Sophie Ellis (nee Lekavy)
Sophie Ellis died peacefully on August 25, 2002 with her husband and daughters by her side. A celebration of her life was held at 2:00 pm on August 28, 2002 at St. Mark's Anglican Church, Dawson Creek, British Columbia. Reverend Alexis Saunders officiated. Interment followed at the Brookside Cemetery, Dawson Creek.
Sophie was born in Dolni Bojanovice, Czechoslovakia on June 16, 1912, the youngest child of John and Frances Lekavy. The family immigrated to Canada in 1927 and farmed near Margo, Saskatchewan.
It was while working for the Ellis family she met their son Arthur, "the love of her life." They were married in Saskatoon, the day Arthur graduated from university.
Their first home was in Salvador, Saskatchewan, where they opened a drug store. It was also while there, that David and Sylvia were born. Sophie and Art moved on to Port Arthur (Thunder Bay), Hamilton, Ottawa, and Toronto, where Donna was born. From 1944-1954 they lived on the lower mainland of BC.
It was when they bought their drug store in Vancouver that Sophie returned to work, looking after the retail end of the store. In 1954, the decision was made to move their store, fixtures and all to Dawson Creek. It was the best decision they ever made.
Sophie loved the Peace Country and knew the area would be her home forever. In 1966, they moved into their dream home overlooking Tupper Creek. They retired in 1969, only to buy a drug store in Chetwynd in 1971, which they ran until 1981, when they returned to their home in Tupper. In 1996, they moved into Dawson Creek and were there until April 2001, when they moved into the Pouce Coupe Care Home.
Sophie was a spunky, spirited woman, no challenge was ever too great. Her customers were her friends, all special. She delighted in the displays she created and took pride in what she achieved. She worked as a housekeeper, nanny, waitress, and so many other things, always excelling in what she did.
The door was always open, all were welcome, the table always able to feed one, or a dozen more. She was a great cook and could create special meals from anything available. Her dumplings, piette, soups, ribs, sauces, and baking were amazing.
Sophie loved the outdoors - working in her flower garden, transplanting trees (that was her answer to making any place more beautiful), fishing, and cooking outdoors.
Sophie's greatest joy was her family.
Special thanks to all of her caregivers at the Pouce Coupe Care Home, to those who looked after her at home, Dr. Clee, Dr. McKinley, all who visited, Pastoral care, and all who have cared.
Sophie was predeceased by her parents John and Frances Lekavy, her brother Paul, her sister Frances, and great-grandson Derek.
She is lovingly remembered by: her husband, Arthur Ellis; son, David (Susan) Ellis; daughters, Sylvia (Al) Barmettler, and Donna (Ed) Thiessen; grandchildren, Lara Ellis (Dennis Coldwell), Dane Ellis, Dwayne Barmettler, Yvonne Barmettler, Stuart (Leta) Thiessen, Douglas (Lisa) Thiessen, Andrea Thiessen-Schoff (Darcy Schoff), Bryan Thiessen, Amy Thiessen; great-grandchildren, Dustin and Reanna Thiessen, and Isabelle Schoff
Sophie is remembered with love by many relatives, friends, neighbours and caregivers, especially those who called her "Grandma."
Funeral Arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd., Dawson Creek - Fort St. John, British Columbia
Margaret Jane "Peggy" Brennan
Margaret Jane "Peggy" Brennan passed away on August 23, 2002, one day after her 67th birthday.
Peggy is survived by her husband of 45 years, Neil, and her three children and their spouses, Pat (Tracy) Brennan of Calgary, Diane (Ron) Vertz of Calgary and Dan (Janet) Brennan of Dawson Creek. Gramma Peggy will be sadly missed by her nine grand children, Luke, Lacey, Zoe and Noah Brennan; Natasha, John and Gabrielle Vertz; and Nicole and Sam Brennan. She is also survived by her two brothers: Jack and Bill Patterson.
Peggy was born in Dawson Creek, BC on August 22, 1935, the only daughter of Jack and Bessie Patterson. She attended Notre Dame Catholic School, graduating from the commercial class at Notre Dame in 1953.
Peggy was active in many church and community activities including the Catholic Women's League, chairperson of the annual CNIB campaign in Dawson Creek, a bridge player, a curler, a bowler and as an avid golfer. At the golf course she will be remembered more for the many hours of entertainment that she provided with her cohorts on skit nights at golf tournaments through the Peace River area than for the trophies she brought home.
Peggy died at home with her family following a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Her funeral mass was held on August 27, 2002 at Notre Dame Catholic Church and was officiated by Father Bill Brennan and Father Chris Lynch. It was attended by large contingents from both the Brennan and Patterson families as well as hundreds of friends, many of whom have known Peggy since childhood.
