September 24, 1926 – November 23, 2021
Dr. Elizabeth Phebe Chartrand (neé Gray), life-long learner, gardener, dog-lover, mother, grandmother, and friend extraordinaire, born in Victoria September 24, 1926 passed away on November 23, 2021 in Victoria.
Although she lost her mother at the age of 16, Phebe enjoyed a happy youth with her beloved sister Dr. Jean Kathleen Gray and her extended family. She excelled at learning and until recently remained intellectually engaged and curious, completing five university degrees including a PhD from the University of London, England in archival studies in 1995. She also obtained a personal training certificate at age 75 and loved to teach others to stay fit through gardening, exercising and lifting weights. She loved large dogs of all breeds (and select small dogs), especially German Shepherds, Boxers, Mastiffs and Bernese Mountain Dogs, always stopping to give them a pat and to chat with other dog lovers.
Phebe moved to Montreal following her marriage to Dr. Philip John Chartrand on December 24, 1948. When they first courted, she astonished and impressed him by sewing a new canvas top for his convertible roadster – an example of her dauntless ability to take on any task! She also assisted him with completion of his PhD in management studies and would occasionally quip that she had earned two PhDs.
Phebe returned to Victoria in 1991 and quickly became an involved community member, making friends and volunteering as an archivist at Government House, Oak Bay Volunteer Services and Heritage Oak Bay. She had a fine sense of the ridiculous and loved to share a gin and tonic in her sunroom on Hampshire Road with a friend while admiring the garden and discussing every subject under the sun, including politics local and foreign.
Together, Phebe and Philip raised three daughters, Lise, Jan and Andrée. Phebe is survived by her daughters, 8 grandchildren: Conrad, Lauren, Carmen, Gregory, Lewis, David, Léon and Anne, and a beloved nephew and niece, Sean O’Brian and Regan Pinkoski. A special thanks to her friends Sarah Lupton and Britta Wagner who went to great lengths to look after Phebe in the last years of her life and for the wonderful staff at St. Charles Manor who provided her with compassionate care.
Phebe leaves to grieve her family and her many close friends near and far and remains an inspiration to all of us for a life well-lived, her ability to remake herself at every age and to cope with the rains that fall in every life with grace and humour. Phebe would often refer to people as being ‘A-1 the Best’ and ‘a Jewel and a Treasure’ – statements that so aptly apply to her.
She is dearly missed.
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