October 19, 1926 – June 9, 2019
It is with deep sadness but great faith that we announce the death of Thelma Margaret Varcoe (Ciaccia), loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother; preceded in death by her husband, John (Jack) Varcoe.
Left to mourn her passing but cherish her memory are her children; Thomas (Alana), Nola van der Pauw (Richard), Kathy McBryan, Lisa Lawrance (Ron), her grandchildren; Darren, Amanda, Nicolas, Kristen, Rick, Trevor, Mathea, Joshua, Kevin, her great grandchildren; Daven, Alivia, Bodhi, Brooklyn, Carson, Liam, Ayla, Anjali, and her only surviving sister Lydia Sobotka.
Thelma was born in Kelowna, BC and grew up on a farm in the Okanagan Valley. Despite contracting Polio as a young child, she never considered the disease a disability and lived life to the fullest. She attended Provincial Normal School – Vancouver Island University where she received her Teaching Certification. After obtaining her teaching credentials she relocated to Trail, BC for her first teaching position where she met and married Jack and raised their four children.
The family moved to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory in 1968 and then to Maple Ridge, BC in 1973. Upon retirement, Jack and Thelma moved to Mission BC.
Thelma was a creative, caring, and enthusiastic teacher instructing students from preschool to adults. She was a strong supporter, advocate, and pioneer in the field of Special Education. Thelma was a flamboyant fashionista clearly ahead of her time.
She enjoyed writing, sketching, public speaking, drama, music, cooking, and especially preparing Sunday family dinners. Thelma was an active member of the communities where she lived involving herself with the Catholic Women’s League, Cythera Transition House, Post-Polio Awareness and Support Society, and many other organizations.
Mom, you are forever in our hearts.