Born: October 16th, 1941
Passed on: February 9th, 2013
Miriam passed away at the Victoria Jubilee Hospice on February 9, 2013 after a long ordeal with cancer.
She was predeceased by her father, Vincent Parkes and her husband, Alan McLean. We also sadly acknowledge the passing of her loyal companion, John Sargent, just two days later.
Miriam is survived by her mother Phyllis Parkes; her brother Richard Parkes and family; her daughter Sonja Myllymaki; and her son Erik Myllymaki and his family.
Miriam was born on October 16, 1941 in Leominster, England, in the middle of the dark times of WWII, but emerged a shining light to family and friends throughout her lifetime. The family moved back to Canada in 1947 and she grew up and completed all of her schooling in Kamloops while being active in figure skating, girl guides, and the Kamloops High School Band and Choir. She then went on to the University of B.C. where she obtained her Bachelor of Education degree and began her teaching career in downtown Vancouver.
Upon her marriage to Ronald Myllymaki, they became world travelers as they moved to Peterborough, Ontario, Winterthur, Switzerland (where their children were born), Cambridge, England, back to Vancouver and finally to Victoria. After teaching at several different schools, she eventually became a full time and much-loved kindergarten teacher at Glenlyon Norfolk School until her retirement.
Miriam was always in learning mode as she did extensive reading, was an avid kayaker and skier, attended art classes and took up ballroom dancing where she met her soul mate, Dr. Alan McLean. They did extensive traveling to Europe, New York, eastern Canada, and the Prairies where they researched the family's history with the R.C.M.P. Her fondest memories were those of the many summers spent at the family cabins on Shuswap Lake with her many friends and family. She could always be counted on to contribute her latest gourmet dish to the evening barbecues. She also loved to entertain everyone at her home, "Treetops".
Over the past few years, despite her prognosis, Miriam continued her world travels, usually with her companion, John Sargant, and ventured to France, South America and made several trips to Ontario. Miriam's final months were spent with her daughter Sonja, at her bedside which was a great comfort to Miriam and to the rest of the family.
A Service will be held for Miriam at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 28th at St. John the Devine Anglican Church, 1611 Quadra Street, Victoria. An informal Celebration will also be held during the summer at Shuswap Lake.
The family would also like to express our sincere gratitude to the staff of Victoria Jubilee Hospital and Hospice for the exceptional care Miriam received over the past months.