June 25th, 1935 – August 20th, 2011
Donna died peacefully in the presence of her family and loved ones at the Palliative Care Unit of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
In 1984, Donna with her husband John Olsen and their extended family purchased Unicorn Farm in Errington intending to demonstrate to the world a dynamic new approach to growing, processing and marketing food in a sustainable way. Until that move, her entire life had been lived in North Vancouver where she grew up with brief sojourns in Winnipeg and Calgary, so a venture into the countryside was a little daunting until she learned to call the farm home.
Although the reality of farming life soon set in for us all, she retained her sense of humor and managed to sustain her family while contributing to the community. As a graduate of Simon Fraser University, she made her social research skills available to several local groups, served the Errington pre-school while some of her grandchildren were in attendance and saw three of them through the local schools. Until she was no longer able, she joined the weekly anti-Afghanistan war vigil and attended the annual November 11th peace gathering at the gates of the Nanoose Base.
In the early 90’s she published a column in the PQ News under the title “View From
A Tuffet” and published several feature articles in the Vancouver Sun and the
Times-Colonist and wrote several children’s books. Some of her stories were included in Peter Gzowski’s Morning Side Papers.
Her readers knew that love and nurturing of children were at the core of her being.
Family and friends wish to extend their profound appreciation for the loving care given to Donna by all the workers at the Palliative Care Unit and ask any who wish to send flowers to make a donation instead to the Palliative Care Unit.
Family and friends are gathering in the glade at the Unicorn Farm at
1430 Errington Road in Errington to celebrate the life she so generously
and joyously shared with us.
All who wish to join us are welcome at 1 p.m., Saturday, August 27th.