 16 years. Rolly and Betty insisted on good behaviour, good manners, that their children should respect their elders and to speak only when spoken to. Rolly was a competitor, he despised losing, whether it was a simple card game or rough wrestling in the living room – he was determined to win at all costs a trait successfully passed on to his children. In early 1977 son Terry would be diagnosed with osteo sarcoma. Rolly was devastated and bitter thinking that life had delivered an unfair and cruel turn – Rolly would say he wished he could change places with his son and he meant it. It is well known that Betty reacted negatively when Terry delivered the news that he was going to run across the country – knowing the will of his son Rolly simply said “when?”. When Terry died in 1981, Rolly and Betty were forced into roles neither were expecting or educated for but they had an endless passion for their son and inherently understood his values and vision. Betty was the public figure sharing Terry’s story – Rolly was the pillar of strength and support who was always close behind. He had a serious side but place him in front of a room full of friends and family and get ready to be entertained by an unscripted performance. He would evolve over the years from someone who was scrupulous with his money to a man who wanted to give to others regardless of the financial implications. Loneliness arrived in Rolly’s life with the passing of his wife Betty in 2011 after 54 years of marriage. Rolly went almost overnight from a homebody to a man never at home. He would meet Janet Shields during this time who was also experiencing loss with the passing of her husband. They would marry in the spring of 2013 – there was no denying Rolly’s happiness the last few years. Rolly was diagnosed with lung cancer, stage 4, in January. He was not devastated or bitter, accepted it quickly, fulfilling a promise to Terry of being strong and positive. It may have been his plan to give those around him these last few weeks a legion of memories to last a lifetime. Rolly is survived by his loving wife Janet, three children Fred(Theresa), Darrell(Bonnie), and Judith(Paul), step children Gary, Stephen and Joanne, nine grandchildren, Terrance(Melissa), Kirsten, Erin(Matthew), Jessica, Sarah, DJ, Tianna, Alexandra, and Connor and Dale Alder, brothers, Rod, Terry and Doug, sisters, Nancy, Barbara and Jeanine.

 

Diane
Diane Nosaty
Diane passed away on December 4, 2016, after fighting cancer for some time. She was a very active member of the Guild for several years. Some of her onstage credits include Steel Magnolias (1993), Lend Me a Tenor, California Suite, Do Not Go Gentle, Seduced by Moonlight, Friends and Neighbours, and British Nights. She also worked behind the scenes, and was assistant director for Talking Heads. The Guild extends its sympathy to her son Ryland, her husband Greg Davis, as well as to her family and friends.

Her published obituary:
The World lost a shining light on December 4th when Diane Davis passed away after a courageous fight with cancer.
So many positive adjectives could be applied to Diane: artistic; humble; sensual; strong; fun; compassionate; dedicated; determined; hilarious; adventurous. She filled her life with beautiful music, books, art and living things, and while she was very comfortable in solitude she was also a loving and fiercely loyal friend and partner. Those who knew Diane will remember her radiant smile, so natural and genuine, and the laughter that came so easily to her lips.
Diane spent most of her professional career in educational media, working for over two decades at what would eventually become the University of the Fraser Valley, where she retired as a graphic designer, producer and photographer in 2012.
Late in her life she was able to indulge her spirit of adventure and love of travel with journeys in Cuba, Mexico, England, Scotland, America and Western Canada. When she learned that she had late-stage cancer in 2013, she faced her disease with optimism and bravery that both comforted and awed those who loved and supported her.
She is cherished and sadly missed by her best friend and husband Greg; son Ryland Sweeney; Mother Olive Nosaty; Sister Loretta Latta; brothers Henry, Randy and Terry Nosaty; and devoted dog Chloe.

Keith2Keith Clarke
Players Guild members were saddened to hear that Keith Clarke had passed away on Ocotober 27, 2015. He and his wife Verna had been Guild members for nearly twenty years, and there are very few shows in that time that Keith wasn’t involved with behind the scenes. He produced, helped build many sets, served on the executive, and could always be counted on to help wherever it was required. His enthusiasm for theatre and its participants shone in everything he undertook.

 

Menzies_HazelHazel Menzies
Hazel and her husband Dave were founding members of the Players Guild, with their involvement going back to the Chilliwack Little Theatre days in the 1950s. She played the piano for some early British Nights.

