May 11, 1954 – May 7, 2021
Susan Stark passed away on May 7 at her home in Kaslo, B.C. She was exactly where she wanted to be when her time came, home at Lakewood Inn, surrounded by loved ones, flowers and music.
Born in Barrie, Ontario on May 11, 1954 to Willard and Ruth Kinzie, Susan was the younger sister to brothers Bob and George. In 1974 she moved to Vancouver Island, where she met and married her first husband, Brian Kimola, with whom she had two children, Rachael in 1980 and Kyle in 1982.
In 1986, she and Brian divorced and a few years later she reconnected with her childhood sweetheart and the love of her life, Doug Stark.
In 1992, she moved with her children to the Western Kootenays so she and Doug could start a new life together. A few years later, they discovered a beautiful piece of property just outside the town limits. (Rachael maintains that they only found it because it was the site of a high school field trip she took in 1995.)
In 1996, she and Doug purchased the Lakewood Inn and settled into a joyful life as resort owners, happily renting out log cabins and campsites to locals and tourists looking to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Kootenay Lake.
She and Doug finally married in June of 1998, saying their long overdo ‘I do’s’ under a floral archway in front of the main house at Lakewood. (Kyle would often say the part of the wedding he liked best was getting to wear a kilt for the first time.)
Susan was in her element at Lakewood, making lifelong friends with many of the visitors who would come back every year and delighting in the acres of green space to garden. Her legendary green thumb was never without something to plant or prune and every time Doug and Kyle would clear the bush from a new area on the property, she was right behind them (sometimes literally right behind them) with a wagon full of plants to turn the space into a new garden.
She and Doug began travelling every year to Mexico, sometimes spending a month or more at a time in various small villages along the coast. Sitting on a beach with a good book (and a glass of wine) while the sun beat down on her was one of her happy places.
In 2014, one of Susan’s dreams came true when she became a grandmother as granddaughter Kaelynn Kimola was born to Kyle and his wife Kara. Few things delighted her more than being called Granny Sue by the spunky little redhead.
In the early 2010s, both she and Doug began battles with cancer within a couple years of each other. Doug lost his fight with throat cancer in February of 2018, while Susan fought both lung and bladder cancer, continually defying the odds given by her doctors.
Her well known stubborn nature and fierce independence is credited by those who loved her as the reason she held on so long.
Due to the current Covid situation, the family has decided to hold off on any memorial service until all those who knew and loved Susan can attend safely. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Susan’s name to the Royal Victorian Hospital in Kaslo, or the Canadian Cancer Society.
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