In Memoriam

a headshot of Catherine Jill Wade
Catherine Jill Wade, MA’67, BLS’67, MA’84

On December 17, 2020, Catherine Jill Wade, loving wife of Don Sinclair, passed away peacefully at the age of 78. Jill was born and raised in Winnipeg (Norwood). She completed her BA at the University of Manitoba (U of M) and in 1964 she moved to Vancouver, completing her MA and BLS degrees at UBC in 1967. Jill served as a reference librarian from 1967 to 1969 in the fine arts section of the UBC library, and then she returned to Winnipeg for the position of reference librarian in the School of Architecture at the U of M from 1970 to 1973. In 1971 she met Don, who was about to leave for Vancouver. Jill returned to Vancouver in 1973 and reconnected with Don, whom she married in 1976.

Later in the 1970s, Jill catalogued the permanent collection at the Vancouver Art Gallery and local private collections of Inuit art. She was also a reference librarian with the Vancouver Public Library and worked on many collaborative historical projects. She obtained her MA degree in B.C. history at UBC (1984) and later her doctorate (1991) in B.C. history at Simon Fraser University. Jill’s research led to the publication of countless articles in history journals and, most notably, of her epic book, Houses for All: The Struggle for Social Housing in Vancouver, 1919-1950, for which she received an award from the City of Vancouver. The book’s title has become a rallying cry for a new generation of housing activists. Jill taught B.C. and Canadian history at a distance with Open Learning from 1990 until her retirement in 2013.

In addition to her beloved husband Don, Jill leaves to mourn her brother John Wade (Marilyn), her sister Judy Wade and all of the other members of her and Don’s families, and her many friends.