Jessie (nee Nicholson), born April 27th, 1930, in Vancouver, B.C. passed away
peacefully December 19th, 2020, in Burnaby, B.C. She was the middle daughter born to
Elsie and Pipe Major Malcolm Nicholson, C.M. and was raised in a home that was filled
with singing, dancing, and bagpipes. Naturally, Jessie became accomplished in all of
these and had a flair for entertaining. During WWII, Jessie, and her sister, were hired by
the Canadian government to entertain at Air Force bases on the Pacific coast. Jessie
also did some acting work with Alan Young in Hollywood. In 1964, she would sing live on
the CBC radio show called ‘Judy Ginn and Her Friends’ under her stage name, Ann
Dawson. Jessie also performed with Vancouver’s “King of Swing”, Dal Richards C.M.
OBC. Jessie was a dancing instructor to the dancing teachers, who taught at Arthur
Murray Dance Studios. She was a piper in both the Vancouver Ladies Pipe Band and
Burnaby Ladies Pipe Band. Throughout Jessie’s life, she continued to entertain at Burns’
Dinners played Marilla in Anne of Green Gables in a Burnaby Players production, was a
member in the Gabriola Island Singers choir, and performed throughout Nanaimo
singing in a duet.
Jessie married the love of her life, William (Bill) Roane on June 17th, 1950. They shared
64 loving years together before Bill’s passing in 2014. The Roane home was very busy
with their six children. All the children followed their Mother’s musical lead. She
coordinated and chauffeured to many activities, including piano, bagpipe and drum
lessons, pipe band practices, school band practices, sporting and highland games
events. Jessie was also a nursemaid to the menagerie of pets that came into the home.
The neighbours often were amused by all the activities taking place at the Roane
household. Jessie was passionate about sewing, many crafts, and making our house a
welcoming home. She loved to entertain and the Sunday dinner table was always open.
Jessie and Bill enjoyed many years of boating and, after Bill’s retirement, they moved,
first, to Gabriola Island and then to Nanaimo. Jessie was very active in local politics and
could be heard, often, as a caller to local radio stations, and her opinion letters were
published in the Canadian magazine Dialogue. The phrase on her beloved fridge
magnet read, “Yes, you are entitled to my opinion”.
Jessie is survived by her six children, Janis (Alec) Smith, Elouise Roane (James Bliss),
Sheila Annan, Bruce (Teri) Roane, Beth (James) Young, Keith Roane; eleven
grandchildren, Christine, Ashleigh, Aileen, Colin, Heather, Graham, Drew, Jessica,
Laura, Sean, Caelainn; five great-grandchildren, Hailey, Wade, Sebastian, Warren and
Logan; brother-in-law, Don Thompson O.C.; nephew, Malcolm Willis.
Jessie was predeceased by her mother Elsie (nee Phye) (1984) her father Malcolm
Nicholson (1996) and sisters Kathleen Graham (2012) and Norma Thompson (2019)
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jessie’s name may be made to BC Pipers Association.
A celebration of Jessie’s beautiful and full life will be held at a later date to be
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Jessie Alexa Ann Roane nee Nicholson April 27 1930 December 19 2020..
Décès pour la Ville: Vancouver, Province: Colombie britanique