Her published obituary: December 1, 1928 – September 1, 2015
Hazel Louise Menzies (née Freeman) passed away peacefully in the presence of her family on the evening of September 1, 2015 at Menno Home in Abbotsford. She was able to continue living in her own home until two years ago, thanks to the commitment of her son George, who lived with her since the passing of her beloved husband, David Menzies, in 2001. Hazel lived, worked, raised her family and volunteered extensively in the Fraser Valley for her whole life. Born December 1st, 1928 in her home on Topham Road in Milner (Langley), Hazel was the youngest of seven in a religious farming family. She played the piano in the local Sunday school and received the Citizenship Award at Langley High School in grade 10, 11 and 12. Tragedy struck her family at this time during WWII, when she lost her brother Flight Sergeant William Freeman, December 9, 1944, in a training accident in the Royal Canadian Air force. However, Hazel carried on, enrolling in Normal School to become a teacher, where her future husband David was drawn to her while playing the piano. They married October 16, 1948 and started raising their family in Columbia Valley, Cultus Lake and Sardis, where David taught school and Hazel taught piano lessons at home. Hazel played the organ and sang in the Cultus Lake Church Choir, at Coqualeetza Hospital Chapel services and later at the Carman United Church Services in Sardis, BC for almost 50 years. She accompanied instrumental and vocal soloists at all levels, and played for musicals, choir festivals, and led the Carman Junior choir for a few years. She also played for many years in the recorder group led by Mr. Dale Warr. Hazel and David shared a passion for education, music, community service and social justice. They were avid and well-informed community activists who worked together to protect farmland and foster community well-being in the Fraser Valley. They volunteered with the local school PTA, Meals on Wheels for seniors, and gave many donations to local, national and international aid and human rights organizations. Hazel served as a regional fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society during her service with them for over 20 years, and was present when Terry Fox first proposed his dream for the Marathon of Hope. Hazel also volunteered for over two decades at the Mountain Institution of the Correctional Service of Canada, spending most of her Saturday evenings helping prepare inmates for their release into the community. Hazel and Dave were members of the NDP for 45 years and Hazel supported Dave in running as a candidate in the federal election in 1974. Hazel is survived by her all six of her children: Ray, Bob, Barbara, George, John and Janet, as well as her twelve grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, who live throughout North America, from Santa Barbara to Kitimat. She supported and encouraged her children and grandchildren to excel in music, athletics, academics and outdoor skills such as camping and fishing. Hazel was a true communitarian and will live on in the thoughts and actions of those who knew her.

 

Jamie MacDonald

Jamie MacDonald
Jamie was a talented child when he lit up the Guild’s stage in The Music Man, Oliver, and A Christmas Carol in the 1980s.

His published obituary:
James (Jamie) Warren MacDonald January 22, 1970 ~ August 31, 2015
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Jamie, after a brief but valiant battle with cancer. He was surrounded by the love of his family and his many, many friends. Jamie was born and raised in Chilliwack, where we attended Bernard Elementary, A.D. Rundle Middle School and graduated from Chilliwack Senior Secondary. He had many interests, which he pursued with extreme vigor and passion. He was an amazing self-taught artist, and also had a fondness for acting. He was part of the Chilliwack Player’s Guild for many years and from a young age he acted in such plays as Oliver, The Music Man and The Christmas Carol. Jamie was always very passionate about BMX racing and over the years he won many trophies. That passion developed into a love of motors and speed, owning a ‘65 Pontiac MR2, street bikes and racing motorcycles. Jamie also loved the many family camping trips down the Oregon coast and up to the Okanagan. As far back as anyone can remember, Jamie had a smile that lit up any room he walked into and his laugh could brighten anyone’s day. He always had an easy time making friends; making and maintaining friendships from every walk of life. For many years he worked at Safeway and came to have many wonderful friends there. He will be greatly missed by his mom and dad, Eileen and Walter, sister Kathy (Barey), brother Rod (Sandy), his niece Mikayla and nephews, Mitchell, Michael, Cris, Jason, Kris, Trevor (Kristalyn) and Jeremy, as well as many cousins.

 

Maxwell_KevanKevan Maxwell
Kevan was active with the Guild for a short time in the 1980s. He appeared in the 1983 production of Not Now, Darling.

