Hollyburn Funeral Home

1807 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, BC


Mrs. Eileen Purvis

May 29, 1924April 30, 2020

Obituary for Eileen Purvis (1924 to 2020)

It is with deep sadness we announce the death of Eileen Purvis at Lions Gate Hospital, North Vancouver on Thursday, April 30th, 2020.

Eileen will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by her beloved husband of 71 years, William Purvis; her daughter Mary Baker (Alex), her grandchildren Dr Daniel Baker (Raegan Fitch), Jesse Baker (Dr Lisa Baker), Amy Williams (Douglas Williams) and her great grandchildren Rowan, Cameron, Simon, Duncan, Lucy and Maude. She will also be remembered with love by cousins in England and friends and extended family in Canada.

Eileen was born in 1924 in London, England to parents Reginald and Maud Cavanaugh. She attended Oxford House, a small private school in London, winning awards for elocution and graduating with secretarial and bookkeeping qualifications from Pitman’s School of Business, London. At the outbreak of WWII, Eileen and her mother moved to spend the war years with her grandmother and aunts in the countryside of Bedfordshire, while her father remained working in London.

After the war, Eileen travelled to Canada, visiting her aunt and uncle in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was at this time that she met and fell in love with Bill. Married in 1949, they honeymooned at the Sylvia Hotel in Vancouver, which has remained a special place of celebration ever since. Back in Winnipeg, Eileen worked as a secretary while Bill was a telegrapher for the CNR railway. After their daughter was born in 1950, they moved to beautiful Vancouver and in 1956 they bought a home in West Vancouver.

In 1959 the three of them emigrated to England to be near Eileen’s family. It was an enriching opportunity for Mary’s education and Bill’s career move into the advertising and newspaper business. In 1963 they returned to West Vancouver where they remained until the current time. Eileen was committed to creating a warm and beautiful home life for her family. She expressed her skills and creativity through her love of the garden, painting, pottery, sewing, baking, picnics by the ocean and flower arranging, including Ikebana, for which she won several prizes. Eileen worked tirelessly as a volunteer for several associations including the Citizenship Court and achieved lifetime awards from the Women’s Auxiliary of St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver and as treasurer of the Oikoumene Unit of West Vancouver United Church.

Eileen will be lovingly remembered as a devoted wife and best friend for 71 years, a beloved mother and a warm and nurturing “Nana” to her grandchildren and great grandchildren, with whom she had a profound and continuous relationship. The family wish to thank West Vancouver Care Centre and Inglewood Care Centre for the loving attentiveness they showed to Eileen in these difficult times. They also wish to thank the nurses and doctors at LGH for their commitment to her care and comfort.

Eileen will be interred in Capilano View Cemetery on Tuesday May 12th, in a private family service, appropriate to this time of pandemic. A Celebration of her Life will be arranged at a later time when the international family can attend.

Arrangements with Hollyburn Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation would be gratefully suggested.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Mrs. Eileen Purvis

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