Jeanie Hirst Ryley (née Paterson)

Jeanie Hirst Ryley (née Paterson)

July 15, 1917 – July 29, 2020
Having brightened the lives of others throughout her 103 years, our beloved Jeanie passed away peacefully, surrounded by her adoring family.
Predeceased by her sisters, Stella, Bunty, and Jessie and by her husband, Bryan Kendall Ryley in 1992.
Survived by daughters, Janis (and Jack Paxton) of Chilliwack, BC and Ryley (and Murray Shaw) of Vernon, BC; grandchildren Stacey Jones, Kelly Pringle, Jeanie Calver, Emily Styles, Lucas Shaw, and Madeleine Shaw; great-grandchildren Ryley, Owen, Piper, Fergus, Duncan, Summer, Grayson, Julianne, and wee George Teddy, whom she met just a week before her passing.
Jeanie was born in Prince Rupert, BC, the second of four girls to Scottish immigrants, Margaret (Ross) and Edward (Teddy) Paterson. She spent her childhood happily playing in the ocean and forests of Nanaimo and then the lakes and mountains of Nelson, BC. She always loved the outdoors best!
Jeanie climbed Mt. Loki above Kootenay Lake in her early twenties and made her last hike into Kokanee Glacier in her late eighties. She was still skiing (and winning) marathons in her seventies and eighties. She camped and swam and skied into her nineties. When she took up painting she painted landscapes most of all.
During WWII, Jeanie joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC). She served overseas in London where her shorthand skills were put to good use recording the stories of returning soldiers for the History Section of the Canadian Army.
While in London, she was re-acquainted with a young soldier/old friend from home, Bryan Ryley. They fell in love and were married on their return to Nelson where they raised their two daughters and Jeanie worked as a stenographer for the BC Government, Land Inspection Division. Jeanie and Bryan retired to 100 Mile House in 1977 and moved to Vernon in 1990.
In spite of having to quit school at 16 when her father died, Jeanie was always an advocate for education. She exemplified life-long learning and community service. Jeanie was elected to the Nelson School Board and served two terms as chairperson; she was an active member of her church, fulfilling a number of roles over the years; she was president of the Federation of Canadian Artists, 100 Mile Branch, and other artist groups in Vernon. Whatever she joined, she generally rolled up her sleeves and got involved.
Always well read and well informed, Jeanie led those dinner table discussions when we worked together to solve the problems of the world.
As a life-long student of Christian Science and a believer in the goodness of humanity, Jeanie lived her life with curiosity, commitment, passion, positivity, humour, and pure joy.
Oh Happy Day!
Our family would like to express appreciation to the staff and residents (Jeanie’s friends and help-mates) at Orchard Valley Retirement Residence for the love shown her during the past ten years. There will be no service, by request.
Everlasting arms of Love
Are beneath, around, aboveObituary


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