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Johanna Slater

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Johanna (Joke) Alida Maria Christina Camelia Slater (VanBourgondien)

July 15, 1951 - September 11, 2020


Joké Johanna Alida Maria Christina Camelia VanBourgondien Slater was born July 15, 1951 in Sassenheim Netherlands to parents Karel and Lia VanBourgondien.  Passed away on September 11, 2020, due to complications brought on by Parkinson’s Disease.

While born in the Netherlands, Joké also spent her early years in Indonesia and Sri Lanka before immigrating to Canada with her family, eventually settling in Victoria.

She was educated at St. Patrick’s and St. Anne’s prior to graduation from Mt. Douglas High School.  Following graduation, she began working at Eaton’s in the Victoria and Duncan locations.

In 1972 she wed Thomas Slater and the two of them moved to Shawnigan Lake to start a family.  It is in Shawnigan Lake where Joké’s three passions in life took hold.  Her family, her career change and her love of community theatre.

She and Tom raised two sons in Shawnigan Lake.  While raising her boys, Joké changed her career to become an Early Childhood Educator, beginning in 1980.  She eventually took over the practice she was teaching in and moved the operation into her own home.  She directed “Little People’s Schoolhouse” until 1993 when she further advanced her professional career and became a professor of ECE for both Career Builders and Vancouver Career College.

After a decade of guiding new ECE teachers, Joké, again found herself back in the classroom.  This time as a director of the Strong Start program and head of Eagle Wings preschool located in Chemainus Elementary.  She remained in this position until she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Joké was beloved by all who encountered her in her profession.  From teachers to colleagues and, ultimately, her students.  She discovered that she loved all children as much as her own, and wanted nothing more than to see them all succeed.

The third passion she discovered in Shawnigan Lake was that of the stage.  Starting as an on-stage presence in The Shawnigan Players, Joké’s beauty and grace lead to her being an integral part of various plays before she eventually found her true calling, off-stage, as a Stage Manager.  She had a stellar career and made countless friends and memories while creating productions with the Cowichan Music Society, The January Players, Take Ten Dinner Theatre and Indigo Productions.

She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Thomas, sons Trevor Slater (Lyn) and Phil Slater.  Grandchildren; Darian, Kelley, McKenna and Avery.  She is also survived by her brothers Wilhelm VanBourgondien (Mauria), Phieps VanBourgondien (Jennifer), and sister Alice Uher; mother in law Lorraine Reid, sister in law Cheryl Halbert, brother in law Glen Slater (Jill) numerous nieces and nephews and countless former students.

Joké is predeceased by her father Karel, mother Lia (nee Smit), stepmother Ellenor (nee Hanley) father in law Wallace Reid and her favourite uncle Kees VanBourgondien.

Her family would like to give special recognition to the amazing staff at Cairnsmore Care Facility, Walden House, and St. Anne’s Garden Club located at Providence Farm.  These three facilities supported and cared for Joké in her final years.  Each of them enhanced her life, and ours.  In lieu of flowers, the Slater family would kindly accept donations made to Cystic Fibrosis research.

Due to Covid, the family will be gathering privately on Monday September 21, 2020 at 1:00pm. to celebrate Joke’s Life. Those wishing to view the live feed, please connect to : distantlink.com/wallace.html @ 12:55


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

Pages: 12

From: H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

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

From: Denise St.Amand-Mayea
Relation: Friends

Joke’s bright smile and love of life will be missed. Hugs to the family.

From: Lorraine Russell
Relation: Several times a year, for many years, we would meet at church sales while we were looking for children’s toys. We would catch with news about our families.

Saying goodbye to someone we love is heartbreaking. May you find comfort in all the special memories shared with Joke.

From: Eileen Ledingham
Relation: Several times a year, for many years, we would meet at church sales while we were looking for children’s toys. We would catch with news about our families.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Joke at Chemainus Elementary. She was a lovely lady and one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. Always had a smile for everyone. I feel blessed to have known her. My deepest condolences to you all.

From: Deborah Holley
Relation: Colleague

Sorry to hear of your loss. I was blessed to have Joke be our daughter’s preschool teacher in Shawnigan Lake. I taught Trevor and appreciated her support. I appreciated her as a colleague at Chemainus…a kind, caring, thoughtful lady, exceptional teacher. Thinking of you Tom and boys.

From: sonja and art milbury
Relation: old friends

our deepest sympathy to the family….or connections to queen of angels and Beta sigma phi…our paths crossed…..

From: Glen & MaryLou Jones
Relation: School

Our very deepest condolences to Tom and the family. Joke was such a bright light and gentle soul who taught our girls at Little People Schoolhouse. She will be greatly missed.

From: Robyn Hayward

Joke i sure enjoyed working with you at Chemainus El. i’ll always remember your beautiful smiling face 💜🤗

From: Sharon Lee Mitchell
Relation: cousin

Joke was such a warm and passionate lady who could light up any space. We were indeed blessed to know her. Our deepest condolences to Tom, the boys and family.

From: Stu Taylor
Relation: Friend of family

Tom and family, so sorry to hear of Joke’s passing, she was a beautiful person inside and out.

Pages: 12

Service Schedule

Private service arrangements have been made.

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