Personal history: Judy Vigue — the nurse

Judy Vigue grew up in Arrowhead, left when the town was flooded, then spent her career as a nurse in Revelstoke.

Judy Vigue at her favourite haunt — Conversations Coffee House.

Judy Vigue is a ball of fire. Nearly 75 years old, Vigue is known around town as a retired nurse, a painter, pianist, friend and supporter of all things local.

As a child, Judy and her six sibling lived in Arrowhead, coming to Revelstoke in grade nine through 12 for school and heading home on the weekends. Her mother was a trained nurse and Vigue had always known she would become one to.

“I never wanted to be anything else and that was that,” she says.

Her family was supportive. “My parents wanted us to do something after school. Business or nursing or whatever to get an education, so we did.”

Though she was engaged at the time to Bob Vigue, Bob knew better than to try and hold her back. “I went to Royal Inland in Kamloops and graduated as an Registered Nurse. Bob and I married a week after I graduated,” she laughs.

Happily married, Vigue worked as a nurse in the old hospital where Save-On Food is now, and, for a while, the new one. “The old hospital was something else,” she explains. “The men’s ward was this long room with 17 beds. The women’s ward, which was sponsored by the Eastern Stars, had five. It was just the way it was back then.”

The doctors, Vigue says, were wonderful to work with. “There was an unnerving thing about the old hospital though. There was no way to look out when the emergency bell rang at night. So we would open it in pairs.”

Vigue has a lot of great memories from her work in health care. She believes a large part of nursing, and the part she most enjoyed, is the devotion to the people. “Being able to take your time and chat to people, that’s important,” she explains.

The Vigue’s had two children, daughter Renee and their “chosen” son, Rob. “We had Renee and when she was a little girl she was always asking why there were no babies around. The neighbours had babies. She even told her school we were getting a baby. She was so sure of it, and she was right, eventually we did.”

Adopted son Rob was two weeks old when he joined the family. “Just brand new,” Vigue says.

In 2000 her beloved Bob lost his battle with colon and then brain cancer. “Cancer is an awful thing. There isn’t much you can do to help the other than to just be there. Be there and talk and reminisce. I learned that from nursing.”

When Bob passed on, Vigue embarked with several good friends on overseas adventure. “It was a great thing to do,” Vigue says. “And the right time. We went all over.” Vigue used this time of grieving to travel extensively. From Germany to Portugal and Ireland to Greece, Vigue saw the world. “I think Bob would have enjoyed it. I did.”

Now Vigue’s energy is poured into the town, her children and grandchildren. A gifted artist, Vigue’s paintings can be seen in various places around town. There is one painting of the old Arrowhead church up in Conversations. She lived through the hurried flooding of Arrowhead in the 1960s, which forced her family and many friends to find new homes.

“My parents lived in a beautiful home on the hill above the church before they flooded it,” she says. “The flooding happened so fast, I was away for it. There was no mercy.”

An avid member of the Eastern Stars, Vigue is also a talented pianist. “I can play what I hear,” she explains. She frequently plays at her church and every Tuesday Vigue and two friends head up to the Mt. Cartier Court cottages, playing music and chatting to the elderly there.

She was named Citizen of the Year in 2008. and you can find her downtown, catching up with friends and family over coffee. In fact, if you head into Conversations and admire the painted wall mural, the woman in blue with short white hair is an artist’s depiction of Vigue.

Vigue has a laugh when she hears people talk about big snow years. “They should have seen it in the 60’s and 70’s” she laughed. “The city would have to pile it in the middle of the street. You had to have your nose on the road to see what was coming.”

You can hear the positivity and energy in Vigue’s voice. She’s spry and active and ready to have a laugh. Her life is filled with good friends and neighbours, and she’s made it that way. “Revelstoke is a good place,” she says. “We’re lucky to be here.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four staff members at the Okanagan Men’s Centre have tested positive for COVID-19 since Oct. 23, 2020. (Adult and Teen Challenge OMC photo)
Four positive COVID-19 cases at Okanagan Men’s Centre

Those affected are staff and have been in isolation since Oct. 23

Vince Schnabl looks at the view this October from the Gorge, west of Revelstoke. (Photo by Jon Wichett)
There’s 3 times more snow near Revelstoke than usual

According to 54 years of data from Parks Canada for Glacier National Park

Mail in ballot, provincial election 2020. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Mail-in-ballots coming in from Columbia River Revelstoke

In a progress report Elections BC said around 45 per cent of those issued have been returned

Mayor Gary Sulz (centre) cuts the ribbon for the new roundabout. Councillor Jackie Rhind (left) and Councillor Cody Younker (right) are on either side. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke’s newest roundabout opens on Victoria Rd.

The project took approximately six months to complete

Revelstoke Drill Hall as it looked July 19, 1970; current home of Trans-Canada Fitness. (Estelle Dickey/Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 392)
Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Oct. 29

Local history straight from the newspaper archives

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Superintendent of the Kelowna RCMP, Kara Triance. (Capital News file)
Non-violent crime, small population contributes to Kelowna’s crime rate spike, says RCMP

Kelowna RCMP is assuring the public the city is a safe place

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Crime up 31 per cent in Vernon in 2019: Statistics Canada

Increase includes a 45 per cent rise in violent Criminal Code violations

A Tuesday Oct. 27, 2020 apartment fire in Penticton killed two and displaced dozens more. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Fatal Penticton apartment fire deemed accidental

The blaze gutted an apartment building on Tuesday morning, killing two people and displacing dozens

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports seven more COVID-19 cases

Eighty-nine cases remain active, none of whom are currently hospitalized

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

This Photoshopped version of the crosswalks near the entrance to the Salmon Arm Arts Centre on Hudson Avenue show what is proposed to help create safety for and show inclusivity to the LGBTQ2S+ community. (Salmon Arm Arts Centre image)
Tri-rainbow crosswalk and Progress flag requested to help make Salmon Arm safe

Council will consider budget requests to help make city inclusive to LBGTQ2S+ community

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Most Read