RUTH GOWANS

Ruth Gowans, aged 98, passed away peacefully on the evening of February 17th, 2017, in the Peace Arch Hospital, just two weeks after her 98th birthday. Ruth was born in Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan, the second child of William S. and Janet (Robertson) Paton. She grew up on her family farm just outside of town, graduated from High School, and then went into nursing at Grey Nuns Hospital in Regina. After graduating as an RN, she worked as a nurse during the war at Deerlodge Veterans Hospital in Winnipeg. After the war, she moved with girlfriends to Trail, B.C. where she got a nursing job in the Trail-Tadanac Hospital. It was while she was working as a nurse that she met her future husband, William (Bill) K. Gowans, a young engineer who was a patient in the hospital. They were married on May 21st, 1949 and began a family in Warfield. Ruth was active with her children’s activities, making sure they were involved in cultural and sports as well as church activities – piano lessons, Scottish dancing, baseball for Jim. She sewed all the girls’ clothing with meticulous care. Ruth herself was very active in her church, volunteering for the Ladies’ Auxiliary and contributing to all the bake sales. In 1964, the family moved to Kimberley, B.C. where Bill was transferred. Ruth again got very involved in her church activities as well as making sure her children were involved in the church, as well as school and other activities. She went back nursing part-time for the first couple of years in Kimberley. Once the children graduated from high school and went off to university and nursing school, Ruth kept herself busy as usual, getting even more involved in volunteer activities – at the church and in the community. She spent her spare time by sewing, knitting and doing needlepoint. Ruth was well organized and always found time to get involved in her community – keeping busy was her way of relaxing! When Bill retired, Ruth started their retirement activity, traveling to “the old country” (Great Britain) as well as across Canada to visit her children and her family – on the Prairies and around B.C. Bill passed away in late 1991, and Ruth continued to live in their home in Kimberley, continuing her volunteer activities while managing her home herself. She was well-known in the neighbourhood, especially for her insistence on shoveling off her driveway roof several times a winter – even into her late 80’s when her children finally stopped her from doing that by convincing her to sell her home and move into an apartment in White Rock in March 2009, at the age of 90. She stayed in her own apartment until she broke her hip, and then moved into the Sunnyside Manor, a residence for seniors, where she resided until her passing. Ruth is survived by her three children and spouses, Linda R Crane (Stephen), James K Gowans (Kathleen), and Maureen E Bjorseth (Leif), seven grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren. Ruth was predeceased by her three sisters, Iva Dorey, Hilda Buckingham and Beatrice McClinton. She will be missed by her loving family.


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