1921 - 2010
My Grandpa was born on January 5, 1921 in Jansen, Saskatchewan. He was the seventh child of thirteen born to Frederick and Augusta Klein. He went to school in Jansen and later joined the army. The army was very important to my Grandpa and he was proud to have served his country. He received four medals during his time in the army and fought in World War II in France, Germany and England. He received a medal for bravery during this time and was eventually wounded in action and returned home.
He met my Grandma, Nina Smith, in 1946 in Vernon, BC. My Grandma told us that being the “ladies man” he was, he made a date not only with my Grandma, but also with my Grandma’s sister. He later got caught sneaking my Grandma into the barracks in Vernon and ended up getting fired. They got married in 1975 and had six children – Ron, Fred, Brenda, Linda, Allan and Bob. The army took my Grandpa’s family from place to place and in 1953 they moved to Fort Nelson and he became a security guard. In 1963 they moved to Dawson Creek and were given land by the army, which my Grandpa farmed. After working for the City of Dawson Creek for a short time, they sold their homestead and retired to Vernon, BC. My Grandpa never could stay in one place with one vehicle, and was always looking for a good trade or another move to make. That brought him back to the Dawson Creek area to Arras, took him back to the Okanagan once more, and a final return to Dawson Creek, where he lived until he passed away on May 28, 2010.
My Grandpa was a prankster! He loved everything from “pull my finger”, “lift my finger”, and the “belt/neck” pull to taping a cat’s paws, tying cans to a cat’s tail, dressing up like a bear and scaring his kids, having you look down his sleeve for the stars while he poured water down that sleeve and getting you to see if, on all-fours, you could lift your leg as high as the length of your arm, kinda like a dog. He loved sneaking up on people and tickling their ear with a piece of straw. He chuckled when he got away with these things, and his body shook when he laughed. I will always remember his chuckle.
My Grandpa loved reading western novels and watching western movies. He liked to watch wrestling, listen to Frank Sinatra, loved animals and chewing “snuff”. Most of all though, he loved playing poker. He taught his kids to play poker at a young age, which resulted in my mom losing all of the red cross money to her brothers in one game. Our family has had many great poker games with my Grandpa over the years.
Family was really important to my Grandpa and he always made sure to take his kids on a vacation every year. He also loved picnics, so my Grandma would make a nice picnic lunch, but being as impatient as he was, he would end up pulling over and the family would have the picnic on the side of the road. He loved his kids. My mom told me that he used to bring home chocolate bars for the kids – he would set them on the table and they would quickly grab the one they wanted before anyone else got it. One of the last things he wanted to do was to buy his kids a chocolate bar. He loved his visits with his family and no matter what, would thank us for coming each and every week without fail. We were lucky enough to have our children, his great-grandchildren, meet him and know him.
Grandpa passed away peacefully on May 28th, 2010 in Dawson Creek; but not before telling Care Aid that he loved her and asking for a beer!
A memorial service was held on Thursday, June 3, 2010 followed by a family inurnment in the Brookside cemetery, Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
Expressions of sympathy in memory of Philip may be made by donation to the ‘Canadian Cancer Society’ 1000 – 105 Avenue, Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 2B9.
Frank Jean Wolfe
April 6, 1938 – May 15, 2010
Frank Jean Wolfe, a lifelong resident of Willow Valley passed away at home on May 15, 2010 after a short illness. Frank was born in Dawson Creek to Oliver and Mary Wolfe the third child of five.
His first off the farm job was working for the Bassett’s in their tie mill at the early age of 13 years. On June 13, 1955 he married the apple of his eye, Virginia June Gibson.
Throughout his years Frank made a living from farming and raising a commercial cow herd which he was very proud of. He supplemented the farm by working out in various jobs from logging to cat work.
Frank and I had eight wonderful daughters. He enjoyed saying “let’s go for a” whether it be a picnic, camping, fishing or to town for an ice-cream and expected everyone to be out the door in 5 minutes. We usually forgot the can opener or salt shaker. Frank enjoyed being surrounded by all his girls, grand children and great-grandchildren.
Frank was an outdoors person who especially enjoyed checking fence lines and sitting on a horse or quad for hours watching the cows. He enjoyed haying, feeding the cows and the queens beef because the moose always put food on his table when needed. Frank also loved hunting on horseback.
He was always ready to give any of his neighbors’ a helping hand at any time.
He broke in his own horses. A story his little sister Pat liked to tell was when they went for a ride. When they got to the field, Frank puffed up his chest and said ”See how well Rowdy is broke?” Well Rowdy must have wanted to have a last hoorah because he let into bucking. Frank said he saw the horse under him when he was airborne. When he picked himself up off the ground it was to see Pat almost falling off her horse, she was laughing so hard. Frank told her to quit laughing and to go and get the damn horse.
