December 23, 1933 – November 15, 2022
In loving memory ~
Tanis Stephenson passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on November 15, 2022 at Vernon Hospice House just shy of her 89th birthday. Tanis was born in Los Angeles, California on December 23, 1933 but grew up in Victoria, BC. She graduated from Oak Bay High School
in 1950 with prizes for outstanding student in English, Social Studies and Shorthand. Although she was encouraged by her teachers to attend university, her parents declined. Instead she attended secretarial school and subsequently obtained a job at BC Electric in 1952 first in Victoria and then Vancouver. Starting in the steno pool, Tanis’ talent and skill was quickly recognized and she worked her way up the ladder to clerk stenographer, secretary, executive secretary and then corporate secretary under BC Hydro general manager Sig Sigmundson. Tanis eventually retired from BC Hydro in 1989 after 37 years of service. She was a dedicated member of BC Hydro’s Power Pioneers organization and remained very proud of her affiliation. Tanis’ first marriage was to Harry Sanders, a WW2 veteran who spent 2 years in Stallag VIIIB after his Lancaster Bomber was downed during a bombing raid over Germany. Through this union she had her only two children: Catherine Charlton (Les) and Dr. William Sanders (April).
In 1966, as a single parent, she met the love of her life Michael Stephenson at the Unitarian Church Single Adults Club in Vancouver and they were married in June 1967. Tanis and Mike lived in Vancouver for many years before moving to Richmond to buy their first house.
In 1972 they purchased lakefront property at Christina Lake, BC and over time built their summer retreat which eventually became their full-time retirement home. Here, family would converge for summer holidays full of love, laughter and lake activities. Tanis was a tireless volunteer and along with Mike had a hand in supporting the Christina Lake Community Hall, Christina Lake Art Centre and for years the Lawn Bowling Club. Over the years, Tanis volunteered with the Grand Forks Property Assessment Review Panel and was with the Christina Lake Hospital Auxiliary for 30 years. Tanis is predeceased by Michael who also died at Vernon Hospice House in 2008. Prior to Mike’s passing they travelled the world visiting dozens of countries on numerous cruises and excursions. In early 2022, faced with an incurable illness, she moved to Vernon to be closer to her family residing at the Regency Parkwood.
Tanis will perhaps be best remembered for her conscientiousness and intelligence. She was a wizard at Scrabble, crossword puzzles and Jeopardy and loved playing cribbage, poker and bridge. She was also a stickler for proper grammar and had an encyclopedic memory for old movies and shows she had seen throughout her life. She was a keen quilter and went on a number of quilting cruises around the world with her good friend Mary Ann. Besides her loving children, Tanis leaves behind her grandson Dr. Jordan Sanders (Laura) and her great grand children Everly and Ben and her grand daughter Adrienne Sanders (Ibrahim), step-son Daryl Stephenson (Shannon) and their children Corbyn and Brandon, stepdaughter Brenda Furman (Keith) and their children Thomas, Bradley and Jaqueline. She also leaves behind her brother Ian Monteith (Yvette) and her two nieces Alyx Monteith and Dr. Annie Monteith. She will be greatly missed by her friends at the Regency Parkwood Vernon, Christina Lake and Vancouver.
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