Marilyn Bird, co-owner of The Granary Restaurant in Terminal Park Mall, Nanaimo from 1992-2009, passed away in the Palliative Care Unit at NRGH on 5th February 2022. Predeceased by her beloved husband, Richard, in 2006, Marilyn leaves behind her four children: Jon, Fiona, Alec and Andrew, six grandchildren, her trusty sidekick, Sprocket, and friends and family around the world.
Marilyn was born in 1948 in Yorkshire, England to Ella and Harold Turner and was the younger sister of Peter and Jennifer. Ever the adventurous spirit, her life took her from secretarial work in England to sheep farming in Alberta for nearly 15 years. Marilyn was always up for a challenge, be it learning how to be a sheep farmer – mostly solo, as Richard either worked away or had a full-time job off the farm – becoming President of the Bellis Community Services Club, teaching the elementary students to knit, raising funds to open a lending library in the school, feeding all the kids during swimming lessons at the lake every summer and helping organize further education classes. Marilyn was always ready and willing to help, support and encourage; she always put the needs of others ahead of her own.
In 1986, the family moved to England to pursue Richard’s dream of running a pub. Richard and Marilyn made a great team at The Old Bush Inn, Albrighton. Marilyn worked immensely hard, as always, to help ensure that the venture would be a success and it certainly was. One of her great adventures during their time at the pub was a sponsored parachute jump to raise money for a local charity. She never let fear get in her way.
After 6 years of late nights and early mornings, they upped sticks again and returned to Canada with the two youngest children, Alec and Andrew. Although they had no firm plans for what they would do when they got to Canada, once they reached Nanaimo, they knew they had found their forever home. Soon afterwards they bought the restaurant and established a solid reputation for excellent food and a friendly atmosphere, which sums Marilyn up rather well. There are many people in Nanaimo who still remember The Granary for the delicious burgers, fish & chips and the immensely popular Friday night roast beef, but also for her constant presence and her smiling face popping up above the counter.
Marilyn was a kind, generous, compassionate woman who was always ready to give people a chance. She was the life and soul of the family, the comforting, reliable, steady centre that we all gravitated towards. She loved music, good food, travel, reading, pottering in the garden and spending time with her very best friend, Pat. We are all thankful that we have so many joyful memories to help us through the times ahead. She will be missed so very much.
Heartfelt thanks to all the healthcare workers who helped Marilyn in her final days and comforted her family throughout.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society, Nanaimo Community Hospice or the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation. As per Marilyn’s wishes, there will be no service.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marilyn BIRD, please visit our floral store.