Katherine Heywood Garbutt (nee Kirkman)

January 14, 1920 – November 18, 2018
This wonderful woman passed away peacefully of old age in her sleep. While it is a sad inevitability, it seems like an ideal way to go. She was of fair health and mind up until the last month when things started to show their age. It is not a tragedy.

Kay was born and raised in Montreal to Kate and Jim Kirkman. She was the eldest child. She had one brother George (predeceased) and two younger sisters, Marion (pre-deceased) and June.

Growing up during the depression she became a track and field athlete in her teens. At the age of 22 she signed up for overseas service with the Canadian Women’s Army Corps. She arrived in London England in the first company sent, 41 coy, at the Canadian Military Headquarters at Trafalgar Square where she worked as a secretary. She was present for the V1 and V2 bombings. Immediately after the war a friend introduced her to her future husband Canadian Soldier George (Wally) Garbutt (pre-deceased) at the Vancouver train station. They were married in Vancouver’s St Andrews-Wesley Church in June of 1946.

They lived on Nelson Street for a short time while Wally drove freight truck until one day the wooden floor boards of the truck caught fire and ended that job. In 1947 they moved to Wally’s hometown Vernon then Kelowna where Wally became a constable in the BC Provincial Police. This is where first child, Bernice, then a couple years later the second, George were born. Not long after that Wally joined the Royal Canadian Airforce and was stationed in Comox during construction of the base there. They then lived in Cumberland then to Holberg. In about 1959 they all moved to Metz France when Wally was transferred to the Canadian base there. Child number three, Jim, arrived there shortly before Kay’s 44th birthday.

The family then moved to the Beausejour Manitoba radar base and back to Comox in 1967. Wally retired from the RCAF in 1972. By this time Jim was the only child home. They moved to Vancouver and then Whiterock. In Whiterock Kay volunteered for a while as a teacher’s aide. Then they moved to Williams Lake in 1977 where she was a volunteer driver at Cariboo Lodge.

Wally retired and the two of them moved to Nanoose Bay where she was a volunteer librarian at the Red Gap library. Kay stayed for a few years on her own after Wally passed and then eventually moved to Prince George to be near family.

Kay was a proud housewife. She loved to knit. She made many a sweater to send to somewhere in Africa and socks and sweaters for the family. She also loved baking and cooking healthy meals. She kept her house absolutely spotless.

Survived and missed by her Sister June, Children Bernice, George (Diane) and Jim (Shane), Grandchildren Chris Borgfjord, Greg Garbutt and Regan Lal. 8 Great grandchildren and 2 Great Great Grandchildren.


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