Wendy Evelyn Robertson-O’Donnell (nee McKay)

September 21, 1943 – July 1, 2021
It is with profound sadness that we say goodbye to our youngest sister Wendy, who died in Palm Desert, California, July 1, 2021.
Wendy was a natural athlete who excelled in any sport she chose and who thrived on social connections wherever she went. This was evident when, as a youngster, she skillfully manoeuvred the family bike around Crescent Beach, delivering newspapers and making friends.
After graduating from Semiahmoo High School in 1960 – where she participated in basketball, volleyball, and track and field – and from UBC Faculty of Education in 1965, she moved to Kelowna to become a high school gym teacher and role model for many young athletes.
It was here that she met and married Gerry Robertson and participated in summer and winter sports with passion. Wendy could be found on the golf course in summer and skiing interior mountains in winter; she suffered a serious green-stick fracture while skiing that left her with steel pins in one leg for the rest of her life.
In 1977, her husband, Gerry, was killed in an auto accident, which shattered her life and left her a widow at 34. After this tragic event, Wendy worked for Sport BC, promoting the growth of amateur sport in British Columbia and travelling throughout the province. It was during this time that she used sport to help deal with her grief and threw herself into long-distance running, becoming an accomplished marathon runner.
Over the next few years, she competed in the Masters category in the Vancouver, Hawaii, Tokyo, and Boston marathons, running a total of 22.
In 1985, she was privileged to work briefly with the Rick Hansen Man in Motion Tour, going ahead of the tour to set up accommodations, etc. All of this time, she approached life with the determination and discipline of an elite athlete – with energy and a zest for life that was enviable.
She later moved to Palm Desert, California, to be with partner Bobby MacFarlane, and she spent the winters there until she died. She and Bobby travelled to Europe and Mexico during the summers and eventually escaped the desert heat when they bought a condo in Vancouver’s False Creek, which meant “coming home” and an opportunity to see family and friends each year. In California, Wendy sold real estate and played golf and tennis and kept track of many friends in many places.
She was admired, envied, and loved by so many and will be truly missed.
She was predeceased by her husband, Gerry Robertson; her parents, Gilbert and Jessie McKay; her oldest sister, Ruth Kendall; and in 2020, her partner Bobby MacFarlane.
Wendy is survived by sisters Keenie Scott (Kelowna), Nonie Meek (Calgary), Pat Summers and Jeanie Kromm (South Surrey), and beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins, who will all dearly miss her smile, her laughter, and her hugs – as will numerous friends in White Rock, Vancouver, Kelowna, and Palm Desert.
Due to the pandemic, there is no celebration of life planned at this time.Obituary


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