It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Louise Teresa Decario on April 10, 2023 at her home on Galiano Island, BC. She is survived by her loving husband Brian Mitchell, her children Michael (Marla), Janice (Tom), Suzanne (Stephen) and step-daughter Elise (Eric). She was Grandma D & Gramma D to Caleb (Allison), Talia (Jeff), Tobin (Katie), Robert (Rexx), Kirsty (Aaron), Alexa (Jo); Grandma Louise to Dominic, Philippe; and Great Grandma D to Amiya, Koa, and Esther.
Louise was born in her family home in Burnaby, BC where she grew up, the last of six children (5 born in Canada) to parents from Vallelonga, Catanzaro, Italy. As a family we joked that she was a “smartie”, starting grade one at age 5 and graduating a year early. Her incredible work ethic started at an early age washing dishes at the family business, the Decario Cafe. Then throughout her teens, she was a cashier at the corner Handy Store, a waitress at a tennis club, a sales clerk at Woodwards and a waitress at the Banff Springs Hotel. She took two years of teacher training at the University of British Columbia, finishing her degree on Galiano by correspondence.
At 19 and wanting an adventure, she moved from the big city to begin her career as a school teacher in the remote northern community of Cecil Lake, BC. In later years she became a school teacher-librarian. Louise immersed herself into teaching, farm, family, and community life. She volunteered with the Centennial Hall Association, Nor’ Pioneer Women’s Institute, and the 4-H club.
Louise left the north in 1983 to make Galiano Island her home where she taught kindergarten and grade one until 1999. Retired, but not, she served three (3) terms as Galiano Island Trustee. Louise’s island and community life involved so many interests and activities including fishing, badminton, golf, afternoon swims, the Three Artists show, the Library and the Conservancy. She was interested in genealogy, brushing up on Italian and learning French. She loved bridge, gardening and the company of her large circle of friends. Louise was a strong and thoughtful leader who was dedicated to protecting and preserving Galiano’s green space. She was an inspiration and mentor to many.
Louise was deeply loved by all of us and her strength, wisdom, and compassion will be dearly missed, but most of all her beautiful smile and her laugh.
Following Louise’s wishes, no service will be held; rather, a Celebration of Life which will be held on Galiano, Thursday, May 25, 2023 at 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM.
Tybie Lipetz says
I am so sorry for this great loss to Louise’s family and to the island community she loved and worked so hard to preserve. She was a friendly, warm and brilliant woman. She loved to practice her Italian with us and share her beautiful garden. I can hear her giggly laugh.
Many condolences to Brian.
No words to take away the pain he must be feeling. Very sad to hear this news… Louise will be deeply missed.
Judy Russell says
One of my favourite things to do on Galiano was to go to Louise and Brian’s on the Three Artists reception evening. I will always remember Louise’s big smile, hardy laughter and generous heart ♥️. Rest well Louise. It is well deserved. Deepest condolences to Brian and family.
Warm Regards, Judy Russell
Michele C says
Very sorry for your loss. I played bridge with Louise in the past and always enjoyed her wit and playfulness. She was a gem.
Kirsty Savic says
Thinking of you Brian. Louise was such a wonderful teacher librarian for me in grades k to 7 at Galiano Elementary School. She was such a kind caring and generous person who will be missed by hundreds of kids and parents!
Connie Thompson says
I am so sorry to hear this. Louise was a neighbour and my cousin in law for many years. I babysat her kids. I appreciated her as a capable Mom, teacher and community member. Sending peace and love to her family members. May she rest in peace!
Lorraine Ward says
In 1959 we were very excited at the news that Miss DeCario and Miss Anthony would be our new teachers in the little two room school house in Cecil Lake. They were a very welcome addition to the community and before long had won our hearts with their enthusiasm and new ideas. My favourite memory was when they established “Teen Town” at our community hall and I vividly remember them teaching us how to jive. It was a huge thrill for a young farm girl. Louise and Janeen, as we came to know them when we grew up, continued to be important role models and Louise was much loved by our family. Condolences to Mike, Janice, Suzie and their families.
Keith Carlson says
So sad of Louise’s passing, shocked actually! She was such an intelligent and friendly person, one of those people who make you feel that you are important and your ideas count. Thinking of Brian as well at this sad and truly life changing time, you both made us feel welcome in the community. Condolences my friend!
Miriam Kjos says
Sending Condolences to the family . So sorry for your loss.Marty and Miriam Kjos .
Linda Foster says
I loved her as my librarian! I don’t remember many of my elementary days but she has a special spot in my heart. I still love to read because she lit my spark. My deepest condolences