Rose Mary “Isabel” Dilworth (nee Rosby)
of White Rock, British Columbia, passed away peacefully on November 21, 2011, in Peace Arch Hospital, following complications from a stroke. Her
wishes to have no extraordinary measures taken to sustain life were adhered to and a comfortable,
honourable and graceful departure insued. Rose Mary was born on February 11th, 1922, in Calgary, Alberta, becoming the first daughter of Mr.
Asa and Mrs. Elizabeth Rosby. As a child she enjoyed helping around the house and soon excelled at the talents and skills that would prove invaluable to an exceptional homemaker throughout her life. As a child she with her parents and siblings came west to Vancouver, British Columbia and eventually a move outside the city that would see the family settle in the White Rock area, on Pacific Highway.
A chance encounter between a youthful Rose Mary and a young man from the area at a dance at the Hazelmere Hall was where she would fall in love with John Dilworth and so began the next stage
of her life. Following their marriage on April 6th, 1942 the couple would settle in South Surrey, on Sunny Side Road, where she would spend over six decades, tending the land, raising a family and carving out a simple honest existence within the community. Over the years the family would work
hard cultivating the landscape and developed a loyal following amidst the locals who were always eager for the delectable flavours provided by the season’s crops. When not hard at work toiling over the endless chores the lifestyle of farming is entrenched in, one of her greatest joys was to be amidst nature, most notably adventures involving the spectacularly scenic rivers and lakes of BC and the
surrounding region. Normally rather reserved, the exhilaration she exuded could be felt when she spoke fondly of a day logging endless miles along the banks of the Skagit, with she on one shore and John on the other, all efforts concentrated in pursuit of the ever-elusive gifts from the river. Her
own words captured well the images of the experience that she so looked forward to, “There is nothing better than being rewarded with the ultimate prize that concludes yet another hard day’s work, accompanied by the feeling of utter fulfillment and the simple pleasure that comes from a job well done, then topping it all off by bearing witness to the fruits of one’s labours, as it cooks perfectly
over the campfi re”. Together she and John navigated many miles of open road and likely nearly as many miles of shoreline, in the quest of capturing a connection with the outdoors and the amazing feeling one experiences being part of nature. A sought after connection with the wonders of the
natural beauty that surrounds us, is equally shared by both of her sons and serves as a testament to the positive foundation she helped lay for them. Following the passing of her lifetime’s love, John in 2002, she with ever greater help from her sons continued residing at and maintaining the farm for
several more years. Alas in the face of never ending to-do lists and a deteriorating ability to keep
up with responsibilities, she somewhat reluctantly moved to the Crescent Gardens community, a short distance from where she had lived for most of her life. During her later years many ailments along with ever debilitating arthritis would begin to make it difficult to recognize the once robust
woman who would spend from dawn til dusk taking care of anything and everything that needed to be done. Although her new found environment, in a manageable home within a setting that seemed conducive to her needs, was indeed a practical option for a single woman of her years, it was evident to all, no home could ever replace her dear homestead on Sunny Side Road. Despite her best intentions to maintain a few small flower and vegetable beds, along with efforts to find comfort
in the companionship of her dog “Koi”, the essence of what defined a practical and hardworking Isabel would be lost forever with the leaving behind of her magnificent gardens, bountiful orchards
and her beloved farm. When her fierce independence was further challenged following the first of a series of devastating falls, resulting in broken bones and extensive rehabilitation, she found herself among the residents of Christina Place, in White Rock. During the couple of years in independent
living she managed to carry on a quiet reserved existence, connecting with a handful of those she came in contact with, otherwise content to pass the days awaiting the latest news from her sons and on the special occasion a welcomed visit from extended family.
In a turn about of fait, the separation that death once brought with it, this time brings the unanticipated
delight of a renewed unity. Together again and at peace, Isabel and John are now free to spend their days exploring the countless undiscovered wonders of nature and the best fishing holes any angler could dream of. With the hard work all done, nothing left to do but pull on the hip waiters, grab her
fly rod and join in the fun down stream… Listen close next time you are near a running river and over the sound of rushing water you’ll hear John calling out “Isabel, where are you, what’s keeping you?”. Following a brief pause you’ll fondly recognize the voice shouting back “You go on ahead, I’ll
catch up, I’ve got my hands full with a real dandy and he’s putting up a pretty good fight!” Rose Mary, affectionately known as “Balloon Granny” is survived by and will be very dearly missed
by her sons Dave, his wife Jan and Terry, his wife Linda; also by her sister Betty (and family), her
sister-in-law Margaret (and family) and by siblings in Ontario, as well as by grandchildren Kelly (Randy), Rick, Kristen (AJ), Leanne (Steve), and by great-grandchildren Mackenzie, Emily, Lucas, Mitchell and Gabby. The family would like to thank the staff of Christina Place for their dedication to the great work they do focusing on maintaining the quality of life and the lengths they go to creating a “home” for
those in their care. A heartfelt thank you is also extended to the nursing staff and care providers of ICU and the Palliative Care Unit at Peace Arch Hospital, whose caring efforts benefi t all in the community. At this time it seems appropriate for all to be reminded of the need for support of our
local hospital and community health services. It is hoped that those whose lives have been touched by local healthcare will remember to give generously in support of the Peace Arch Hospital and Community Health Foundation.