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Patricia Janzen Patricia Janzen Patricia Janzen Patricia Janzen Patricia Janzen

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Patricia Yvette Janzen

Date of Death: April 4, 2022


Join us on Saturday, August 13th, 6:30 to 9:30 pm at the Rotary Kiosk at Lakeside Park in Nelson, B.C., in unceded Sinixt təmxʷulaʔxʷ, to remember and celebrate the life of Yvet Janzen. Please bring a potluck dish if you can and a musical instrument if you want.

I have to cast my lot with those

who age after age, perversely,

with no extraordinary power,

reconstitute the world.”

Adrienne Rich, from The Dream of a Common Language, 1978

Yvet died of complications from lung cancer on Monday, April 4th in the palliative care room at the Victorian Community Health Centre of Kaslo.

We still can’t believe that our dear friend is gone.

Yvet was born in Edmonton, the daughter of Helen Janzen, a working-class woman, an immigrant, and a teacher who was committed to social justice and taught her children the value of education and critical thinking. Helen died young, and Yvet regretted not knowing her mother as an adult, but she praised Helen’s strength and honoured Helen’s determination to give Yvet and her brother Sean a better chance in life than she’d had.

Yvet was deeply curious about her own and others’ ethics, motivations, and beliefs. She loved discussing ideas and engaging with different perspectives and was a great listener—articulate, engaged, generous, and empathetic.

She loved learning and brought her keen intellect and a warm and caring heart to everything she did. She was thoughtful, principled, and passionate, with a strong feminist analysis and a herstory of work advancing the interests of women and lesbians in ways that centred anti-racism, decolonization, and anti-ableism. Yvet was a member of the former BC Coalition of Abortion Clinics. In addition, she worked and volunteered at several women’s collectives, including the Regina Women’s Community Centre, the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, the Vancouver Lesbian Centre, and the Aimee Beaulieu Transition House. Most recently, she was the chair of the Nelson and District Women’s Centre.

Her class analysis was informed by her background, and Yvet involved herself in work, volunteer, and activist environments that supported equality of speech and engagement for all participants. She was sensitive to and respectful of the dignity of others, especially vulnerable people. A long-time support worker and advocate, Yvet worked with nonprofit organisations such as Nelson Cares and the Canadian Mental Health Association for the Kootenays to address homelessness through transitional and subsidised housing. She made valued contributions to the Nelson Committee on Homelessness and was known for her compassionate, calm, and gentle approach to supporting people in our community. When Yvet died, she was working on her Bachelor of Social Work degree (online) at Simon Fraser University.

Yvet found peace and joy in the outdoors. She loved the forests, lakes, and mountains of the Kootenays and enjoyed hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, snowshoeing, and swimming with friends and family. Yvet was an enthusiastic and inventive cook and gardener and especially loved making meals with wild edible plants. She also loved road trips, thrift shopping, sharing good food, decorating her home, and cats. Yvet enjoyed learning languages, seeing their potential to broaden her perspective and include others more fully in it. As a child, she learned French and German, and she studied some Spanish, Cree, and American Sign Language as an adult. Yvet had a tremendous sense of humour that will live on in the hearts of those who love her.

The visual arts were another way Yvet expressed herself and made sense of the world. She had a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Alberta and attended the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver. Yvet’s art-making focused on feminist themes. She also supported art-making groups and was proud to work with the Blue Heron Collective on their Monoprint exhibit at Anderson Gardens in 2020/21.

Yvet cared about community, fairness, and inclusion. She was a long-time ally of the Autonomous Sinixt. She volunteered at and supported both Kootenay Co-op Radio and Vancouver Co-op Radio. Yvet was an ESL/literacy tutor at the Regina Public Library and a learning group assistant at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. She helped friends with their taxes and resumes. She volunteered with the Nelson and District Hospice Society. Yvet was honest and committed—to anti-racism—both doing her own work and supporting others in their work; to the rights of children; to protecting animals; to supporting women and lesbians; and to acknowledging the realities of illness and death and the pain of grief.

Yvet loved her friends and her family—not uncritically, but generously and profoundly. She is deeply missed by friends and colleagues throughout the Kootenays and beyond, her brother Sean, her three nieces, Mackenzie, Madison, and Sarah, and their mother, Mary-Alice Jaeger. Yvet was predeceased by her mother, Helen Marguerite Janzen, several dear friends, including Cynthia Olivas and Anne Russell, and her partner, Rebekah Abra.

Thanks to the nurses, doctors and staff at the Kootenay Lake District Hospital in Nelson, the Kootenay Boundary Hospital in Trail, the Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins (B.C. Cancer) Centre in Kelowna, the B.C. Cancer Centre in Vancouver, and the Victorian Community Health Centre of Kaslo for their excellent and compassionate care.


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.

From: Thompson Funeral Services Ltd.

Thompson Funeral Service Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Catherine Fisher
Relation: Friend

Miss you every day, Yvet.

Service Schedule

  Celebration of Life

Date & Time:
August 13, 2022
Beginning at 6:30pm

Rotary Kiosk
Lakeside Park
Nelson, BC Canada

Remember and celebrate the life of Yvet Janzen. Please bring a potluck dish if you can and a musical instrument if you want.

Lakeside Park
Nelson, BC Canada

Memorial Gifts

The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

Thank You Notice

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default-floralFloral Tributes may be ordered directly through our supplier. Please have the name of the deceased, the funeral date, the address and phone number of the delivery location for handy reference:

621B Herridge Lane, Nelson, BC V1L 7B3
Phone: (250) 352-5592

2870 Georama Rd, Nelson, BC V1L 6Y7
Phone: (250) 352-3468 / Toll Free: 1(800) 712-6797

Flowers & Yoga Studio
513 A  Front Street, Nelson, BC V1L 4B4
(250) 505-5222


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