Elaine Victoria Hinson
21 November, 1925 – 1 May, 2021
Beloved mother of Ian (Marilea), Barbara (Ulrich) and Leslie (Willi), Nona to Vanessa and Christina, Elaine Victoria Hinson at age 95 has gone to join Harold in heaven. Surrounded by memories of a life well-lived, Elaine was a compassionate, kind, and loving individual always with a smile. Miss Elly had a penchant for bowling (Varsity Ridge), dancing, singing, and her famous skill of all-time - knitting. Always ready with a cuppa of tea for anyone who popped by, Nona embodied goodness and provided endless hugs for all.
Elaine left her Australian (Martin - Benyan) family in her twenties on a working holiday and blazed a trail for a new life in Canada on her own terms. Her love for Canada's natural beauty made for many happy family memories of camping, hugging trees, and holidays by the sea with Hal her pal.
Predeceased by her loving husband of 60 years Harold (2015), and her brother Keith, Elaine is lovingly remembered by sisters Valerie, Lois, the Clayton, Gordon, and Loveless families as well as caregivers Valentina and Catalina.
Our thanks to the generous support and kindness shown at Fairhaven Long Term Care during mum's 6-year stay. We ask that in lieu of flowers please consider donating to the Canadian Alzeheimer Society or the long-term care facility of your choice.
This is daughter Barbara's short memoir of Elaine:
It is very difficult for me to separate 'Elaine as mom' from 'Elaine as person' but as I age I find I appreciate more widely her special qualities. In these last zenith years when dementia claimed her I have found myself relating to her more as my child. What goes around comes around. Throughout the years she quietly made her magic felt as her husband Harold, all three children, daughter- and sons-in-laws and grand-daughters only ever wanted to look after her and make her comfortable. We have been very protective of Elaine. She leaves this Earth loved.
Elaine had a feisty quality to her. She loved to sing all the old timer tunes and a few Australian rhymes as well. Do you remember the Canadian "When the red, red robin . . . ?" and of course from OZ "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree . . ." She loved a singalong and in recent years we watched her access her fading memory mostly through music. What a miracle of the brain. She always had a big grin on her face as she was singing - and those arm movements! We could see our Australian heritage in her sparkle and zest. One embarassing memory in particular: Mom in New York when she broke into song on Diamond Row Street - "If I were a rich man . . ." with Fiddler on the Roof accent, big grin and all. At times she was irrepressible.
Elaine and our dad Harold found connection in dancing. While Mom was a spontaneuos singer Dad knew how to lead. They cut a fine figure across the Elks dance floor. They were an odd couple but they fit. They knew all the steps and liked to party. And play bingo at the Legion Hall on a Friday night. Surrounded by their friends, including Uncle Chuck and Auntie Grace.
Mom loved to bowl. It was the only sports group she ever joined but she was religious in taking the bus crosstown weekly for five pin league play at the Arbutus Ridge Lanes. Over the span of twenty plus years she stayed connected to the women, even convincing her daughter Leslie to join the 'Just-Us' (pun intended) team. Everyone loved having both of the dynamic girls on the team. During her last season Elaine gathered her strength to bowl a personal best of 225. Mom was full of surprises.
Elaine was a dedicated knitter. Every year she would scour her patterns and commit to big and small projects alike. Lovely Cowichan jackets, wool and mohair sweaters, baby booties and hats, vests and socks. Expertly done. They were all giveaways. Seldom would she knit for herself. She loved the craft work and spirit of the Aboriginal peoples, especially the quiet elders.
I loved having a stay-at-home mom. Every school lunch hour I would run home as quickly as I could because there was chicken noodle soup waiting! Her grandchildren Vanessa and Christina know the value of Nona's homemade soup! She was a no-nonsense Nona. No girls you had to eat your sandwiches with crusts. No Willie we have no Pellegrino – water will do. (But for Willie there always was a tin of homemade biscotti just for him at Christmas.)
Elaine seldom said an unkind word about others. She was tolerant and non-judgemental. Somewhat isolated. When she was down she went into herself and weathered the storm. After the excitement of Christmas she often experienced episodes of SAD but looked forward to Spring and the arrival of early flowers in her sentimental garden: I remember lily of the valley from her mother-in-law grandma Hinson. Son Ian and Marilea selflessly maintained the garden at 3279 Vimy Crescent in the latter years. Lots of unique embellishments. Elaine and Harold loved to sit on the deck and watch the birds, and an occasional squirrel, crow and family of skunks, attack the feeders and bird seed. What to do, what to do?
Elaine took a big risk in coming to Canada. It was supposed to be a short stop on a journey around the world. She left behind a large family of Aussie kin to start her own family here in Canada. I loved having half a family in exotic Australia! Instead of teddy bears we received Christmas packages that contained stuffed koalas and kangaroos. All 3 kids made more than one journey to explore and connect to Nana and Puppa, fun cousins, Aunties and Uncles downunder. Good on ya!
Mom loved adventure in a safe setting. Heading off to Vegas with a busload of friends. Enjoying Alaska cruises (and there were many) with Harold. Snowshoeing for the first time at age 55 in small town Greenwood BC. Hiking the hills and hugging the eucalyptus trees in Australia. (She was a warm hugger). Elaine thrived with love and encouragement. For this I give a special shoutout to her sister Lois in Australia for being such a good friend to mom. Elaine was easy to be with.
Nona had a strong heart – metaphorically and physically. We all expected her to leave this Earth years ago. Through the care of the Fairhaven staff at her residential facility mom thrived and survived. We were told by many that they loved Elaine. We were impressed by their professional warm commitment. Lots of singing and artwork to be proud of! In her final months she was surrounded by love. What more could you ask for?
I will miss my mom Elaine but cherish all the simple and great memories.
Onkaparinga, Nona!!!! You have a golden ticket to heaven. See 'ya later!
Love Always, Barbara and Ulrich
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Elaine Victoria Hinson
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