His leisure time was tipping a few with friends in a pub or at dances where he could really cut a rug.
Frank was predeceased by his parents Oliver and Mary, brothers Johnny and Tom, granddaughter Felicia Blair, brother-in-law Don Kettner and sister-in-law Helen Wolfe.
He is survived by his wife June, daughters Diane (Alfred) Modahl, Linda (LeRoy) Thola, Laura (Sheldon) Dick, Sandra Gonwick, Louise Wolfe, Ina Aarts, Echo (Roger) Potvin, and Shellie (Dave) Rounds, 20 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren. Sisters Karolyn (Bruce) Woodly and Pat Kettner. Uncles Dave (Hattie) Close, Marshall (Aleatha) Close, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A graveside service was held on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at the Willow Valley Cemetery, Willow Valley, British Columbia, followed by a lunch at the McLeod Hall, Groundbirch, British Columbia.
Expressions of sympathy in memory of Frank, may be made by donation to a charity of your choice.
Dorothy Lynn Desjarlais
December 17, 1948 - May 6th, 2010
Dorothy encouraged everyone to do the best they could with the tools they were given. Friends and family held high importance with her, and she made sure to be available to any of them whenever they needed her.
A supportive mother and a loving wife, Dorothy was always cherished and revered.
Born and raised in Ontario, in a loving family of five, she grew to be a respectable young lady who married and moved West, yet was always sure to keep in touch with her family back home.
Dorothy raised her family in Dawson Creek and Pouce Coupe with community in mind. She wore many hats over the years, including Day Care, Substitute Teacher, Welcome Wagon, Small Businesswoman, Teen Centre Facilitator, and Fashion Retail Consultant, but she was always known to be more than all of that. Her kindness, trust and empathy earned her many close friends and the respect of the community.
Dorothy enjoyed board games and camping, and always looked forward to family gatherings at Thanksgiving, birthdays, Easter and Christmas. In her childrens' youth, Halloween often inspired her to break out the sewing machine to create costumes that would be worn with pride.
In her last decade of life, she was truly blessed to have Ernest, her husband, to care for her and provide the love and attention she deserved. Though her physical health started to become an obstacle, she continued to enjoy all the things that she felt made her life special.
May we all have the presence of mind to recognize and appreciate the things that mean the most to us, as she did.
Dorothy, your inspiration will never be forgotten.
Dorothy loved camping and to celebrate her life, family will be camping at the Pouce Coupe Park and invite friends to join them between 12:00 to 8:00 pm on Sunday, May 23, 2010 for a time of sharing and remembering Dorothy.
Expressions of sympathy in memory of Dorothy, may be made by donation to the ‘British Columbia Heart and Stroke Foundation’ P.O. Box 714, Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 4H7 or to the ‘Canadian Diabetes Association’ P.O. Box 2361, Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 4T9.
Julia Jean McKay-Commance
Born on November 5, 1929, Jean was the seventh child of Michael and Mary Kuczma in Altario, AB. In her early years, Jean’s personality emerged while playing pool from a crate when she was too small to reach the table, joining her siblings in stealing a monkey from the circus, and taking pleasure in always being in the top two of her class in school (there were only two students in the class.) Jean enjoyed spending time at the Altario Hotel owned by her family where she eventually met Bill McKay in 1949. They fell in love and were married on December 10, 1951. Shortly after, Bill and Jean decided to start a family and had three children. In 1961, they bought a homestead in Bonanza, AB and made a welcoming home which was the site for many fun-filled gatherings of family and friends over the years. After Bill retired, they enjoyed keeping warm during the winter in Apache Junction, Arizona. In 1998, Bill passed away in Dawson Creek, BC after a courageous battle with cancer. Jean’s spirit remained strong as she continued to travel and enjoy her life and those in it.
Jean seized every opportunity to dress up in a costume and dress up those around her. Anticipation surrounded weddings, birthdays, Halloween and the New Year, as her imagination and adventurous character were always the life of the party. Jean had a natural talent for crafts and sewing, and enjoyed sharing her finished products, in particular, her zipper art. She took pleasure in spending time outdoors; camping, fishing, playing cards, appreciating music and visiting around a fire were usually enjoyed with a margarita in hand. Jean cherished her time with family and friends.
In 1999, Pete Commance re-ignited the spark in Jean’s eyes. When at home in Edmonton, AB, Pete and Jean welcomed every opportunity to entertain family and friends. They also enjoyed spending time in warmer climates like Osoyoos and Mexico during the winter months and the park in Devon became a second home to them during the summer months. Near the end of 2009, Pete passed away unexpectedly in Edmonton. With a heavy heart, Jean succumbed to a long battle with cancer on May 5, 2010 in Spirit River, AB at the age of 80.
