Reet passed peacefully from this life just before sunrise on Monday, September 20th. Reetie was a beloved daughter, sister, wife and aunt. She also developed strong friendships from her years in Quebec and North Vancouver.
She was predeceased by her father, Matthew Sainsbury in 1928, her youngest sister Joan in 1970, her husband John in 1986 and her mother Nan (Eva Sainsbury), in 1993. Reet was born in London, England and came to Canada at the age of one, in 1919. She and her three sisters spent their early years in Revelstoke, BC. In 1935, seven years after the death of her father, Reet’s mother decided to return with her daughters to England. The girls were finally going to meet the aunts and uncles they had been writing to for many years. Unfortunately WWII was just beginning to unfold in Europe and when the Canadian Forces arrived in Britain, Reet joined up along with two of her sisters, Reet enlisting in the RCAF. Their home in Canon’s Park, London became a “home away from home” for many Canadian servicemen who knew or were related to their former neighbours from Revelstoke. During this time Reet met her future husband, Jean Paul (John) Mailly from Quebec City. Reet loved her time In England and felt a part of her always remained there. Following armistice Nan and her girls returned to Canada moving to Kitsilano in Vancouver. Reet married John in April of 1947, living in Vancouver and then Victoria while working for Immigration Services. In the late nineteen fifties Rita and John moved to Port Cartier, Quebec, both working for Quebec-Cartier Mining. In the small community of Port Cartier, Reet developed her love for gardening and grew two green thumbs! With a backdrop of the St. Lawrence River she turned a not so small lot into a beautiful English garden. Reet and John also developed a close community of friends, and many dinner parties were held at their home. Reet was the perfect hostess; she had a flair for fashion, design and food, and when put together the evening was perfection Reetie devoted herself to caring for John before he passed away in 1986. In 1987 Reet decided to return to the West Coast to be nearer her mum and sisters. She resided in North Vancouver for eight years, walking and shopping her way around town. At that time she was a volunteer at Lions Gate Hospital and she also began the rejuvenation of her new garden, working hard to transform it into another showplace with a lovely small veggie patch. Reet`s final move came after the passing of her beloved mum, Nan, and along with most of her family moved to Qualicum Beach. Her two devoted companions Mitzi Tu and Nika took her walking around the area allowing her to meet a great many of her Qualicum neighbours. Reet loved the beauty of Qualicum Beach but did miss the action in North Vancouver. After a series of falls, the last five years were not easy for Reet as she had been a very active person all of her life. We were happy that she retained her lady-like demeanour, love of good food and wine but most importantly, her sense of humour. She lived at Eagle Park and there was loved and cared for by an amazing group of caring and professional individuals, and we thank them for that. We cherished Reet for her quick wit, her interest in people and current affairs and her love of family and friends, especially the four-legged ones.
Reet leaves her sisters Donna and Eileen along with nieces, nephews and cousins both here and abroad. We feel her loss but know that she is probably enjoying a glass of wine and a few “tab nabs“ with Nan, Joey, and John.
Heartfelt thanks to all the staff at Eagle Park and to John Atherstone and his assistants for the years of care they provided to Reet.
With love always Reetie, …….”cin cin.”
No flowers by request. A donation to Reet’s
favourite charity, the SPCA, would be appreciated.