Cecily Ann Danenhower, a feisty adventurer and lover of birds, biscuits and gravy and good British mysteries, passed away peacefully at the age of 101 on December 19, 2020.
Cecily began her beautiful life in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She developed a life-long passion for music and the arts while being raised in Southern California by her mother, a talented organist who played for silent films in Hollywood theatres. After completing a degree in Biology, where she was one of very few women in her class, she trained as a Medical Technologist in Oregon. While working there during World War II she met her husband Harold and eventually they had four children together - all of whom she was incredibly proud of. Cecily built her life around her family; when she found herself at the beginning of the Vietnam War with three draft-age sons, she packed up and moved to Canada from Santa Barbara, California. She lived in Salmon Arm, 108 Mile House, the Okanagan, Victoria and Vancouver before settling on Gabriola.
Cecily relished her life and all the curiosities it had for her to explore. In the early 70’s she loaded the family up and they spent half a year in a VW camper van touring Europe. After that, all of Cecily’s spare pennies went to travelling; she explored six out of seven continents in her lifetime. Her explorations of the world included trips to Greece, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, and Australia with her son Thom, some fabulous birding adventures to Mexico and South America with her daughter Joanne, and wild road trips all over the United States and Canada with her sons Peter and Fred.
In her later life, happily living on Gabriola Island, Cecily could be found strolling through the woods, enjoying theatre productions and the arts, and having fun with the SUSO seniors group she loved. Age never was a limiting factor for her, as she began writing a historical, mystery trilogy about her native New Mexico at the age of 96, drove a car until she was 99, became a local celebrity at the Farmer’s Market while selling her copper enameling until 100, and proudly still lived on her own at the time of her passing.
Cecily was predeceased by her husband Harold and her best friends from 5th grade Mowe and Dixie. She is survived by her children - Joanne, Thom (Jean), Peter (Laurie) and Fred (Nancy), her three granddaughters – Jessica, Melanda and Natasha, and her niece and nephew, Stephanie and George. We will never forget how much Cecily deeply enjoyed life and will miss her immensely.
So long Cecily, and thanks for all the good times!
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to People for a Health Community (SUSO program), https://www.phcgabriola.org/
Earlier in 2020, Cecily was interviewed for two videos about senior's well being. These can be found at the following links. Telus video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93MdAzYMsf4 Island Health Video: https://www.islandhealth.ca/news/stories/seniors-find-strong-social-connections-and-improved-health-adult-day-progra
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