The Brennan family would like to thank their extended family and many friends for their kindness, care and support during Peggy‚s illness and since her death. Special thanks goes to two of her life long friends, Ann Moran and Barb Switzer, who Peggy fondly called her Angels. We would also like to thank the many doctors, nurses, medical staff and care workers who cared for Peggy during this time.
Peggy will long be remembered for her strong sense of family, faith, friendship and community, and the enthusiasm with which she approached life.
Expressions of sympathy may be made in memory of Peggy by way of donations to the:
South Peace Hospice Palliative Care Society‚
101, 816-103rd Avenue, Dawson Creek, BC V1G 2G1
The Cross Cancer Institute‚ 11560 University Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 1Z2
Funeral Arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd., Dawson Creek - Fort St. John, British Columbia.
James Edward Hanshaw
James Hanshaw was born on May 24th, 1932 at Pouce Coupe, B.C. He passed away on July 30th, 2002, in Dawson Creek, B.C. at the age of 70 years. A memorial service was held on Friday, August 30th, at 1:00 p.m. from Reynars Funeral Chapel. Bev Dunsmore officiated and interment followed in the Riverside Cemetery Pouce Coupe, B.C.
Jim was the youngest son of Robert and Cora Hanshaw. He spent his childhood growing up in Pouce Coupe and Hanshaw Valley now known as Upper Cutbank, it was later that Jim would move on to Dawson Creek.
Back in Jim’s early days of growing up, there was much work to be done, living only with the bare necessities of life and there was no time or place for school, so Jim was not able to read or write and this would cause him great difficulty in his life.
Jim was usually a very happy go lucky person but if you ever got him really mad, look out you better run and fast because Jim always acted on his impulses before thinking much about the consequences.
Jim had a true un-dying life long passion for Moose hunting. He could name you every moose lick in the country. I believe that the Volkswagen lick was named after Jim because he drove his Volkswagen out hunting and it broke down. The next day Jim went back to get his car, the motor was gone and the car was turned over on its roof.
Any time you saw Jim he was sure to tell you of his latest hunting plans or expedition and not quietly.
Jim was always trying to perfect the perfect hunting buggy from old Argos or what ever else he could imagine to use. A few years ago Jim acquired the perfect hunting buggy, a camperized 1967 Mercury pickup truck, now all he was missing was the driver’s license. So now he would get someone who had a license to drive him out to the bush and that made him happy. Jim was known to ride his bike hunting this is how much Jim loved his moose hunting.
He also liked to repair, rebuild and remodel old televisions, stereos, radios, and record players, this all held great fascination for Jim changing tubes and soldering wires. Jim was not afraid of hard work, one of his favorite jobs was to run the tar kettle at Bond-A-Ply Roofing.
Jim was happiest to just be in the bush with nature the moose and the wild; this is where he really felt he belonged. He was not of the Hustle and bustle of the city rapidly changing around him. Jim wanted to stay lost in the wilderness and hills forever.
Jim was predeceased by his parents Robert and Cora Hanshaw, his brother Robert Hanshaw, and his sisters Betty Pickering and Alice Burgess.
Jim is survived by his brothers Bill and John, nieces, nephews and friends.
Arrangements were under the care of Reynars Funeral Chapel and Crematorium Dawson Creek, B.C.
Celestine was born in Aalst, Belgium on October 4th, 1916; she passed away on August 15th, 2002 at Spirit River, Alberta., at the age of 85 years. A funeral service was held on August 21st, 2002 at 2:00 p.m. from the Bonanza Hall, in Bonanza, Alberta. Pastor, Dave Brisbin officiated, interment followed in the Bonanza Hillhaven Cemetery.
Celestine was the seventh of ten children born to Pierre and Maria DeWit Coppens.
She entered this world during the World War I conflict. Life was difficult for the large family. Her father worked their small farm to provide the necessities of life. Her mother milked goats and made cheese, as well as the washing and sewing for all.
Throughout her entire life Celestine had a thirst for pretty possessions and became most proficient at needlework, especially crochet and knitting.
Schooling in Belgium begins at three years old and by the age of 14 Celestine was working in a textile factory. During the next fracas, the Second World War, she was a hairdresser.
In 1936, Celestine married Fredric DeCooman, and this union produced two children, Maria born in December of 1936 and Pierre in February of 1938.
This again was a horrendous period in the family’s life. Conflict was basically a way of life with war raging, and a marriage failing. During this time, a handsome young Canadian soldier, cooking for the army, came and promised a bright new future in the vast land of Canada.
