Obituary: Frances Gardner Best Somerville

Published October 1, 2007

Frances Gardner Best Somerville, wife of Archbishop David Somerville – retired archbishop of the diocese of New Westminster and metropolitan (senior bishop) of British Columbia and the Yukon – died Aug. 16 at the age of 91. She had been suffering from dementia.

A memorial service and eucharist was held Aug. 25 for Mrs. Somerville at St. Catherine’s church in North Vancouver, where she was a parishioner. Archbishop Somerville, who was elected bishop of New Westminster in 1969, is known in the Anglican Church of Canada as a “quiet radical,” having spearheaded the ordination of women to the priesthood and starting a movement to help the poor in Vancouver’s downtown eastside.

The Somervilles would have celebrated their 22nd wedding anniversary last September; they were married in 1985 by the then primate, Archbishop Ted Scott, at the chapel of 600 Jarvis St., Toronto, the church’s one-time national office.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Somerville Fund at the Vancouver School of Theology, 6000 Iona Drive, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1L4.


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