His published obituary: September 5, 2014

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Kevan Maxwell at the age of 90 years. Kevan was surrounded by the love of his family in his final days. Predeceased by his parents Walter and Emily Mullins, brother and sister-in-law Benjamin and Hilda Mullins and younger brother John Mullins. Missed by wife Ella Maxwell of 49 years, daughter Rosemary Brown (Tormay), son Colin Maxwell (Joanne), granddaughters Melissa (Dave), Jennifer (Bryan) and Amanda, great-grandchildren, Julia and Isaiah, sister-in-law Aino Mullins, and many nieces and nephews. Kevan was born in Poole, Dorset, England and was raised in a small modest house in Hinton, Wiltshire. During WWII, he landed in Normandy at Gold Beach. As a young soldier and radio operator for the British Royal Artillery Tank Division, some shrapnel exploded near him and he had a small piece on the top of his head until it was removed in 2001. He moved to Canada in 1951, taking the boat from SouthHampton to New York with his younger brother John; the rest of the family came over the following year. Even in older age, Kevan was an adventurous world traveler and once hiked Machu Picchu in Peru in a pair of dress shoes. He was very active until just before he passed away, and his granddaughters have memories of swimming in the pool and jumping on the trampoline with him. For over 75 years, Kevan loved his work as a landscape gardener. He began his career in England at the young age of 15, working alongside his father and brother. In the late 1970’s Kevan helped to plan and landscape Minter Gardens, building the stone walls with son Colin and building an authentic thatched-roof cottage. In the 1990’s he built a self-sufficient log house in the interior by falling and hauling the logs himself as well as building a stone fireplace. He had incredible work ethic, probably in part due to his extreme athleticism! He was a boxer in his younger years and even won a few trophies. Kevan was very fond of history and liked to learn new things. He was always paying attention to the world around him and looking for different explanations for the mystery of life. He had many opinions that did not match his “generation” and he liked to go against the grain of popular thinking. He was a vegetarian for 50 years. Kevan like memorizing and reciting long poems, such as “If,” “The Man in the Mirror,” and “The Shooting of Dan McGrew.” From 1947 – 1950 he was a member of the Salisbury Amateur Dramatic Society. He belonged to Toastmasters for many years and was even in a few “British Nights” put on by the Chilliwack Players Guild. Kevan performed in several channel 8 TV series. “People in Conflict” and “Magistrates Court” in the 60’s and 70’s. He was also a talented writer and published some of his memories from the war. He enjoyed the occasional trip to the casino with whoever would go with him, as well as playing pool at the Seniors Centre with his son. Kevan was faced with many difficult decisions throughout his life and always tried to do the right thing for his family. We will miss his sparkle and sense of humour. Kevan has chosen to donate his remains to the UBC School of Medicine for scientific research. We are proud of him for making such an important contribution to academic research. The family would like to thank the staff of CGH ICU and to Dr. Alex Bartel for his care and compassion. Private family gathering on September 21, 2014. Papa, we love you very much and will miss you forever. “Right-O.”

David Glyn-Jones 
His published Obituary: October 11, 1922 – September 19, 2013
David Glyn-Jones died peacefully after a brief illness. He lived life with joy in his heart and a twinkle in his eye. Born in Swansea, Wales, David emigrated to Canada in 1948 after serving in WWII as an RAF bomber pilot. Here, he enjoyed over 50 years as a professional actor and singer, and was among the pioneers of Canada’s radio, television, film and theatre industries. David maintained his sharp wit, keen sense of humour, and regard for those he loved most to the very end. He will be deeply missed by his beloved wife Hanne, his children and grandchildren.
Keith2Eileen Smith
Eileen was a fixture for several years in the Chilliwack Players Guild’s British Night productions. She love to perform in comedic numbers, usually with her good friend Eileen Gustafson. Eileen’s husband Frank was one of the British Night pioneers in the 1970s, accompanying all the songs on his accordion.

Her published Obituary:
Eileen Smith passed away on July 9th 2011 at the Chilliwack Hospital at age 85 years. She was born on July 25th 1925 in London, England. Eileen worked as a secretary at various doctor’s offices and was also employed with the Royal Navy (WREN Aircraft Mechanic). She graduated high school in 1942 and was enlisted with Royal Navy (Fleet Air ARM (WREN) from 1943-45. Eileen met her husband Frank when attached to sister Aircraft Squadrons (Naval) at Crail, Scotland. They married on October 13th 1945 in London, England. Eileen will be remembered by her husband of 65 years, Frank, and son Michael N. Smith. Also survived by her sisters Rose Pearson and Irene. She was predeceased by her parents Arthur and Elizabeth Keefe.

