Denise Pearce was born in Toronto on February 18, 1941, to parents Marie (Kent) and Gerard Beaudoin QC. She died calmly and painlessly of cancer in her sleep at the Palliative Care Unit (Hospice) at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital on the evening of Wednesday, the 9th of November, 2011. In 1965 in Toronto Denise married Nathaniel Christopher Pearce, a British Army exchange officer.
Chris was stationed in Hong Kong when Denise gave birth to both Ursula and Nathaniel in 1966. They were in Canterbury, UK when in 1969 Chris left the British Army and the family moved to Sidney BC, where Denise and Chris have lived in the same waterfront home for 41 years. Denise worked in a middle school and later as a Mental Health Worker. In 1979 she gave birth to Jeremy. She completed a Bachelor of Psychology in 1985 with an A+ average at University of Victoria.
In the early 1970s Denise courageously faced her fears as a person who stuttered and taught Parent Effectiveness Training and later joined the Toastmasters Club. All of this was shared along with other life journeys in her open book approach to life.
Denise being her bright irreverent self was an example of authenticity and honesty. As a very strong woman, she was an inspiration to all with her open heart, active mind, endless energy, remarkable health and social ability with humour close at hand. She brought acts of kindness and generosity to the broader community with her environmental and human rights concerns.
Denise and Chris travelled extensively in a VW camper with their family throughout North America. In 1998 they travelled for 18 months throughout 24 countries in Europe including: Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Morocco etc. cooking all their meals. In addition to travel, Denise enjoyed: reading (non-fiction), walking, biking as transportation, kayaking, photography, the computer, and socializing. Denise is described by friends and family as warm, loving, dynamic, open, outgoing, and highly intelligent, with a gift of making others feel comfortable and special.
She will be sadly missed by her soul mate, companion, husband Chris, daughter Ursula and son Jeremy. Denise has missed her brilliant, fun late son Nathaniel (Niel). She also leaves her daughter Denise Hantsch who she gratefully reunited with in 1984, three grandchildren, one great granddaughter, three sisters, one brother, and another brother who also died of cancer, other relatives and many devoted friends. A living celebration of life was held for her at the Capital City Yacht Club on March 16, 2011.
Donations, would be much appreciated to BCAPS (British Columbia Association for People Who Stutter) – a registered charity (89118 3741 RT0001) 12674 15th Ave. White Rock, BC. V4A 1K3 1-888-301-BCAP
We wish to thank the community nurses, everyone at the Palliative Care Unit at Saanich Peninsula Hospital, Cancer Clinic, and Associated Physicians for their wonderful care of Denise.