September 19, 1924 – July 1, 2019
A fearless no-nonsense lady, Evva loved travelling solo in Mexico, Egypt, Tunisia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Turkey and Israel.
One of her favourite stories was of an orphaned baby elephant attaching its trunk to the hem of her dress as they walked around together all afternoon. Another memorable photo shows her using a blowgun in Peru, clad in white polo shirt and safari pants.
She thoroughly enjoyed the artist retreat in Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende and in later years often travelled with one of her sisters, either Merle or Norma. Norma recalled trips to Hungary, Germany, Iceland and Japan and, in a tribute to Evva, wrote:
“On those crazy travel trips, we had lots of fun
As we waited for buses, but always on the run …”
Evva Louise McKenzie was born in Bon Accord, Alberta and the family moved to Grassland and then Rutland (Kelowna) during her teens. She stayed until her early 20s and met her future husband, Fred Weber, while working at CKOV radio station in Kelowna.
She moved to Vancouver and worked in the home economics department of The Province newspaper. Fred often drove down from Kelowna and after he convinced her to wed, they married on June 15, 1948.
In 1960, Evva, Fred and their three young boys moved to Terrace, where Evva became heavily involved in the community. She was school secretary at Cassie Hall elementary school in the early 1970s, was one of the key people involved in getting the library built and also served on the hospital board. She had a lifelong love of books and edited a series of interviews with pioneers and First Nation elders in the Skeena Valley. “The Way We Were” was published in 1986.
The same year, Evva and Fred headed south to the Lower Mainland, where she enjoyed playing with the grandchildren and, later, great grandchildren. Her granddaughter Joanna fondly recalled that after she
wore a questionable outfit to dinner, Evva retorted, “What kind of get-up is that to visit your grandmother in?” Another time, Joanna asked Evva, “How are you?” and got the reply, “Life is strange, isn’t it?”
After Fred died in 2002, Evva lived mostly in West Vancouver, apart from spells in Vancouver, Qualicum Beach and Nanaimo. She died suddenly on Canada Day in her West Vancouver apartment, her son Neil by her side. As usual, she was surrounded by books, with five of them on the go.
Evva is survived by her sisters Merle Tabuteau and Norma Stirzaker; sons John (Gill), Neil (Teresa) and Ross (Kim); grandchildren Glenn, Michael (Kim), Blair (Michael), Joanna, and Callum; and three great-grandchildren, Emma, Atticus and Parker.
Evva’s family and dear friends held a Celebration of Life in Vancouver on July 6. Evva’s actual instructions were, “Have a last supper and a glass of wine”.
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