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Marjorie May (Gauchie/Bernhardt) Down

September 28, 1921 ~ January 9, 2018 (age 96)


Marjorie May DOWN (nee Gauchie/Bernhardt)

Marjorie May Down passed away peacefully on January 9, 2018 at the age of 96 years after a brief illness. She was sadly predeceased by her husband Robert ‘Bob’ Down, daughter Pamela McNab, son Alex Bernhardt,  brothers Robert and Frank Gauchie, and sisters Ivy Dupuis and Janet Janson.

Marjorie is remembered and sadly missed by her loving family: son Doug (Shelly) Bernhardt; grandchildren Casey Bernhardt, Gavin (Jacey) Bernhardt, Robbie (Melonie) McNab, Sean (Dawn) McNab, and Tara (Chuck) Veltman; and great grandchildren Phoenix, Mikaela, Kristen, Samantha, Alicia, Cody, and Michael.  She was a favorite auntie to her numerous nieces and nephews and was especially close to her brother Robert Gauchie’s daughters: Patti, Miki, and Lynda and her sister Ivy’s son, Lynn Kendel. She was lovingly known as ‘Grandma LaLa’ to all her beloved grandchildren and their children.  

Marjorie will be very much missed by her best friend Betty McAvoy of West Kelowna, good friends Barbara and Orv Robson and family, Ernie and Maureen Valgardson, Helen Townsley, as well as her extended families by marriage: Moira Lipscombe, Jan and Jacques, Bobby (Frank) Krause, Noreen, and Peter and Ron Down.

Marjorie was born on September 28, 1921 in Onoway, AB to Renee and Muriel Gauchie, raised in Barrhead and attended the Vermillion School of Agriculture, graduating in 1940.  Her yearbook says it perfectly: Quote: “Marjorie is a fascinating mixture of enthusiasm and energy and knows how to use that smile and those come-hither eyes of hers. It has made life a lot brighter for a lot of us.  Marjorie’s basketball and ice activities are only rivalled by her performance on the dance floor, where she is in great demand. Her future will be neither lonely, idle, nor dull.”   Her message to her loved ones was to not take yourself too seriously, don’t be afraid to be silly, enjoy, have fun, and love, love, love.

A long-time Summerland resident, Marjorie was a very independent free spirit living in her own home, was a bit stubborn, and marched to her own drum.  At a moment’s notice, she would often take off exploring in her car.  She was never afraid to go wandering by herself or with a friend and sometimes just for a walk to Cartwright Mountain with her cat ‘Hercules’. 

Marjorie always welcomed family and friends to camp in the yard or nearby so they could enjoy visits and a BBQ together. A lover of the outdoors, Marjorie expressed her vision of heaven on earth to be a cabin on a river in the forest, electricity optional.  She had a keen sense of humour and was always interested in everyone’s life and what they were doing.  Family and friends meant the world to her and not being a burden to anyone was always uppermost in her mind.  She took great pride in looking after herself and to stay in her own home she reluctantly accepted limited help. Summerland and her home were the summer destination to all her family. Everyone was made to feel very welcome.

She loved line dancing, gardening, and outdoor activities, including skiing. Her love for music had her singing with the Sweet Adelines and she especially loved travelling to Hawaii and Yuma. 

Bob and Marjorie were married in 1971, lived in Calgary and later moved to Abbotsford and Summerland. They enjoyed many activities together with the Al Azhar Shriners in Calgary.

Marjorie had the rare ability to really listen to people.  Her thirst for knowledge never waned. She had a wonderful sense of humour and shared her many great memories of people, places, and events.  Marjorie was grateful and appreciated whatever was done for her and she never failed to express her sincere thanks. She was always ready to offer her help. “Hers was a life well and truly lived. May she rest in peace.”

To honour her wishes for an informal service, a “Celebration of Marjorie’s Life” with interment to join her beloved Bob, will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at Providence’s Summerland Chapel, 13205 Rosedale Ave., Summerland, BC. 

Memorial donations may be made to a favorite charity.

Condolences may be directed to the family through 250-494-7752.

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