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Irma McLean Irma McLean Irma McLean Irma McLean Irma McLean Irma McLean Irma McLean Irma McLean Irma McLean Irma McLean

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Irma Mae McLean (Lawrence)

August 18, 1935 - October 10, 2021


It is with great sadness we share with you the passing of Irma Mae “or may not” McLean.  Irma moved to Cairnsmore Place in Duncan, BC in February of this year.  She passed away peacefully, surrounded by love and care in her new home, on Sunday, October 10, 2021.

Irma was born in Assiniboia Saskatchewan and raised there by her late parents, Bill and Marion Lawrence (Hindle).  She attended Assiniboia High School and was crowned Harvest Queen at the Elks’ Harvest Carnival in 1953.  After graduating from high school Irma went on to study and earn her Registered Nursing degree at the Regina Grey Nuns’ Hospital in 1957.  She then went off to Bermuda for a year where she worked as a Nurse and enjoyed travelling the island on mopeds with her nursing friends.

This was quite a change from the big city hospital of Regina and was a great adventure. Irma recalled challenges such as working night shifts alone at the small hospital, and being ferried out to the cruise ships with her nursing cap and cape blowing in the wind to attend to sick passengers. “Here comes the nurse” she would hear as she arrived with white knuckles and gritted teeth thinking, “What the heck am I gonna do?”  There were also many fun times spent enjoying Island Life with the fellow nurses, socializing at the Elbow Room Surf Club with the likes of Robert Goulet, and “fraternizing” on boat rides with the local fishermen.  Irma’s prairie survival skills came in handy when during the cold of winter, with no central heating, they resorted to burning some “extra” pieces of wooden furniture in the fireplace to keep warm.

After her return home, she met and married Robert McLean.  They had 2 daughters, Joann and Lynn.  Although their marriage ended in Divorce, Irma always credited Rob for her 2 beautiful daughters and moving them all to Vancouver Island.

Irma was a Pediatric Nurse at the Cowichan District Hospital for 26 years and retired in 1995.  She is remembered by her coworkers as kind, loving, and funny.  When out in the community, many past patients would often recognize Irma and tell her she was their favorite nurse.

Irma was a hip single mom ahead of her time. She drove a Volkswagen camper van and took her girls and friends on some great adventures. California, Disneyland, the Oregon Coast, the BC Interior, Tofino and the Grand Canyon – where she was awarded The Order of the Master Mule Skinners of the Grand Canyon Trails for magnificent cooperation between rider and mule during the entire journey.


Irma enjoyed her many travels with family, friends and coworkers. Alaska cruise, Phoenix Arizona, shopping trips to Seattle aboard the Princess Marguerite, Reno, Whistler, Cabo San Lucas, San Diego and Catalina Island.


When not working or travelling Irma loved to shop and decorate her home at Aquarius Gardens on Gibbins Rd in Duncan, BC.  A wonderful community of neighbours, where she lived for 47 years and was fondly referred to as “the Queen of Aquarius Gardens”!


Irma is survived by her 2 daughters, Joann (Colin) Champoux and Lynn Phillips, and her beloved cat Chloe.

The family would like to thank all at Cairnsmore for the compassionate care Irma received.  Irma made some dear new friends who helped her navigate this final chapter of her life with grace, laughter and tears.

Thank you to all of Irma’s friends and family who contacted her and came to visit over the last few months.  Please know these visits and phone calls meant a lot to her.

At this time there is no formal service planned.  Have a toast to Irma and to a life well lived.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation can be made to Nourish Cowichan or Cowichan Cat Rescue.




The cap means love
And service to mankind
To old and young,
Distressed and blind,
You must hold out
Your hand in loving care,
And keep the faith
Whene’er the cap you wear
God of Light,
Look down today, we pray,
And bless each nurse
As she goes on her way;
Help her to be willing,
Glad to do her part,
A lighted candle
Shining in her heart.



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Pages: 12

From: H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Holly and Al
Relation: Family through marriage

Irma we will miss your smiling face and sense of humour at our holiday table and family gatherings. You leave a legacy of 2 lovely daughters raised by a loving mother. Job well done, life well lived. Until we meet again Irma.

From: deb Harpell

Thank you Lynne, Joanne and Colin for introducing me to your wonderful Mom. You took such good care of her. She had a wonderful sense of humor and smile. She brought up two beautiful women. Sending our Love, Earl, Deb and Lillie-Mae. xxoo

From: Rose

What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful lady. The pictures were great too. Hugs to all.

From: Janice
Relation: Friend of Lynn and Joanne

I will always remember you treating me like one of the girls. No fuss just a smile and encouragement, that was all I needed. I will always remember your kindnesses

From: Karen, Stephen and Simon
Relation: Friends

Royalty at many times in her honourable life: funny, classy, friendly, courageous, thoughtful and slightly zany! Irma your many fine qualities live on in your beautiful daughters! You will be dearly missed and we were touched to be a special part of your life.

From: Joyce malones
Relation: Co-worker and friend

Irma and I started working on children’s ward together 50 years ago. She was a great co-worker—fun, kind and totally dedicated. I always admired how she juggled working full time, cared for her elderly mother and was raising two beautiful daughters, all as a single mom. We became dear friends and maintained that friendship until her passing. For many years we enjoyed Friday lunches at Cherries, and frequent phone chats. I will miss her so much, but have so many great memories. Thank you Joanne , Colin and Lynn for taking such wonderful care of Irma in her declining years, and especially for calling me and inviting me to visit to say a final goodbye.

From: Joyce Askey
Relation: Friend

I will miss Irma. From rides to school in the VW Van to a trip to the Grand Canyon , to sleep overs , to grandma Marion ,to all the things I got to be included in with the three Mclean’s!! So many memories I will cherish in my ❤️ heart. Love you lots Irma ! Biggest hugs Joann and Lyn 💕

From: Marie Cadorette
Relation: Irma and I lived across the parking lot from each other for almost 30 years at Aquarius Gardens. We were the « the cat ladies » refusing to give up our beloved felines in the face of all opposition.

Dearest Irma – How I miss just being able to run across the parking lot to have a cup of tea and chat. We shared many a visit, but most of all we shared our love for our cats. Determined we were in the face of all opposition! So many stories to tell. How fortunate you are in your loving daughters, Joann and Lynn and your son-in- law who all took such good care of you in your declining years. Thank you, dear Irma, for all the fun and laughs we’ve shared over the years.

From: Beverley McKeen
Relation: Colleague

Thinking of you Joann and family. ❤️

Pages: 12

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