Beloved mother to Mickey (Sheryl), Mary (Norman), Marg (Gord) ; step-children, Janice (Gary), Peter, Marie (Bob), Susan (Jean-Yves), John (Jacquie), and Jeanne (Jim) ; grandchildren, Ted (Amanda), Rob (Amanda), Tammy (Ryan), Sherri (Broyden), Bryan (Vanessa), Mike (Brenda), Jaycee (Ryan), Daron (Crystal), Karissa (Adam), Zachary, Brandon, Ryan, Katherine, Alex, Isabella, and Mark-Anthony; great grandchildren, Mikaela, Emily, Bailey, Madison, Michaila, Faith, Dane, Shaye, Tripp, Nevyn, Aistlinn, Jayden, Julia, Brittany, Brook, and DJ; sister to Lillian and Helen; sister-in-law to Willard; aunt to numerous nieces and nephews and friend to many.
Predeceased by her husbands, Bill McKay and Peter Commance; sisters, Frances, Agnes, Ann; brother, Alec; and beloved grandson Ryan.
To celebrate Jean’s life, family and friends gathered at her home in Edmonton, onMay 15, 2010. A gathering will also take place in Dawson Creek at Mary and Norm’s home on June 12, 2010.
Expressions of sympathy in memory of Jean may be made to ‘QEII Central Peace Palliative Care,’ Box 339, Spirit River, T0H 3G0 or the ‘Spirit River Hospital,’ 5010-45th Avenue, Spirit River, T0H 3G0
Norman Edward Densen
1918 - 2010
Norman Edward Densen was born April 15, 1918. He was the second son born to Harry and Louise Densen in Melville, Saskatchewan. He attended school in Melville, but in 1934 the family moved to Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan. His Dad was a car inspector on the railway and the family lived on a small farm. Norman worked on other farms and in the logging industry during the depression. In July 1941, Norman enlisted in the Canadian Navy. He was stationed at Prince Rupert Esquimalt and finally, Halifax, where they were escorting conveys to England. While at Esquimalt he met Vera Moll and they were married in August 1944. Vera followed to Halifax and it was there in November of 1945 that their eldest daughter, Francis was born. In 1948, Norman was honorably discharged and came to Dawson Creek, where Vera’s family lived. Norman worked at Fort St John lumber before acquiring a farm in Progress. His second daughter, Valerie was born in May of 1950. Norman and Vera farmed in Progress until 1960. Their youngest daughter, Sally was born there in August 1959. In 1960, Norman went to work for Canada Post as a letter carrier. He retired in 1983 after 23 years. In 1976, he lost his wife Vera after 32 years of marriage. Norman spent his retirement fishing and looking after his garden and fruit trees. Norman passed away April 24, 2010 in the Dawson Creek Hospital.
Norman was predeceased by his wife Vera, his parents Harry and Louise; two brothers, Clarence and Roy; two sisters Audrey and Rita; daughter Valerie; granddaughter Heather Brown; sons-in-law, Jim Brown, Jack Howard, Ed Turner; brothers-in-law, Harry Jackson, Elmer and Vernon Moll; and in-laws, Melvin and Louise McQueen, Art and Alice Friesen, and Joe and Phoebe Defries.
Norman is survived by his sister Ruby Jackson of Edmonton; brother Neil (Betty) Densen of Toronto, Ontario; daughters, Francis Turner and Sally Howard; grandchildren, Will, Andy, and Adrianna Brown, Stephanie and Amanda Howard, and Clinton Turner; uncle to numerous nieces and nephews.
A graveside service was held on Friday, May 28, 2010.
Expressions of sympathy in memory of Norman, may be made by donation to the ‘Dawson Creek and District Hospital Foundation’ 11100 – 13th Street, Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 3W8.
Sina Jenny Goy
1957 – 2010
Surrounded by her loving family, Sina Jenny Goy (nee Koersen) passed away peacefully after a long and courageous fight with cancer on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at the Dawson Creek Memorial Hospital.
Sina was born June 5, 1957 in Penticton, British Columbia. She was the fourth child, and first daughter, born to Willem and Willempje Koersen who had immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands in 1952. A younger sister and brother followed to make for a family of eight.
At the age of three months, Sina’s family moved to a farm on Deep Creek Road north of Armstrong, British Columbia. It was in Armstrong where Sina received all of her elementary and high school education. At her high school graduation, Sina received the Citizen of the Year award from a class of about 80 graduates. Throughout her life Sina continued to give so much to many individuals and organizations.
