We Remember

HILE, K. Stephani (née Sass)

June 13, 1943 — June 25, 2024

Stephani Hile, elder daughter of the late William Sass and Donalda (née O’Sullivan) Sass of Bowen Island, BC, was born in Chatham, Ontario and died in Kelowna, BC on June 25, 2024. Stephani is survived by her beloved husband Howard Brand Hile; brothers Tim Sullivan and Kevin Sass and their wives; sister Holly-Anne Dobb; and daughter Deborah Dunaway and son-in-law Scott Smigiel of Yucca Valley, California; as well as nieces, nephews, and friends in many countries.

Stephani was an avid reader, cook, world traveller, photographer, skier, and bonne vivante. Never shy about sharing her opinions, she enjoyed lively conversation and learning new things. She was proud of routinely completing the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle – in ink. Stephani attained a Bachelor’s degree from Camden County Community College in the 1990s.

In her youth, Stephani was a competitive Highland and Ballet dancer. She spent time in California in the early 1960s, and was grievously injured in a collision with a drunk driver. Told she would never walk again, Stephani stubbornly proved her doctors wrong.

Stephani married Deborah’s father, Warren Dunaway, in the mid-late 1960s, and drove her red 1964½ Mustang from Vancouver to Mount Vernon, NY in 1975 to be with second husband, Howard Hile. The Dunaway-Hile household relocated to Philadelphia soon after, and Stephani worked as the Administrative Coordinator for an NIH diabetic retinopathy study at Wills Eye Hospital for many years. Following a few years in New Jersey, Stephani moved to Sun Peaks, BC for years, using her locals’ season ski pass at every opportunity.

Despite being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in the mid 1990s, as well as enduring chronic ongoing pain from the car accident, Stephani lived her own life, staying active as long as she could, skiing with her family in Pennsylvania’s Poconos; Mont-Tremblant, Québec; St-Anton and Zell-am-See, Austria; and Zermatt, Switzerland; as well as Sun Peaks, BC. She enjoyed visiting Greece, Singapore, Tokyo, and Ecuador with Howard, among other places, and spent some very happy times in Spain, Italy, and Greece with beloved nephew Adam V. Willey. Stephani toured St Petersburg, Russia; went on photo safari to Tanzania; happily brought her mother and daughter to Belgium and France, and enjoyed a trip to Scotland, including her mother’s birthplace of Barra, Outer Hebrides, with Howard and Deborah.

Stephani spent the last several years of her life in Kelowna, BC, close by brother Tim Sullivan and sister-in-law Jade Sullivan, who supported her in her last years, following Howard’s Parkinson’s diagnosis and his transfer to a care facility.

A character who made an impression on everyone she met, Stephani will be missed.

In accordance with her wishes, an unostentatious gathering of remembrance will be held for family and friends in September.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local animal shelter.

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