Marjo Van Tooren
April 28, 1936 – June 21, 2021
Celebration of Life
Saturday, July 24 Community Hall Field
On June 21, 2021 Marjo passed away unexpectedly, doing what she loved to do – tending plants in her greenhouse. She called her Denman home, her garden and her pottery studio her Paradise. Above photo, taken by Jeanie Rogers on June 17, shows Marjo amongst roses in her garden. Her friends will attest to her continued curiosity, her excited enthusiasm for whatever serendipitous surprise or twist life may next present to her. She experienced many moments of wonder at and at times concern for daily occurrences both near and far. She would tell me there were sometimes simply not enough hours in a day because she had to tear herself away from the garden to, equally excitedly, continue firing her beads or finish glazing her plates in the studio. She would also enjoy quiet moments of simple pleasure and rest, while eating good food and reading a book with her cat Healey on her lap.
In her 85 years she lived for significant periods in Holland, in Canada and in Germany, crossing the ocean a few times. Making her way to Canada, originally in search of new adventures as a very young lab-techni- cian, she, together with my father Manfred Rupp, were early-arriving newcomers to Denman Island, making it their home and surviving doing odd jobs and making pottery.
The second and third time she packed up her entire life it was in search of meaningful community, which she found for many years living in the Black Forest of Germany (allowing me to grow up with my close extend- ed family near-by) and then again for many years back here on Denman Island.
She was, and hopefully will continue to be, in some way, a lifelong connector. Her Dutch directness and her curiosity combined into a pattern of readily approaching people, be they close friends or complete strangers and striking up a conversation. And she was able to maintain so many relationships and friendships over time and over long distances in person or through mail, phone, email, facetime and texting. The latter two methods became especially important over the last 16 months to connect with the biggest joys of her life – her three grandchildren Taya (6), Jarrah (14) and Kiran (17).
I would like to invite her community to come together to celebrate the full and unique life Marjo was able to live. It would be lovely to hear a few of your stories and memories about Marjo. Her ashes will find a final resting spot here on Denman Island in a separate small and private event.