JUNE 28, 1926 – MARCH 16, 2017
Our dear mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend lovingly known to all as Bea, passed away peacefully on the morning of Thursday, March 16, 2017. She was born in Elmwood, Manitoba on June 28, 1926 the first born daughter to Hilda and Jack Kennedy. At the young age of two Bernice was stricken with polio. She would continue to grow and blossom into a beautiful, petite young woman, with stunning auburn hair and a sparkle in her eye. She was strong willed, determined, gracious, kind and wise. Bea never let her disability prevent her from accomplishing her goals or set her back.
Mom met Dad (Nels) the love of her life at 16, during World War 11, while he was in Winnipeg on furlough. Dad immigrated back to Canada from Britain following the end of the war and they were married on August 9, 1946. Mom was 20. They would have almost 70 long, happy devoted years together, with Dad passing just a few days short of their 70th anniversary. They lived in Winnipeg, Fort William, Regina, and Victoria.
In 1956, Mom became a career woman as she and Dad started their own successful business in Regina. B. Lilley Draperies became the go to shop for custom interior design, draperies, blinds and upholstery at the time Regina’s neighbourhoods were growing and expanding. B. Lilley became a household name for personalized interior design service in your home. Mom and Dad grew their business across the province with stores in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Swift Current.
While raising her young family, Mom never stopped. Her days were full, busy and active. Mom loved people and volunteering, with various activities from the church, to bible studies, prayer groups, meals on wheels and to Soroptimism, serving as the Regina club president and going onto proudly represent the foundation as Governor General for their Western Canadian region.
When Mom retired in 1970, family became her focus. She was always the gal hosting large family events in our home, gathering her loved ones around her making birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas special. She loved company and her door was always open. Her circle of friends was far and wide. Mom had a very strong bond with her sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. She always put the needs of others before her own, selfless and gracious, kind to the very core.
Mom and Dad moved to Victoria BC in 1979. They built their dream home on five acres of land overlooking Beaver Lake Park in 1981. They would have eleven happy years in Victoria and spent seventeen winters in Scottsdale. They chose to return to Regina in 1990, to be closer to precious grandchildren and family.
Mom was a devoted, godly woman, whose gift of wisdom was very special. So many friends sought Mom’s guidance and prayer fellowship when they needed a loving prayer partner. Her quiet faith sustained her through many of life’s challenges, her chronic pain and disability.
Mom and Dad moved into assisted living at Queen Victoria Estates when Mom began to develop signs of Dementia and she could no longer manage and upkeep her home. Sadly as the disease progressed it became necessary to move to a higher level of care, so a move to College Park 2 became necessary two years ago where both Mom and Dad’s needs could be met. Although Mom’s memory was failing her she always had a cheeky smile, was happy to see visitors and participate in the activities provided to her. Dementia took control of Mom’s life and sadly her health began to deteriorate as well. She was a gentle kind soul.
Bea was predeceased by her husband Nelson; her brothers Ralph Kennedy and his wife Lois and William Kennedy and his wife Mary. She is survived by son Michael Lilley; daughter Jan Rondeau (Paul); granddaughter Michelle Lilley (Greg); grandchildren Aymie, Brittany and Cory Rondeau and Justin Lilley; great-granddaughter Stephanie Pilat; sisters Barbara Pooles (William) and Bonnie Skitcko (John) of Winnipeg, Manitoba and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to express their sincere thanks to the nurses of 5A, and 6A at the Regina General Hospital for their kindness and compassionate care of Mom these past few months during her several visits to the hospital. As well as to the staff and caregivers at College Park 2 where Mom resided for the past two years.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date to remember Mom for the beautiful person she was. We who knew her well were blessed by her and are grateful she is now resting peacefully in the loving arms of her Father God. We know she is rejoicing.