A White Rock woman who dedicated herself to “making the world a better place” – whether for the environment, animals or friends – is to be remembered Sunday at a service in Langley.
Donna Passmore died at home on Oct. 16. She was in her mid-50s, according to a spokesperson for the B.C. Coroners Service.
A vocal advocate for the environment and animals, Passmore is being remembered by friends and fellow environmental activists “a real community go-getter.”
“She was an organizer, she was an activist, she was an artist,” said Mel Siteman, who grew up two doors down from Passmore, in Fort Langley.
“She affected a lot of people.”
Over the years, organizations Passmore put her heart – and voice – into included the Farmland Defense League and the Fraser Valley Conservation Coalition. She spoke out on issues ranging from the South Fraser Perimeter Road and protection of the Serpentine Fen in South Surrey, to the destruction of wildlife habitat in Stokes Pit and the need to maintain an off-leash area in Blackie Spit.
As recently as last month, Passmore was helping plan an FDL campaign to highlight issues around illegal dumping on farmland.
Online tributes to Passmore describe a woman who “paid keen attention to the issue of farmland protection with a rare combination of wit and humour.”
Susan Jones writes that Passmore was “a relentless campaigner for the Agricultural Land Reserve and the Fraser River estuary ecosystems.
“She organized campaigns and supported all the organizations who worked to protect the environment. The best way to honour her work is to attempt to duplicate her tenacity in the challenging task of saving farmland and the internationally significant ecosystems in this amazing part of the world,” writes Jones.
Kali Smith describes Passmore as “an inspiration.”
“Without meeting you, I would have never saw the possibilities in fighting for what you believe in,” Smith writes.
A gofundme page launched by Siteman on Oct. 20 to raise money in Passmore’s honour – to help pay expenses including funeral costs as well as support Passmore’s uncle, who Passmore had been helping with various tasks due to health issues – had raised, as of Wednesday, more than $6,100 of a $10,000 goal.
One donor describes Passmore as “an inspiration to many, pushing us to go farther often when it seemed hopeless.
“She was tireless, and made her mark on protecting farmland in this province,” writes Barbara Johnstone Grimmer.
Another said “there is no one with a bigger heart, stronger convictions or braver soul than Donna.
“We have lost a presence, a friend and a force,” writes Vicki Huntington.
On a website where Passmore shared her passion for refurbishing/repurposing items, she describes herself as “a lifelong environmental advocate (with) a passion for reducing landfills one surprisingly beautiful project at a time.”
Her last post to that site was made on Oct. 14.
According to the coroners service, cause of death has yet to be determined.
A celebration of life is planned for 1 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 6) at the Fort Langley Lions Hall, 23022 88 Ave.