Mabel Cecilia Eastwood nee Niemela, 82, of West Vancouver, BC passed away peacefully at her home on April 7, 2023.
Born a farmer’s daughter in Eckville, Alberta Mabel grew up in Bentley speaking her mother tongue Finnish, learning English in elementary school, and acquiring a lifelong love of learning. Excelling in school she won a scholarship to the University of Alberta where she received her B.Ed.in 1965 and was one of only two women in her law school class of 1968.
New adventures awaited in beautiful British Columbia where she was called to the BC Bar in 1969. Starting as a junior lawyer for a large firm she opened Eastwood & Company in 1973 eventually expanding her law practice to a second office on the Sunshine Coast in 1979 working from both offices tirelessly until retiring in 2016.
Mabel served for over 20 years as a volunteer director and treasurer for Canadian Friends of Finland and for Finland House Society. It was a highlight of her summer attending the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival.
Mabel is survived by her daughters Claire, Judy and Susan and by her three grandchildren Anne, Melissa and Shane.
Throughout her life Mabel persevered, brave, resilient, never complaining, with determination and honesty she lived a life that reflected the Finnish mindset of Sisu.
A private celebration of life will be held to scatter her ashes in Sechelt. Donations in Mabel’s memory can be made to Finland House Society c/o Scandinavian Community Centre, 6540 Thomas Street, Burnaby, BC V5B 4P9
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