In Loving Memory of Ulrike Bemvinda Rodrigues

We are sorry to share the news that Ulrike died unexpectedly on January 3, 2021 due to a stroke caused by a brain tumour at age 59. As far as we can tell she died at home in her sleep.

Ulrike will be missed by many, including her mother Ursula Rodrigues, widowed, brother and sister-in-law Jürgen and Kim Rodrigues, brother and sister-in-law Yvan (Tiger) and Sarah Rodrigues, high-school friend Chris Sprague, and countless friends across the world.

Ulrike spent her youth in Guelph, Ontario.  She attended Centennial High School, involved in the school newspaper and Guelph's emerging punk rock scene. She graduated from University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Arts, and worked in graphics and commercial art before moving to Vancouver in her late twenties.

In recent years she has focused on writing, cycling, and travel, and has played a key role in Vancouver's homes-not-hotels movement as Vancouver residents found affordable housing displaced by Air-BnB rentals. Throughout her life Ulrike has welcomed a diverse array of friends. She has contributed to the music and arts communities, and has been heavily involved in the Vancouver bike scene.

A few months ago Ulrike started experiencing symptoms of loss of memory, difficulty writing and using the computer, and fatigue resulting in her quitting her job to pursue testing. Sadly the problem was more severe and acute than anyone realized, and she passed away before her scheduled MRI appointment later in the month.

Ulrike generously willed her apartment to Atira Women's Resource Society to be used as furnished housing, and her savings to create an endowment fund called Basic Needs + Mitey Deeds – a legacy fund to connect women and girls to shelter, support, and potential.

Respecting her wishes, there will not be a funeral. Please help commemmorate her by sharing your memories here.

Share Your Memories

Please take a moment to share your memories and photos of the time you have spent with Ulrike by clicking this link: Share a memory.

by Jurgen Rodrigues on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 09:49

My memories of Ulrike all come from our time growing up in Toronto and Guelph. She was a live-in playmate. Somebody to pester regardless of the time of day. Of course, playing with Ulrike often meant grabbing a Barbie and dressing her up. Ulrike didn't even own a Ken doll until much later.

Sometimes Ulrike would let me tag along with her on excursions. Or perhaps Mama forced her to take me with her. Once we hiked over to the minibike trails near where we lived in Willowdale. She confidently spread out a blanket and we enjoyed a picnic lunch while the dirtbikes zoomed past us with wonder on the faces of the riders.

One of our greatest joys was our annual trip to the Ontario Science Centre. It was just a bus ride down the road but it filled us with great excitement and confidence when we finally made the journey alone.

Ulrike, I'll toast you with a black cherry ice cream cone with visions of the Don Valley ravine etched in my memory.

by Yvan Rodrigues on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 07:17

In 2015 Ulrike and I spent 3 weeks together in Goa. I am so grateful I was able to spend this time with her. This is a blog excerpt:

We are usually up around 8:00, and Ulrike has introduced me to the ritual of Tea and Paó on the front veranda. The air not cool, but not yet hot, it's the perfect time to wake up, breathe the fresh air, listen to the birds and dogs, and maybe do some planning.

Tea and milk is accompanied by Paó with butter and marmelade.

Paó is a legacy from Portuguese colonization. Baked in a central location during the wee hours in the morning in mud-lined ovens, it is distributed by Paó wallers on bicycle, their horn honking as they wind through the residential laneways. It is the perfect combination of thin chewy crust and soft doughiness.

by Sarah Rodrigues on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 15:41

Ulrike's "up for anything" attitude brought passion and fun to the lives of everyone who knew her, and that was never clearer to me than at my bachelorette party. She jumped right in to an event filled with strangers for some raunchy fun. She did shots, played games, and, as a particular highlight to the festivities, won top marks in the clay-sculpting competition for "Most Angry-Looking" sculpture. I'll leave that to your imagination. Thanks for always playing along, Ulrike, we'll miss you!

by Yvan Rodrigues on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 13:46

In 1979 my only record album was Sesame Street. I remember listening to it hundreds of times when I had chicken pox. Clearly disappointed in my musical tastes, Ulrike bought me my first Rock and Roll album, Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy by The Who.

Ulrike started a tradition and every year for the next 15 or so years she bought me an album for my birthday, originally on vinyl, and eventually CD. It would be an understatement to say that she was fundamental in growing my musical tastes, which can only be summarized as eclectic.