Police attend a White Rock home where two seniors were found deceased Tuesday.

Police attend a White Rock home where two seniors were found deceased Tuesday.

Sudden deaths of White Rock couple ‘hard to fathom’

As coroners investigation into March 7 discovery of two White Rock seniors continues, friend remembers family-oriented couple

Two seniors found deceased in their White Rock home Tuesday are being remembered as family-oriented and dedicated to their individual interests.

Their identities have not been released publicly, however, a friend told Peace Arch News Thursday that the woman was passionate about nature and that her husband was an avid singer.

Their deaths are “really hard to fathom,” said Mai Clark, also a White Rock resident.

Police confirmed Wednesday morning that the husband and wife – aged 73 and 66 years old, respectively – were found just after 4 p.m. Tuesday by a woman who went to the house in the 1100-block of Finlay Street because she “hadn’t heard from her friend in a while.”

It’s believed the pair had been deceased since late Friday or early Saturday.

Clark said she last saw her friend on March 1.

She described the woman as a dedicated member of the White Rock  & Surrey Naturalists who, driven by a desire to increase safety for birds, spearheaded an initiative to clean debris from private property along the shoreline of the Nicomekl River.

The effort took massive co-ordination, said Clark.

“She was just sort of amazing. That was just one of the things that she did.”

Clark said her friend also helped with a bird-identification program in schools, participated in weekly bird surveys at Blackie Spit and was a Shorekeeper – helping map and survey intertidal habitats.

And, she was working on legislation around the use of unencapsulated Styrofoam, Clark said.

“(She was a) very smart lady, highly intelligent… really vibrant.”

Clark said her friend’s husband was active in quartets and choirs.

Still coming to terms with the deaths, Clark said the woman “really and truly was my best friend.”

“It’s just this huge hole in my life. The friend that you talk to when something happens – it was (her), and she’s not going to be there anymore. She just disappeared.”

She said those who knew the couple wonder if perhaps carbon monoxide or something similar was to blame.

“My friends and I can’t imagine them not calling for help,” Clark said. “It must be something that sort of sneaked up on them.”

Mounties who attended the home initially believed they smelled gas near the residence, however, firefighters and Fortis crews determined a gas leak was “not the case.”

Police were seen canvassing neighbouring homes Tuesday, and have said foul play is not suspected. There was also no evidence of suicide, said White Rock RCMP Const. Chantal Sears.

The investigation is now in the hands of the BC Coroners Service.

Alana McMahen, executive administrative assistant with the service, said Wednesday that it is “in the very early stages and there are no additional details that I can share at this time.”