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.