February 16, 1930 – July 19, 2019
Elizabeth Marian “Libby” Tassie died peacefully in her sleep in the early hours of Friday, July 19th, 2019 at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital. She was 89 years old.
Libby was born on February 16, 1930 in Vancouver to Hugh and Marion (Sanders) Barclay. She outlived her two younger siblings: Nancy Marx (1931 – 2012) late of Tenakee Springs, Alaska and Bruce Barclay (1934 – 2011) of North Vancouver. Libby’s spirit, resilience, and sense of duty was instilled at an early age with her family immersed within the social and business affairs of North Vancouver despite the hardships brought by the Depression and WW2. Even though Libby spent more than half of her life in the Okanagan, these early years in North Vancouver overlooking Burrard Inlet, the association with the city, and the sounds of the sea never left her.
Libby graduated from North Van High in 1948 and then entered the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing. She graduated in 1952 and completed post graduate studies in operating room procedures at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland in 1954. Her career as a nurse was one of which she was very proud; from ward nursing to the operating room, and to public health. Later in life, she enjoyed a new-found career with the Vernon Museum which embraced her love of local history.
In early 1953, her adventurous spirit caught the attention of Peter Tassie, then a young engineer just starting his career up the west coast. They married in May 1955 and she embarked on another adventure by moving to Peter’s hometown, the small city of Vernon, where they started their family. All four children were born here: Paul (Kim), Mary, Roger (Akhila), and Jane (Randy). But Vernon was only a start, for they went back to UBC in 1968, then to Alberta and Saskatchewan, and returned in 1974.
Libby will be lovingly remembered by her husband Peter of 64 years, all her children, and eight grandchildren (Laura, Emma, and Graham, Caitlin and Elise, and Saagar, Anjali, and Mahan). Her cousins in Vancouver, on Vancouver Island, and in New Zealand remember her with fondness. Libby was a devoted wife and mother and a quiet dedicated community supporter. Along with her nursing and museum work, she was active with the Okanagan Historical Society and other heritage organizations, the Performing Arts Centre Society, the Inner Wheel Club, All Saints Anglican
Church, provincial and federal politics, and gratefully attended many performances of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra.
Over the years, Libby was the consummate host. She could and did organise and prepare wonderful social engagements and relaxed elegance was her fortÃ©. She hosted all her family and friends both near and far, exchange students, Peter’s work associates, the volunteers within the organizations listed and more, politicians and campaigners of all stripes, and anyone or anything else that deserved celebration. She and Peter always threw a good party.
Libby’s health declined in recent years and she endured the trials of old age. She displayed remarkable resilience as her health wavered. Regardless, she was always happy to see her family, loyal friends, enjoy country drives, fresh air, and sip a glass of wine, maybe two. We would like to thank Dr. Fred Dyck for his unstinting patience, guidance, and professionalism throughout Mom’s final years. We also thank Monique Fortin and Pat Jennens, her caregivers, who faithfully supported Libby in recent years.
Libby wanted “no fuss” for her service but we are anyway. It is the least we can do to honour our wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin, and friend. Cremation followed her decease and a memorial service will be held at All Saints Anglican Church in Vernon on Friday, August 9th, 2019 at 2:00 pm.
In her memory, we encourage you to support your community in some way. She would have likely reflected upon your generosity with favour and, in time, would have thrown a party to celebrate.
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