John Plowman, Graham Archer, Eileen Smith in Pygmalion (1986)

 

WinGladmanWin Gladman
Win Gladman was one of the pioneers of the Chilliwack Players Guild. She acted, directed, and did just about everything else. Her involvement spanned the years when the Guild was known as Chilliwack Little Theatre, through the early days of the Players Guild, and in the brief period when the Guild had its own theatre: the Charles Laughton Theatre, whose sign hangs in the Guildhall today.

Her published obituary:
GLADMAN, Winifred E. (nee Clapton) Passed away peacefully at Vancouver General Hospital on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at the age of 94. Wyn will be lovingly missed and remembered by her son Ian (Jane); grandsons Samuel and Caelum; her sister Iris; and many nieces and nephews.

 

Betty Rannie350 pixelsBetty Rannie
Her published obituary:
August 19, 1907-March 1, 2010

Yes, that’s 102 1/2. Betty was born on August 19, 1907 in Liverpool, England. In 1926, she decided to follow her brother Eric Dick and move to Saskatchewan. Three years later she moved to Victoria where she met and married Nathaniel Stevens in 1932. After becoming a widow, Betty trained as a Dental Hygienist, and was posted overseas in 1942. After the war Betty returned to live in Vancouver and began working with the local Girl Guide movement. She eventually became a commissionaire for the organization. In 1952 she moved to Port Alberni where she met and married Tom Rannie, the local radio announcer. They were transferred to Chilliwack when Tom got a job working for the radio, CHWK. Both of them became involved with the local theatre community and helped form the Chilliwack Little Theatre which ran for a few years out of the Charles Laughton Theatre. This group later became known as the current Chilliwack Players Guild. Betty became a life member of the Guild and, until she retired, was one of its eldest members. Betty served on the Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary for 35 years, renowned for the many baby outfits she knitted. For a number of years she worked for the Cultus Lake Laboratory of the International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission. Betty passed away quietly on March 1, 2010 after spending the last 2 years at the Bradley Centre. She will be missed by her loving family, niece Barbara [Dave] Flewelling and their children, Stephen [Marcie], Susan [Mike] all of Ontario, and her nephew, John [Patsy] Dick and their children, Allan, Matthew and Andrew all living in Nova Scotia. Her cousin, Betty Green and her other ‘family’, David [Hanne] Glyn-Jones and his sons, Eric [Eleanor] and Chris and her dear friend, Lorraine Mullin and her two daughters, Jane and Sarah. Opinionated, sometimes blunt, but never unkind, Betty would sometimes shake her head at the behaviors of these modern days, saying, in the words of her beloved William Shakespeare, “Oh, what fools these mortals be!” We love you Betty, and we will miss you! Forthright as ever, Betty commanded there be no funeral service. For those of us remaining, we thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

 

Manuel, Vera,400Vera Manuel
Vera first set foot on a stage when she joined the Chilliwack Players Guild in 1965. She was 17 and she was bitten. She was a member of the Junior Guild and even when she wasn’t actively involved in a production, there was always something about being in that space that drew her back – to pitch in wherever she was needed, watch as a play came together in rehearsal or just hang out amongst so much talent. She loved to feel the suspense of waiting for the show to begin and then feel the power and pleasure of reaching out to an audience, and absorb that creative energy that surely only theatre people bleed out of their pores.

She loved every minute. The Guild was a family and she was home. There was friendship, there was mentorship and there was the seed of what she would become: a storyteller with her own production company, a writer, an acclaimed poet, a playwright and a healer. She used her gifts, honed through her theatre experiences with the Guild, to spend over 20 years touring North America with her own special theatrical brand of counseling. She used drama and poetry to help those silenced by trauma to recover their voices, to tell their stories, and to return any “secrets” they had gathered into the common pool of shared knowledge and memory, so that the burdens of history could be shared by the community and the individual’s heart lighter and more free. She touched so many with her humbleness, her joy of life, her love for her family and friends, and her spiritual clarity: her wisdom was there whenever it was needed.She will be missed but Vera (Kulilu Palki – Butterfly Woman) Manuel will be held in the hearts of so many for so long.

