After an amazing 95 years, it is with sad hearts that we share the passing of our beloved Hilary Tutt Appel, also known as Mom, Grandma and GG (Great Grandma). We are comforted knowing that on July 23, 2023, she held the hands of her son Dee Dee and her grandson Simon, while they guided her to the gates of heaven to be reunited with the love of her life, Wally, who she married on July 19, 1952.
Hilary was born and raised in Kelowna, BC and was the 3rd oldest of 8 in the historical Tutt family. She grew up on the Tutt Dairy Farm in the lower mission, where she had an enriched childhood. Hilary loved her siblings dearly and had a wonderful relationship with all of them until her last days. She is survived by her brothers, Mike and Brian Tutt, and sister Stacy MacInnis.
One of the favourite stories Hilary would tell us, was how she met the love of her life, Wally, at Keloka Orchards in East Kelowna. Every time she told the story, her face would light up, and she would get a twinkle in her eye. They were a beautiful example of dedication and commitment and had the privilege of sharing 69 years together before Wally was called home in September 2021.
Hilary’s greatest legacy will always be the 9 children she brought into this world: Rick, Allan, Fran, Donald “Dee Dee”, Evie, Joan, Stacy, Beth, and Jack. As you can imagine, a household with 11 big personalities had its challenges, but as a wife and a mother, her resilience was undeniable. We often reflect upon the hustle and bustle of life, and when our small families become overwhelming, we remind ourselves, “Mom/grandma did this 9 times” …That’s not to say she didn’t forget a kid or two behind every now and then and would have to go back to pick them up!
With her ever-growing family, there was no denying that Wally remained of utmost importance and the true love of her life. Their faith was an integral part of their daily routine, and they would religiously say their prayers together, holding hands every night. Two people fell in love and created a legacy of 65 lives spanning over 5 generations, totalling to 6 generations, including Hilary’s mother, who was also born in Kelowna. They shared an incredible retirement together travelling down to Arizona for the winters and enjoying their acreage, camping, and fishing in the summers. They were blessed to live on their property until the age of 90 and believed that living simply and staying active is what kept them young.
As we reflect on Hilary’s life, it is clear that grand gestures were not of great importance to her, but rather the small things and small actions held the most meaning. For example, in 1948 on her 21st birthday, she was given a journal that she filled with birthdays, anniversaries, and all other special occasions that occurred in her family. On each of those dates, Hilary would always give a phone call to acknowledge these milestones and knitted a new sweater for every new baby brought into her world. She has 20 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild. As you can imagine, she had her work cut out for her!
We would like to share some of the favourite lessons we learned from Hilary, Mom, and Grams:
1. Every sour cream container is a perfectly good Tupperware container, and you should keep them all.
2. Never throw out a bread clip – they can come in handy!
3. A 4L ice cream pail is the perfect compost bucket for scraps.
4. Keeping your children’s bikes for 30 years is worthwhile, so that you can witness the future generations enjoy them as well.
5. If you no longer want a swimming pool, it can be made into an awesome frog pond…and if you don’t want a frog pond, just fill it in with sand!
6. The best way to tell the truth is to just say it directly to someone’s face.
7. Always knit a sweater to welcome a new life into this world.
8. Always say grace before a meal to bless your food and follow with a game of cribbage to digest!
9. Always make sure there’s candy in the candy dish…kids young and old will look for it.
10. Have never ending patience to teach “the littles.”
Even though we knew this day was coming, the hole we all feel in our hearts is immense. 95 years isn’t enough time to share with a person like Hilary, and we will all continue our journey longing for her hand squeeze, laughter, funny phone messages, and honest conversations. If you felt the love of Hilary, you know that 95 years wasn’t long enough, and we will forever wish we had her for one more day. We are enormously grateful that she was able to spend her final days at the Village of Mill Creek alongside her amazing team of caregivers who she created special bonds with.
We know it’s not goodbye – it’s until we meet again. We will be forever loving you.
Details for Hilary’s celebration of life are as follows:
Date: Friday, October 6, 2023
Place: St Charles Garnier – Benvoulin Road, Kelowna BC
Reception to follow
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