Isabelle Kotzma

KOTZMA, Isabelle
(nee Juckes)

Passed away peacefully on February 6, 2024 in Vancouver, British Columbia after a short illness. She was in her 97th year.

Born on June 3, 1927 in Central Butte, Saskatchewan, Isabelle, at a very young age, moved to Melville, Saskatchewan where her father founded The Melville Advance newspaper. One of eleven children of Margaret Maud (McCuaig) and Oscar Williams Juckes, Isabelle grew up, graduated from high school, and spent much of her life in Melville. Isabelle met Melville Millionaire hockey player, John Kotzma, and they married in 1948. They raised their daughter Joan in Melville, where Isabelle was active in the Kinettes Club, First United Church, several bridge clubs and the curling club.

Isabelle was a woman ahead of her time, in that she worked outside of the home both before she was married and during all of Joan’s school years. The family dog “Tammy” often followed her to work at Fred’s Shoe Store and later Beth’s Style Shop and spent the day greeting customers.

In the early 1970’s, Isabelle relocated to British Columbia, where her mother and a number of her sisters had already settled. Family was always very important to Isabelle and she was keenly interested in what her siblings and their children were doing. In Vancouver, she worked first as a bank teller, and then for many years as a clerk at the British Columbia Cancer Clinic.

Isabelle was an adventurer. In Vancouver, Isabelle took up many new physical activities including cross-country skiing, square dancing, hiking and cycling. She cycled the Oregon Coast and in the Canadian Rockies. Her love for the arts blossomed and events such as the opera, symphony, theatre and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival enriched her life. She made many new friends at Brock House Seniors’ Centre, where she resumed playing bridge and attended many lectures and presentations. She loved road trips, journeys back to Saskatchewan and travel to far-away destinations. When she retired, she purchased a Volkswagen camper van in which she travelled throughout Canada and the United States, sometimes alone and sometimes with one of her sisters, a friend, or her daughter Joan. Isabelle continued to be social, healthy and interested in the world around her right to her death. She was an avid reader of good literature. She subscribed to one daily and two weekly newspapers (including her beloved Melville Advance) and read them front to back even when in hospital at the end of her life.

Isabelle was predeceased by her parents and by eight of her siblings. She is survived by her daughter Joan (Selby), her brother Angus Juckes and sister Arlene Stapleton, and numerous nieces and nephews.

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