Her published obituary: January 22, 2010

Secwepemc-Ktunaxa writer Vera Manuel dies at 61
By Stephen Hui, Georgia Straight

Family and friends of Vera Manuel are mourning the death of the Vancouver-based Secwepemc-Ktunaxa playwright, poet, and storyteller. On January 22, she died in Vancouver General Hospital at the age of 61. Manuel’s many works include The Strength of Indian Women, a play about residential-school life. She was the eldest daughter of Grand Chief George Manuel, the first president of the National Indian Brotherhood.

Her family sent the following statement to the Straight:

Vera Manuel passed away last week, leaving an important legacy as writer, poet, playwright, storyteller and as someone dedicated to using her cultural knowledge in the healing of Aboriginal people.Her play, Strength of Indian Women was staged through-out North American and published as in the anthology Two Plays about Residential Schools (along with Larry Loyie). Her work was honoured with inclusion at the Native American Women Playwrights Program, housed at Maima University, in Oxford, Ohio. Her poetry has appeared in various publications, most recently in ROCKSALT: An Anthology of Contemporary B.C. Poetry. She was given a Life-time Achievement Award by the World Poetry organization here in Vancouver and the Aboriginal Writer’s Collective will be arranging the publication of her work in the near future. She was most recently Poet-in-Resident with the Aboriginal Media Lab.

She was the daughter of cultural leader Marceline Paul and political leader George Manuel Sr. She is survived by her loving dog U’tspo and 4 loving brothers; Arthur, Richard, George Jr., and Ara; her 4 loving sisters; Emaline, Doreen, Martha and Ida; and her numerous loving nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her Mother, Marceline Paul, Father, George Manuel Sr, and Brother Robert (Bobby) Manuel.

 

Stan Dahl
On Feb 3rd, 2009, we were sad to note the passing of valued, long-time Guild member, Stan Dahl.Stan joined the Guild in 1977, and provided us with some incredible photos. He had such a sense of just the right moment to snap the picture – not just because of his intuitive timing, but because he sat there for rehearsal after rehearsal, getting the essence of the scenes and then finally at dress rehearsal preserving the moments perfectly. (For some wonderful examples of both comedy & drama shots, check out the web pages for Fiddler on the Roof, with the immortal shot of Bob Forsythe as Tevye; Agnes of God; zany comedy like Not Now, Darling, Noises Off; and so on.)

Stan’s 100% commitment to whatever he was involved with is well known, particularly in the Arts community. He was on the Chilliwack Cultural Strategy Committee in its initial research into the current Cultural Centre, & above all, he was passionate about the Players Guild. He helped with sets, painting, PR, etc., whenever possible, and finally appeared onstage in 2005’s You Can’t Take it With You.

 

BobInTuxBob Forsythe
April l18, 1924-September 14, 2004
On Sunday, September 26, the Arts Centre theatre was filled to capacity for a celebration of the life of one of the Guild’s most beloved and talented members. Few have touched the hearts and imaginations of so many people. Anyone who knew Bob Forsythe has a story to tell — of his stagecraft, his sense of humour, his kindness, his generosity. Our hearts go out to Audrey Neufeld, his wife of twenty years.

From his first involvement with the Guild in the mid-1970’s he was a driving force and inspirational influence for all of us. Chilliwack audiences will never forget his Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and Fagin in Oliver, and his A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square was the high point of many British Night productions. His legendary scene-stealing was hilarious, but it was never at the expense of a fellow actor. He sometimes quoted Claude Jutra (one of the directors he worked with professionally), who said, “Don’t just do something – stand there.” He welcomed and appreciated the creativity of others, and his discipline was uncompromising. He never gave less than everything he had, whether onstage or behind the scenes.

On opening nights at the Arts Centre when he wasn’t performing, he could be found charming theatre-goers at the door — hoisting an umbrella if it was raining, and making each audience member feel just a little bit special. That was one of his greatest gifts: he made everyone feel that way.

