Genevieve Jessie Matheson
May 6, 1923 – June 25, 2017
Mom passed away peacefully on Sunday morning, June 25, the end of a long life lived to its fullest.
She is survived by her sons Rod (Alyson), John (Joanne), daughter Jean (Gord), grandchildren Stephanie, Andrew, Jennifer, Lesley, Kendrick and MacKenzie, and great-granddaughter Elle.
She was the embodiment of one of her favorite mottos – “never a dull moment” – be it organizing a bridge game or luncheon, travel, or gathering family, friends, or neighbors to join her for happy hour.
She was always proud of her birthplace, New Westminster. Her father (Jack “Abbie” Reid) owned Westminster Iron Works. Difficult economic times in the Depression necessitated the family moving around the province for several years, a time Mom recalled with bittersweet fondness. They returned to their roots, and following high school graduation, worked at CIL industries during WWII.
After the war she met the love of her life – Alexander (Brud) Matheson, a lacrosse/basketball player and returned decorated veteran. Their marriage of 35 years was interrupted by cancer claiming Dad at the age of 62, in 1983.
She was never one to sit still for long. Involvement in the neighborhood PTA was only the beginning. With friends she formed an investment club, and although it always seemed to be a case of just missing out on the big one, she did make enough profit for a trip to Europe with a girlfriend. She became involved with the New West YM/YWCA, initially joining the “Housewife’s Holiday” group, and soon becoming a board member. She served as president in 1976-77. She was passionate about the Y’s involvement in developing countries.
When our teenage sister became more involved in showing horses, they moved to a hobby farm in Langley. Before long they were a fixture at Fraser Valley and provincial horse shows, and predictably mom was joining local and national equine organizations. Feeling a need for greater recognition of quarter horses in B.C., she became the B.C. director for the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), and soon found herself attending regular AQHA meetings in the U.S. over the next 10 years. She was made a Director Emeritus in 1994 in recognition of her dedication and contributions. Mom and Jean organized teams of young riders and coached them at the Youth World Cup in 1986 and 1992 (Australia), 1988 (Texas) and 1994 (Germany).
Point Roberts always had a special place in her heart. In 1895, her grandparents began making the trek from New Westminster to camp there for the summer, later building several family cottages, including ours built by Mom and Dad in the 1950s to accommodate our growing family. She loved nothing more than “packing up and heading to the beach.”
Summers at the Point were treasured times. The ladies of Maple Beach, in addition to organizing swim lessons, hikes, Bingo, dances, regattas and potluck dinners always found time to congregate on the beach in late afternoon to have a swim, wearing their flowery bathing caps and practicing their own unique version of synchronized swimming. Many of the ladies, mom included, continued with their ocean swims until well into their 80s, all firmly believing in the healing properties of salt water.
Mom was an avid reader, particularly of romance novels, which she could devour by the box-load. She would occasionally make her grandchildren squirm when she declared she enjoyed a particular book because of its “steamy bits.”
There is probably no better description of Mom than one of life’s true characters. She was definitely remembered by whoever she met, wherever she went. She loved her family, loved life, and wasn’t afraid to follow her passions.
We will miss her greatly.