With gratitude for all the lives she has touched with her love, we announce the parting of (Ruth) Marla Chatham. Born March 31, 1927 and passing on November 15th,2019 in Abbotsford B.C.
Born to Frank and Effie Shepherd, Marla had one dear sister, Evelyn, who was almost 6 years younger than her. Her Early years were lived in Alberta but the family also spent time in Vancouver with Effie’s family. Marla met Bert (Herbert Ernest Chatham) during one of these Vancouver visits, when she was 8 years old. Their long friendship eventually lead to their marriage in 1952.
Marla was a career high school teacher and later a school counselor. She taught in Prince George and Dawson Creek before her marriage and when she returned to teaching after starting a family, she taught and mentored in the commerce department at the high school in Chetwynd. The family appreciates all the lovely testimonies from her former Chetwynd students, identifying her as someone who effected their lives in a remarkably positive way. The Chathams later moved to Prince George where Marla continued to teach and in the later part of her career became a high school counselor.
After retirement Marla and Bert moved to Sechelt B.C. Bert passed away after 7 years but Marla spent many years living on the Coast, and she liked to point out that this was the place where she lived the longest of any period in her life. She became involved in many community organizations and made a big impact in her community. She always said that she like the ‘doing’ part of volunteerism best. She also loved walking the beaches and forest trails, playing bridge and tending her garden. She had 10 happy years with her companion, Ray Williston while living on the coast.
During the last 10 years of her life Marla came to live in Abbotsford to be closer to her family. While she struggled with dementia, she was lovingly supported by her daughter and others of her family. She had adult grandchildren and young great grandchildren in her life during this time who brought her a lot of joy and with whom she was able to share her never-ending capacity to love. She will also be remembered for her contagious smile and her wonderful sense of humour.
Family was always important to Marla. She was a much loved mother to Lois, Ernie (Debby) and Roy (Linda) Chatham. She adored her grandchildren, Christa (Ryan) Rachwalski, Aaron (Sandi) Labrum, Lindsay, Melissa, Byron and Laura Chatham. Her Great Grandchildren, Evan, Grace, Rachel, Faith, Colby, Ashley and Alexis brought so much joy to their Nana and it was wonderful to see them together. After her move to Abbotsford that was a regular occurrence.
The family will be having a private celebration of life for Marla in the new year. We also plan to plant trees in her honor as she was a lover of the environment all her life.
The Chatham family would like to extend our deep appreciation to the staff of Cottage Pavilion care home for the wonderful care they gave to Mom in her last, years of life.
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence for the family.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Ruth Marla Chatham November 30th 2019..
Death notice for the town of: Aldergrove, Province: Colombie britanique