At 95 this month Marion Corless is an inspiration to all those entering their senior years.
She keeps fit by taking tai chi, enjoys Elder College courses, takes a keen interest in the arts, enjoys travelling and is an avid quilter.
This spring, through Elder College, she recovered a special chair in her home and is now refinishing a small foot stool.
She also enjoys the Elder College cooking classes.
For many years Marion was also an avid porcelain and cloth doll maker but has let that hobby go in favour of quilting, painting and guitar lessons.
She has made beautiful quilts for all 13 of her grandchildren and some for other family members.
She is currently working on painting a wooden letter box that a friend made for her. The painting will be of the colourful jellybean row houses of St. John’s, Newfoundland.
This weekend alone Marion attended the Station House Gallery opening on Friday evening (she is a member) and the fourth annual Celtic Ceilidh on Saturday evening at the Elks Hall hosted by the Legion and featuring the Williams Lake Pipe Band.
Marion has some Scottish ancestry and was wearing the red tartan sash she made in honour of the Leslie clan, along with her family pin.
She recently finished a quilt as a present for her grandchild, Meghan, who graduates from the University of Victoria next spring.
She is also working on a quilt that will feature photographs of the 15 rocking chairs that her late husband, John, made for the women in their family.
Marion photographed each chair then used her computer to generate the images which she reproduced on fabric and quilted into individual rectangles that will become the quilt.
She is also making a miniature quilt of the Chartres Church labyrinth in France which takes some special figuring to put the octagonal shaped quilt together.
To keep fit, Marion has taken tai chi classes with Denise Deschene for 17 years.
“I am quite busy,” admits Marion, who is also working on writing her story.
Marion is also a Second World War vet and legion member since the war, having served in the Canadian army overseas as an occupational therapist.
Marion met John while she was in service with the General Hospital 24 Canadian Army contingent in England where John came to recuperate after being wounded.
They were married in England. After the war the young couple made their way to Vancouver for John to meet Marion’s parents, then to John’s home town of Prince George where they made their home and raised their six sons.
John worked in the oil business and later sawmill management. Marion volunteered in various capacities while staying home to raise their sons, then worked for 24 years as an occupational therapist at the Prince George Regional Hospital.
Born and raised in Toronto Marion moved to Vancouver with her family when she was age 14, then returned to Toronto for Grade 13 and to take the three-year occupational therapy program at the University of Toronto. This training included working unpaid internships in hospitals during the summer months.
Most of Marion’s travels these days take her on trips to visit with her large extended family which includes 13 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
John (who passed away two years ago) and Marion moved to Williams Lake 18 years ago to be close to their eldest son, David, and his family. Son Duncan lives in Ymir; Rod in Portland, Oregon; Robert in London, Ontario, and Jock in St. John, New Brunswick.
This summer Marion travelled around B.C., the U.S. and to New Brunswick to visit family with her friends Vivian Robinson and Frank Abday.
“I was gone all summer,” Marion says. “That’s the joy of living in Terra Ridge.” You can just lock up and go.
For more on Marion’s Second World War service memoirs in England see the Friday Weekend Advisor.