March 8, 1930 - July 13, 2020
Catherine Elizabeth Tuck (March 8, 1930 – July 13, 2020) has passed away in Charlottetown, following a stroke. The death occurred Monday evening at Andrews of Park West Lodge.
Catherine was born in Campbell River, British Columbia, to Canon Alan Greene and Gertrude (Finlayson) Greene. The youngest of five children (Alan, John, Barbara and Marjorie), she spent her first six years in the pioneer setting of Quadra Island, until the family moved to Vancouver.
Her father Canon Alan Greene was the well and widely-loved skipper of several Columbia Coast Mission ships, bringing aid - medical, social and spiritual – to far-flung residents of coastal B.C. Catherine would sometimes join her dad as deck-hand and organist on these trips.
She graduated from McGee High in 1948 after starring on both the musical stage and the grass hockey field. The friendships made there lasted her entire lifetime and she would often return to the West Coast to refresh ties with kith and kin.
After studying Liberal Arts at UBC, Catherine made her first move eastward to train as an Anglican Church youth worker in Toronto. She next came further east to work for a parish in Montreal, and onwards easterly to train Church youth leaders around the Maritimes. It was at this time (1959) that she met and married Canon Robert C. Tuck, who was posted in Canso, Nova Scotia. Later they moved to Halifax in 1962, followed by a move to Summerside in 1964 where Catherine completed her B.A. in English through correspondence courses while bringing up her children and leading children’s groups at St Mary’s Church. She also got involved in back-room schoolboard politics as many Islanders fought to stave off the relentless tide of school over-consolidation.
In 1975 the family moved to Charlottetown where Catherine became an ESL teacher, coming to be known affectionately as “Mum” by the entire community of refugees from Vietnam who landed here in the 1970s. Six years later another move was made to Georgetown, followed by retirement to Charlottetown in 1991.
Catherine was a familiar presence around town. Her humour, kindness, and ever-youthful exuberance will be remembered fondly by many. She was always on the look-out for spirits to lift, loving to share bouquets from her bountiful garden with those in need of such cheer.
Her life-long passion for genealogical research did not result in the book she dreamed of writing – there were too many interesting tangents to explore -, but she collected a great mass of material on her family tree, which included the names Greene, Finlayson, Marling, Sanson and Dallas. Her Orillia, Ontario grandfather, the Rev. Richard W. Greene, was the real-life model for a character (dubbed the Reverend Dean Drone) in Stephen Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town.
The last to die in her immediate family, Catherine leaves grieving her daughter, Dr. Beth Eayrs (son-in-law Jonathan Eayrs), son Alan Tuck (daughter-in-law Leah Tuck), foster-son Rick Rayner (daughter-in-law Barbara Rayner), and foster-daughter Helen Rayner, as well as her much-beloved grandchildren - Sylvia, Edith, Isabel and Ivan. She is also survived by her brother John’s widow, Donna Turner of Burlington, Ontario, and two nieces, Erin Greene and Forest Greene of British Columbia.
The family will have a private visitation at All Soul’s Chapel on Friday, and a funeral for family and close friends will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. from St. Peter’s Cathedral.
Many heartfelt thanks to the Garden Home and Park West Lodge staffs, for their loving care for Catherine during her last year and a half, and a special shout-out to Karen Buell, who helped cut through the covideous red-tape to enable daughter Beth’s visit to her mother’s bedside at the last.
“Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O ruler of all.”
Arrangements entrusted to MacLean Funeral Home Swan Chapel. Online condolences may be made at www.macleanfh.com