Thelma Margaret Varcoe
October 19, 1926 – June 9, 2019
It is with deep sadness but great faith that we announce the death of Thelma Margaret Varcoe (Ciaccia), loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother; preceded in death by her husband, John (Jack) Varcoe. Left to mourn her passing but cherish her memory are her children Thomas (Alana), Nola van der Pauw (Richard), Kathy McBryan, Lisa Lawrance (Ron), her grandchildren Darren, Amanda, Nicolas, Kristen, Rick, Trevor, Mathea, Joshua, Kevin, her great grandchildren Daven, Alivia, Bodhi, Brooklyn, Carson, Liam, Ayla, Anjali, and her only surviving sister Lydia Sobotka.
Thelma was born in Kelowna, BC and grew up on a farm in the Okanagan Valley. Despite contracting Polio as a young child, she never considered the disease a disability and lived life to the fullest. She attended Provincial Normal School – Vancouver Island University where she received her Teaching Certification. After obtaining her teaching credentials she relocated to Trail, BC for her first teaching position where she met and married Jack and raised their four children. The family moved to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory in 1968 and then to Maple Ridge, BC in 1973. Upon retirement, Jack and Thelma moved to Mission BC.
Thelma was a creative, caring, and enthusiastic teacher instructing students from preschool to adults. She was a strong supporter, advocate, and pioneer in the field of Special Education. Thelma was a flamboyant fashionista clearly ahead of her time. She enjoyed writing, sketching, public speaking, drama, music, cooking, and especially preparing Sunday family dinners. Thelma was an active member of the communities where she lived involving herself with the Catholic Women’s League, Cythera Transition House, Post-Polio Awareness and Support Society, and many other organizations.
Mom, you are forever in our hearts.
- John "Jack" Varcoe, Husband (deceased)
- Thomas (Alana) Varcoe, Son
- Nola (Richard) van der Pauw, Daughter
- Kathy McBryan, Daughter
- Lisa (Ron) Lawrance, Daughter
- Ambrogio Ciaccia, Father (deceased)
- Concetta Ciaccia, Mother (deceased)
- Her grandchildren, Darren, Amanda, Nicolas, Kristen, Rick, Trevor, Mathea, Joshua, Kevin; her great grandchildren Daven, Alivia, Bodhi, Brooklyn, Carson, Liam, Ayla, Anjali, and her only surviving sister Lydia Sobotka.
- Thomas Varcoe
- Darren Varcoe
- Richard van der Pauw
- Nicolas van der Pauw
- Trevor McBryan
- Ronald Lawrance
- Joshua Lawrance
- Kevin Lawrance
- Prayer Service Thursday, June 13, 2019
- Funeral Service Friday, June 14, 2019
- Graveside Service Friday, June 14, 2019
Thelma Margaret Varcoe
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June 19, 2019
I have known Thelma for a number of years as I am a member of the Catholic Women's League of Canada. I offer my deepest condolences to Thelma's family. May she rest in peace.
We were at the Provincial BC & Yukon CWL convention in Nanaimo at the time of Thelma's funeral. I am the Provincial Life Member Liaison and at noon on the 14th of June we had a luncheon with a meeting. We prayed for Thelma and will keep her in our prayers.
May Our Lady of Good Counsel also watch over us all. We enjoy "The Journey of Memories" that Thelma was instrumental in getting into print.
Carol Penno, Golden, BC
June 14, 2019
my sincere condolences in your loss. I will always remember Norm and Thelma wanting to start a be kind to chickens group because of the way they were kept in those horrible coops which neither approved of. Also Norm always had to wear Thelma's hat at any Rotary function we attended together. Lots of good memories. Thelma was a very special lady with a lot of class and she was always so smartly turned out. Sincerely Norma Moulder
June 11, 2019
Thelma will be missed by all her League sisters and especially by the Life Members of the BC & Yukon Provincial Council of The Catholic Women's League of Canada. As a life member Thelma compiled and printed a book of memories of the life members in the province. With the proceeds from the sale of this memoir she established a Fine Arts and Culture Award available to children or grandchildren of League members. Thelma was a wonderful mentor and friend to many League members. May she rest in peace after a her memorable and fruitful life. My condolences to all her family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Vancouver Diocesan Life Member Liaison