Born In: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Born: June 16th, 1944
Passed in: Powell River, British Columbia, Canada
Passed on: July 22nd, 2009
Susan Marsh (Blanchard, MacDonald) Hoekstra, 65, died quietly in the early hours of Wednesday, July 22, 2009, at home in Powell River, BC after a long illness.
Born Susan Marsh Blanchard in Halifax, N.S., June 16, 1944, to Henry Blair Blanchard and Mary Eleanor Marsh, she lived her early years in Truro, NS. Following the death of her father, her mother remarried and the family moved to Cape Breton where she completed her early education, graduating from Sydney Academy as Head Girl in 1962.
Susan continued her education at Mount Allison, Sir George William, Dalhousie and the University of British Columbia. She taught music in the elementary school system for more than 30 years.
Susanâ€™s interest in the arts, and music in particular, was fostered and nourished at home. In 1960 her maternal grandmother, Flora Marsh, made this entry in her diary, â€œSusan is quite a young lady and will be 16 on Wednesday. Iâ€™ve just discovered that she has a very beautiful voice. She asked me to play for her and I was amazed at the sweetness and breadth of her tone and she told me she is anxious to take singing lessons.â€ Susan studied voice with Mae Cameron in Sydney and, as a young adult, with Bernard Diamant in Montreal.
Her home for the past 35 years was Powell River on the west coast of British Columbia, a city recognized for its international choral festival. Susan sang with the Powell River Chorus and the Malaspina Singers, directed a youth choir and performed in recitals with musical friends. Earlier this year Susan was honoured at the Powell River Festival of the Performing Arts when she was presented with the David Pike Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to the arts.
Susan was a keen reader with a special interest in Canadian literature, loved movies, the theatre and all aspects of the arts. She was an opera buff and travelled regularly to performances in Victoria and Vancouver and eagerly anticipated the next simulcasts from the Met.
Susan is survived by her devoted husband, Nick Hoekstra; loving daughters, Caroline (Jeff Stekman)(grandson Carter James), Powell River, Jennifer (Mike Sandberg), Victoria; her dearest siblings, Stephen (Debbie Corkum), Nancy (Andrew MacInnis) and Nora (George Fraser); her aunt, Mary Blanchard; nephews, Drummond, Peter and Jock Fraser and Simon Corkum; cousins, Pam Marsh, Jane McCarthy, Taylor and Robert Carr, Jonathan and Megan Blanchard; and the family of the late John R. MacDonald.
She was predeceased by her parents and by her stepfather, Gordon â€˜Scotchieâ€™ MacDonald, who was a wonderful provider of love and guidance throughout her life.
Susanâ€™s life and the positive way she dealt with her illness was an inspiration to everyone. Her family is deeply saddened by her death; she will be forever cherished, remembered and loved.
A memorial celebration will be held on August 5, 2009, at the Powell River Academy of Music. Condolences may be sent to email@example.com.
â€œMy candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends -
It gives a lovely light.â€