Rita Eleanor (Caswell) Willy
February 19, 1919 – November 16, 2010
Rita Eleanor (Caswell) Willy passed away at her home in Victoria, BC on November 16th, 2010 at the age of 91. Rita was born in Russia on February 19, 1919, to Robert and Maria (Fast) Ewert and immigrated to Canada in 1924 with her family, settling in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Rita excelled in school, graduating from high school first in her class at the age of 16. Rita married Scott Caswell in 1942 and they raised their family in Swift Current and Regina. Scott passed away shortly after they retired to Parksville, BC in 1977. Rita married Ray Willy in 1980 and continued to live in Parksville where they built a home and made many friends. In 2007 they relocated to Victoria, B.C. and Ray passed away shortly after the move. Rita embraced the joys of life, and her gracious spirit affected all who came to know her. She had an exceptionally positive outlook and truly appreciated the simple things in life. She loved nature, birdwatching, her garden and all of the creatures that came to visit. She was an avid reader and scrabble player. In her retirement years she enjoyed travelling with Ray throughout the U.S. in their motor home, as well as to tropical destinations such as Mexico, Cuba, Maui and several times to the Cook Islands. While in Victoria, Rita enjoyed walks in Beacon Hill Park and going to the symphony. Rita’s friends and family were very important to her and she was a dedicated wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great grandmother, sister and aunt. Rita was a very special person and will be greatly missed by everyone whose lives she touched. Rita was predeceased by her mother Maria Ewert, father Robert Ewert, sister Minna Kornelson, brothers Arnold and Dave Ewert and husbands Scott Caswell and Ray Willy. Rita is survived by her sisters Mary Kirk of Lethbridge, Alberta and Katie Fraser of Edmonton, Alberta; children: sons John Caswell and his wife Gay of Brabant Lake, Saskatchewan and their children Aaron, Daniel, Brother Nathan, Naomi, Sister Mary Judith, Brother Joshua and David; Rick Caswell and his wife Rosemary of Victoria, BC; Ron Caswell and his wife Pam of North Vancouver, BC and their children Jill and Stuart; and daughter Heather Wheeler and her husband Larry of Victoria, BC. Rita is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren, and Ray’s daughters, Rae Busse of Okotoks, Alberta and Joan Dempsey of Mount Brydges, Ontario and their families.
A celebration of Rita’s life will be held on January 8 from 1 to 3pm at Chateau Victoria Hotel, 740 Burdett Avenue, Victoria BC 1.800.663.5891. Everyone who wishes to join us is welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Victoria Cool Aid Society at 102-749 Pandora St., Victoria V8W 5J2, 250-414-4781 or the Victoria Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation at 1510 Fort St., Victoria V8S 5J2, 250-952-5720. Rita’s family would like to thank the staff at the Douglas Care Community for their loving care of Rita, as well as Dr. Mawdsley and the Palliative Care Team of Victoria and all those who assisted in her care and expressed their love and concern.