From a very young age, Sina determined that she wanted to be an elementary school teacher. She attended the University of Victoria to pursue her career dream. Her final teaching practicum brought her to Dawson Creek in the spring of 1980. Sina lived the next 30 years of her life in the Dawson Creek/Pouce Coupe area.
Sina’s first teaching position was in Rolla during which time she met her husband-to-be, Brian Goy. They were married on April 7, 1982. Sina became a mother to three wonderful children, Steven in 1985, Joanna in 1987 and Erica in 1989.
For many years Sina balanced motherhood with her teaching career, while at the same time holding various positions with the South Peace United Church. In her later years of teaching, she was an early literacy/reading recovery specialist. She found it extremely rewarding to help young children learn to read.
In 2001, Sina was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since that time, Sina taught her family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and community acquaintances the meaning of courage and optimism. Sina’s philosophy was that life was for the living, and she lived life to its fullest in the years following her first cancer diagnosis.
Sina had many hobbies including gardening, canning, baking, crocheting, reading and in more recent years quilting and traveling. In 2007 and 2008, Sina and Brian travelled with friends to the Barbados. In 2009, they traveled to the Maritimes. In late March 2010, Sina journeyed to Mexico to visit some friends.
Sina’s lifelong priorities were family, faith and friends. She will be deeply missed by her loving husband, Brian; her children, Steven (Laura Wickware), Joanna and Erica; her siblings, John (Susan) Koersen, Henry Koersen (Kathy Mydske), Wilma Koersen (Gerry deBoer), and Ben Koersen; her nieces and nephew, Robert, Kristen, Brookelyn, Tessa, Katrina, Tricia, Katelyn, Kristina, Aleesha and Michelle; her sisters-in-law, Liz Koersen (Scott Caldwell) and Suzanne Pederson. Sina is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins, most of which reside in the Netherlands. Sina was predeceased by her parents Willem and Willempje Koersen, her oldest brother, Will and a nephew, Michael Koersen.
A Celebration of Sina’s life was held on Saturday, May 1, 2010 at the South Peace United Church with Reverend Marilyn Carroll and Reverend Judy Hare officiating. Sina’s cremated remains will be inurned at a later date in Armstrong, British Columbia.
HILDA GERTRUDE SCOTT THOMPSON
March 26, 1905 – March 30, 2010
Hilda, the 12th child of Ben and Alice Scott was born March 26,1905 in Muskoko District of Bracebridge, Ontario and passed away on March 30, 2010 in Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
At the age of 4 Hilda moved west with her family to Nipawin, Saskatchewan. In the summer of 1922 she met Durward Thompson the man she married one year later on September 5, 1923. They moved to Benito, Manitoba where they farmed for seven years, during this time their first 4 children were born; Della, Keitha, Violet and Kenneth. The effects of the Depression caused their move to Novra, Manitoba where Durward started in the Cordwood Business. The next seven of their 11 children were born while living in Novra; Dorrie, Tom, Don, Laurence, Muriel, Jack and Ruth. In 1943 they bought land in Birch River and began farming again. In 1967 Durward and Hilda retired from farming they sold all but 10 acres of land and continued to live on the farm growing a garden of fruits and vegetables. In 1973 they celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary and in 1979 the couple moved into town in Birch River. They celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary in 1983. In 1985 Durward passed away and Hilda moved to Dawson Creek British Columbia.
On March 26, 2010 Hilda enjoyed a birthday celebration of 105 years. Four days later she passed away peacefully in her sleep. Hilda was predeceased by her beloved husband Durward of 62 years, her daughters Della Klyne, Keitha Havener, Dorrie McBrearty, Ruth Cartman, and sons Ken and Laurence Thompson, sons-in-law Roland Klyne, Edwin Havener, Gordon Shadbolt, Leo McBrearty, and Frank Cartman. Left to cherish her memory are her daughters Violet Shadbolt, and Muriel (Dennis) Evens, her sons Tom (Rose) Thompson, Don (Linda) Thompson, Jack (Sylvia) Thompson and daughters-in-law Dorothy Thompson and Sylvia Thompson, 40 grandchildren, 74 great-grandchildren and 36 great great-grandchildren.
A funeral service was held on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 in Swan River, Manitoba followed by an interment in the Benito Cemetery, Benito Manitoba. A memorial service was held on Thursday, April 8 at 2:00 pm at the Rotary Manor, Dawson Creek, British Columbia. Expressions of sympathy in memory of Hilda, may be made by donation to the ‘Canadian Cancer Society’ 1000 – 105 Avenue, Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 2B9.