Charmian Valentine (nee Clegg) was born in Fyzabad, Trinidad. Survived by brother and sister Philip and Pat Clegg, children Richard Horner (Debbie), Patrick Horner (Morna), Michael Horner (Colleen), Lesley Lee (William) and beloved grandchildren, Elizabeth, Michaela, Kazimier, Sheena, Alexander and Stephen. Predeceased by daughter Susan Ovrut (Burt) and husband Bill Valentine.
Charmian was the eldest of six children of Philip Clegg and Beatrice Leschaloupe, of French, Spanish and Welsh heritage. She grew up in Trinidad and went to school in Barbados, where she developed a love of nature, beauty, and the ocean, living in a diverse and multicultural society. Her family was musical, her father a talented violinist, and Charmian a gifted singer from a young age.
Charmian married her first husband in 1948 and moved to MacKenzie, British Guiana, where children Richard, Susan and Patrick were born. She had many interesting stories to tell of life in the jungle. In 1952 the family came to Canada and settled in West Vancouver, where Michael and Lesley were born. Charmian enjoyed a rich family life and was happy raising her children. She was a strong spirited person, and after life changes raised five teenagers as a single mother, developed her remarkable and moving soprano voice, worked in several careers, and married again.
In the 1980s she moved to Montreal where she gave concerts and shared her gift with children as a surrogate grandmother to several families. In 1992 Charmian returned to the North Shore to be with her family and grandchildren. After the loss of her daughter Susan she settled in Sidney where Lesley and family live.
Charmian had a charitable heart, sponsoring children through World Vision and knitting teddy bears to send overseas. She lived a full life and was gifted, passionate, and determined. She met significant challenges with courage and drew strength from her deep spirituality. Charms never lost her inner child and her enduring loves were of children, nature, beauty and singing. She made many friends, touched many people with her musical gift, and will be remembered always in our hearts.
With thanks to the staff and volunteers at Resthaven Lodge, and especially to her dear friend Margaret Nelson. A memorial service will be held in the summer in Sidney BC.