ROSE MARY SYKES (NEE MILLER)
Suddenly, yet peacefully, at the age of 92 on June 9, 2008 in Vernon, B.C., Aunt Rose joined her
beloved Frank. She was born in Otway, B.C. in 1915 to Frederick Joseph Miller and Olga Brabenec.
A fifi rst generation Canadian, Rose was raised speaking Czech. When Rose was young the family
moved to DeFuniak Springs, Florida and then to Chicago, Illinois, before returning to the Prince
As an adult, Rose moved to Winnipeg to live close to her brother, Carl. She lived there for a few
years before returning to B.C. to live in Surrey. Rose’s fifi rst marriage to Oscar Gustafson ended in
divorce. It was when she met and married “the love of her life”, Frank Sykes, that she said her life
truly began. She always described her years with Frank as being the happiest years of her life.
Aunt Rose was always interested in the world around her. In 1968 she visited
Norway and Sweden. Her “dream trip” was in 1996 when she traveled to Maui and Oahu with
her sister-in-law, Gertrude, and her niece Susan and family. There she reveled in the flfl ora,
constantly asking “What IS that plant?” Yes, Rose loved her flfl owers, knowing both the common
and botanical names for most plants. She was a step ahead of everyone else, knowing the curative
properties of herbs, recommending ginger for an upset stomach. Aunt Rose was a lover of puzzles
– jigsaw, crossword, word search, riddles – and of music – Andre Rieu, the Abbeyfifi eld singers,
singing along to the car radio. She was someone who really listened to what you had to say.
Aunt Rose moved to Armstrong B.C. after Frank died, where she made many
wonderful friends who became her “family”. She was an independent woman who lived life on
her terms, never afraid to take a chance, from riding in a hot air balloon or a helicopter, to vacationing
on a houseboat, to traveling to Europe by herself.
Left to remember Aunt Rose with love and respect are: Susan (niece), Dan, Amanda
and Chris Hope of Winnipeg; Aran (nephew) and Amanda (great-niece) Zarowski of Armstrong;
George (nephew) Cameron of Saskatoon; Gail Campbell-Richardson (niece) of Arizona; Don Miller
(nephew) of New Mexico; numerous friends in Surry and Armstrong. Special thanks to her close
friends Edna, Vi, Alex, Dawn, Kevin, Judy, Carol, Lois, Pam and Len: she loved every one of you very
A memorial service for Aunt Rose will be held on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 11:00
a.m. at Personal Alternative Funeral Services, 2980 Smith Drive, Armstrong. Rev. Edward Roworth
offifi ciating. A reception will follow. Even though Aunt Rose had a well-known love and appreciation
for flfl owers, they are gratefully declined. In lieu of flfl owers please make a donation in Rose’s
memory to Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation, 2101 32nd Street, Vernon, B.C. V1T 5L2.
Arrangements in the care of
Personal Alternative Funeral Services,