We Remember

SAUNBY, Annie Grace “Anne”

Anne, 95, passed peacefully on January 5, 2022, snug in her own bed, attended by those who loved her.

Anne was predeceased by her beloved husband Garth; eldest son Richard; and five siblings. She is survived by daughter Linda (Dennis); stepson Brian (Sherry) and children Wanda, Terry (Judy), Michael (Caroline) and Heather (Tracy); her surrogate children Liz, Brent, and Alison; and 26 grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. Two brothers survive her, Bob (Mary) and Rod (Carol); and a great number of nieces and nephews and their families. As well, Anne is survived by her cousin Sandy (Elsie) and their family.

Anne was a warm and loving woman, and kind. Her resilience and inexhaustible optimism were an example and an inspiration to all her knew her.

Anne was a highly skilled and devoted mother and homemaker. She was never happier than when she was with family, and took particular joy in grandchildren. She was thrilled just a few weeks ago to welcome a great-great-granddaughter, Charlie. Anne spent her life watching over and caring for those she loved. She kept a welcoming home and more often than not happily fed and housed stray relatives, the kids’ friends, and Garth’s friends. She treated everyone the same and if you needed “your ears pinned back”, Anne would oblige, whether you were a blood relative or not.

She was particularly fond of sewing and was an excellent seamstress. Anne sewed her own clothes and the children’s. She crafted and sewed endless costumes, mostly for her and Garth and their curling teammates. Her definitive sewing project, of which she was most proud, was Liz’s wedding dress from a Vogue pattern!

Anne loved cooking and baking, and was particularly renowned for her cookies, homemade bread, and cinnamon buns. Grown adults would ask for cookies or cinnamon buns immediately on entering the house, never mind the kids! It was common knowledge that her cookies tasted best purloined and eaten directly from the freezer. She put up preserves, as well as fish and game. Her jams and jellies were legendary. Anne enjoyed keeping vegetable and flower gardens. No one ever needed encouragement to eat at her table.

Anne was a voracious reader, and after a stroke restricted her physical abilities, she read 4 or 5 books per week. Pages of checklists and bibliographies were employed to ensure she always had new books on hand.

Anne enjoyed fishing, hunting and camping with Garth. They loved “going up to the hills”. She was a dab hand at butchering a deer or moose. And she cooked game brilliantly.

Anne loved to dance. She and Garth kept dancing into their 80s. The kids loved to tease her about her “Elton John” collection of lamé dancing shoes. She loved a bit of bling.

She and Garth curled for decades. In later years, they travelled as spectators to national and international competitions and thoroughly enjoyed witnessing the play of elite curlers.

Anne was enthusiastic about travel of any sort. She and Garth loved spending time at the lake with Brian and Sherry. They looked forward to trips to Australia to visit Terry and his family, and to explore the country. They regularly travelled back to Ontario to spend time with the Saunby clan at Garth’s sister’s cottage. Anne was especially happy to attend a reunion with her surviving siblings and their families a few years ago on Salt Spring Island. She really took to The Big Apple when she and Wanda had a few days in New York City for her 80th birthday.

Anne did not want a funeral. A family gathering will be held when the pandemic and weather permits, and her and Garth’s ashes will be spread as per their wishes.

The family is deeply grateful for the tender, loving care provided at Mountainview Village these past 4 years. Anne felt well cared for and developed close relationships with many of her carers and other staff. Anne was very fond of her GP, Dr. Michael Appleby (retired), who rendered compassionate and competent care. A special thank-you to the staff of Stride Mobile Physiotherapy, who believed in Anne and led her to make remarkable and ongoing progress in her stroke recovery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to BC Cancer Foundation (colorectal cancer),  or the Heart and Stroke Foundation of British Columbia and Yukon.

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