 

JaneJane Logie 
August 8, 1934 to June 24, 2003
A name many Theatre BC veterans will be familiar with has made her final exit. Jane Logie passed away on June 24, 2003 at the age of 68 in Chilliwack after a long, courageous battle with a painful arthritic condition. Jane was well known throughout British Columbia for her involvement in community and professional theatre as a director, actor, singer, choreographer and drama teacher.
Born on August 8, 1934 in Leeds, England, Jane emigrated to Courtenay with her family when she was in her early teens. As an adult, Jane’s adventurous spirit saw her live New Zealand, Australia, and Rhodesia, but always coming back to Canada. She spent a number of years teaching in various schools in Courtenay, Kelowna, and Chilliwack. She also became heavily involved in theatre, initially in Courtenay where she honed her acting, singing and dancing abilities

In the mid 70’s Jane decided to pursue a lifelong dream: to become a professional actor. To achieve this goal, she obtained more formal theatre education at the University of Victoria. As a professional actor, she worked in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and even New Zealand, and it was in this period she became known in the community theatre world in BC, leading workshops and adjudicating for Theatre BC.

She retired to Chilliwack in 1994. In her later years she continued to give of herself and her talent, volunteering with a local senior citizen’s program. She will always be remembered for her energy, her talent, and her creative ways of loving her family and friends. Jane is survived by her brother, Michael Parrish, sister-in-law, Cathy Parrish, son, Kevin Ault, daughter-in-law, Carol Ault, daughter, Kerry Cooper, granddaughter, Jennifer Ault and grandson, Trevor Cooper and a host of loving friends and family. A memorial service for Jane Logie was held July 2, 2003 in Chilliwack. As a last request, Jane asked that instead of flowers, donations could be made to The Actor’s Fund of Canada, 260 Richmond Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5A 1P4.

Mott, MonaMona Mott
On October 15, 1998, Mona died peacefully at home after fighting cancer for two years. She joined the Players Guild shortly after moving to Chilliwack in 1983, to live near her daughter, Judy Hill. Although Mona was basically a shy person, she was lively and vivacious once she got to know people. She liked nothing better than to have a good time, if that could be combined with music in some way, so much the better. She greatly enjoyed British Night rehearsals — sometimes attending every one. She was a great laugher, and her smile lit up the room.

When Mona had been in Chilliwack for a couple of years, she and her husband Terry organized the food for several British Nights, making sure it was well presented, tasty, and economical.

After Terry’s death, Mona became the “chip lady” for several more British Night productions, and she enjoyed watching performance after performance.

Her humour and sparkle were cherished, and she will always be missed by anyone who knew her.

Pat O’Brien
Pat, born in Texas, came to Toronto in 1968 and met Virginia O’Brien. They married in 1969 and moved to Chilliwack in 1975, where they opened O’Brien’s Bookshop on Wellington Ave. (A few years later Pat worked as the Program Manager of the local cable TV station.) There was a bulletin board by the front door of the bookstore and it wasn’t long before a CPG member (Clint?) came by asking to hang a poster. Pat had been involved backstage in theatre with Virginia when she was the President of her College Drama Club at the University of Toronto. So in 1976 Pat and Virginia became official CPG members. Pat was involved in set building, as backstage crew, and as a lighting/sound operator.

Always interested in politics,he was elected twice to City Council in the late 70’s/early 80’s and was a strong voice for arts and culture. He was also President of the Community Arts Council.

Pat died suddenly of a heart attack on Mar 6, 1991. He had just celebrated his 46th birthday on Feb. 7th.

Mott, TerryTerry MottTerry was an amazing individual who had led a very distinguished and fascinating life before coming to Chilliwack from Montreal in 1983 to be with the love of his love, Mona Beaton. He had been Chief of Protocol for Via Rail, and brought his expertise and organizational skills to the kitchens of Evergreen Hall.

He and Mona provided food for the masses for several British Nights, and Terry was meticulous about every detail. He made sure the food was on time and on budget.

He spoke and read English, French, and German. He loved Chilliwack, music, literature, lively political discussion, and above all, family. His quiet generosity was immeasurable, and many instances of his kindness came to light only after he had passed away. He died suddenly of a heart attack in 1990.

Mona and Terry Mott

Mona and Terry Mott, March 1987

Fran Hollins
We hope to receive some Information about Fran in the near future.
Frank Hollins
We hope to receive some Information about Frank in the near future.
Patti Grieve
We hope to receive some Information about Patti in the near future.
Dave Menzies
We hope to receive some Information about Dave in the near future.

Ray Logie
We hope to receive some Information about Ray in the near future.
Peter Slack
We hope to receive some Information about Peter in the near future.