Elizabeth Bolt Obituary (2022) – Calgary, AB
March 4, 2022 – Calgary, Alberta
It is with tearful hearts that we wish our mother, Elizabeth (Jill) Gillian Bolt (née Dennis), fair winds and God’s speed. Jill passed away peacefully on Friday, March 4, 2022, just before her 90th birthday.
Although his death was not expected at some point, we knew he was not far away. As usual, Jill fell asleep in her favorite armchair, with a cup of tea, listening to music. She’ll be glad she got her wish to be home and comfortable when the time came.
Jill enjoyed puzzles, games of bridge with the other residents of the manor, and dinners in the dining hall until shortly before her death. His keen intellect, spirit and character shone throughout.
While the loss of friends, family and colleagues over the years has hurt her heart, she has striven to rejoice in the rich memories they have given her.
Jill is survived by her children, Sarah, John, Helen and Katie Bolt; his grandchildren, Amanda, Jennifer and Sharlene Bolt, Megan and Bryce Harrison; and his great-grandson Orion Potan. We share our grief with his loving siblings, Susan Torsun and John Dennis, his gracious son-in-law Mark Harrison and James Potan, father of Orion and husband of Sharlene Bolt. Jill has never been one to let anything stand in her way once she’s made her decision. She fiercely maintained her independent spirit in the face of the many challenges life threw at her.
Jill was born in Hull, England. She completed her nursing training at St. Mary’s in London (1950-54). Shortly after, she met Alfred Peter Bolt and they were married in March 1955.
They were a strong-willed, adventurous and passionate couple in their approach to life. Their ability to show kindness and compassion has made them popular with friends, colleagues, and the many lives they have touched in their individual professions.
The family emigrated to Canada in 1967 to further secure Peter’s career in family medicine. We first moved to Kenora in the Lake of the Woods district of Northwestern Ontario. A definite shock to the system for mom. Four children in a new continent, a new country and a new city. The friends they made here stayed for life, even though we moved to Thunder Bay, Ontario at the northern tip of Lake Superior just 3 years later. We arrived on the eve of the merger of Port Arthur and Fort William into the City of Thunder Bay. Dad continued his dedication to family medicine while Mom not only had the four of us in mind but was also always involved in volunteering with local charities and organizing events for different dinners and dances . A dedicated dog walker in the rain, snow and sub-zero temperatures, she and fellow walkers Shirley Hoodless, Ann Warren were true, fearless friends. Friends she could always count on for support.
Jill’s courage and strength were truly tested with the unexpected loss of her husband Peter to cancer in 1977. Her sister-in-law Pat Hind was there and supportive and comforting during his short illness. Jill made the difficult decision to keep the family in Canada. During this difficult and emotionally trying time, Jill also completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and returned to the workforce at Port Arthur General Hospital. Here, her dedication and work ethic earned her the title and responsibilities of head nurse.
Her final years in nursing were spent at Dawson Court Aged Residence and finally McKellar Court Aged Residence and Pioneer Ridge Aged Residence. Again, she had many entertaining stories about the antics of the residents and the charm of her colleagues.
One of Jill’s favorite times as a nurse was volunteering at Camp Quality, a camp for children with cancer.
A longtime supporter of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, she often hosted guest musicians and helped raise funds.
Jill has accomplished many personal milestones, all while being a working single mom. She paid off her mortgage. She started to travel and developed a taste for both the exotic and the local. She was always thrilled when she had a traveling companion who liked the road less traveled and a little posh. Fellow adventurers Barb Warwick and Jean Sparks-Stewart often joined her on far-flung escapades.
When she retired, she rarely sat still. She gave back to her community by volunteering with Meals on Wheels, at the Regional Health Center information kiosk and no doubt with many others whom she discreetly helped. As children do, we spread our wings to various points on the map, a great excuse for more travel.
Jill sold her forty-plus-year-old longtime home and reduced it to an apartment. After an acute illness, Jill moved to Calgary, Alberta and Manor Village. Here she was able to maintain social networks, be interested in other people who had many of the same memories over time and experience, and her independence. We thank the mansion and the staff for their kind attentions and care during his stay with them.
Jill found comfort over time with the Unitarian Church, both in Thunder Bay and Calgary.
A life well lived and loved. Jill liked many things. Above all, she loved her family and friends. She also loved a bit of shade with a warm, gentle breeze, a good laugh, swimming in oceans and lakes; an occasional very good scotch, sherry, gin and tonic or shandy, strong cheese, yellow pansies in her planters, a hug from a furry beast and a very good meal.
Jill would encourage you to enjoy the flowers where they grow and kindly donate a local charity in her memory if you wish. We miss her but she is alive in her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchild and in the lives and memories of those she knew. Condolences, memories and photos can be shared and viewed at www.McInnisandHolloway.com.
In living memory of Elizabeth Gillian Bolt, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2L5, Phone: 403-243- 8200.
Published by the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal on March 12, 2022.