Celestine and Pierre came to Canada in March of 1947. They traveled first by train and ferry to Copenhagen, passing through a totally destroyed Berlin. Here they boarded the boat “Gripsholm” for their 6-day voyage to Halifax. From here a four or five day train trip across Canada to Edmonton where Eric Hingley, the Canadian soldier, met them. Frank Paulson from the Dawson Creek Co-op store accompanied Eric, and was the only attendant at their marriage. He then took Pierre to tour the city. Within a few days, they were again on a train to Pouce Coupe, BC. Here they stayed at the Hart Hotel for a few days because of a snowstorm. They then made their way to Bonanza, first with Clinton McCoy, but after getting stuck, finished the journey with Charlie Hazelton by horse and sleigh. After the initial shock, a whole new life began.
Eric’s mother remained with them on the farm for nearly 20 years. Though Celestine had never assisted her father with the fields or garden in Belgium, she adapted well to farm life. During her early years in Canada she was active in the farm women’s club, and escorted the local nurses to home visits in the community.
Pierre left home at an early age. Eric and Celestine worked together and enjoyed many fun times. Any time was card playing time. “Happy” was the game of the day, and “Gram” won many nickels. As our kids will all verify she could cheat a bit and have a good laugh when doing so. The last fun card game we remember was at Barb Titfords four years ago. She still tried to cheat and all had a great laugh.
After Eric’s passing on February 13, 1988, Celestine became active in carpet bowling and floor curling. She also assisted the community nurses with foot care. Without a doubt her greatest gift was her crochet work. Nearly everyone she knew has a sample of something.
Throughout the years after 1968, Celestine, made six trips back to Belgium. She also realized the lifetime dream of nice furniture, beautiful jewelry, Royal Albert China and crystal galore. She also always dressed beautiful and was ever “elegant”.
One of the greatest loves of Celestine’s life was “Bubbles” her poodle, who came to visit us in Victoria numerous times, as a family member.
In 1996, Celestine came to Victoria and stayed with us for six months. This was a wonderful time for all of us, and she considered moving with us permanently. Her good friend Olive Ellingson passed away that summer, and her special friend, Bill Peterson was failing. It was a time of realizing our times together were more important than ever.
That summer, Celestine came to work with me as a volunteer at Cubbon Adult Day Care. This was without a doubt one of the happiest times of her life. Her craft talents were greatly appreciated. She danced and laughed and played with the residents, who she had a great deal in common with.
As fall approached, she decided to go back to Bonanza as “Bubbles” had spent the summer on the farm with Valerie, the district nurse. She felt winter would be too severe. We took her to Lake Chelan, Washington, for her 80th birthday. She didn’t want to go home before her birthday, as she didn’t want the community having a party for her.
This was also the time we noticed Gram was beginning to forget how to crochet.
She completed a tablecloth for us but Pierre would have to show her where she left off and get her started again. She also confessed a fear to fly home alone; I flew home with her Thanksgiving weekend to a lovely turkey dinner with Fay and Andy.
The following spring Pierre was offered early retirement. Through consultation with Gram, she said she would like to have us closer to help her out rather than have her move to Victoria. Pierre took his early retirement and I quit my work at the beloved Day Care Center. Since then, we have both worked casual at local hospitals, and helped out.
Celestine remained physically active until the last six months. Dementia and heart problems finally progressed to the point where constant care was required. She entered the hospital for the final time on August 4th.
The last hour of Celestine’s life was a happy time. I had taken her chocolates, the girls at the hospital had given her a bath and washed her hair. I put it up in rollers. We chatted and laughed at eating chocolates as they waited at the table for lunch. She finished her lunch and was called home. My one regret, it wasn’t Belgian chocolates. As we returned to Bonanza we passed the Mennonite Church and the sign said, “Jesus said, ‘Come unto me and I will give you rest.’” We felt this was very fitting.
We recognize the many contributions of kindness shown by Celestine’s friends and neighbors that enabled her to remain in her home as long as possible. Special thanks to Ruby Langhoffer, and Anne Stefanyk for their constant love and support through these difficult times.
There are many others deserving special mention. Each and everyone know who you are and rather than omit someone--Thank you Everyone!
Funeral arrangements were under the care of Reynars Funeral Chapel and Crematorium Dawson Creek, B.C.
Ralph Thomsen was born on May 23rd , 1910 in Gull Lake, Saskatchewan. He passed away at his home on August 13th , 2002 at the wonderful old age of 92. He was loved dearly by his family and friends and will be greatly missed.
A funeral service was held on August 6th, 2002 at 2:00 p.m. at the South Peace United Church. Rev. Gary Henderson officiated interment, which followed in the City Cemetery.
Eulogy by Jenifer McAmmond:
Thank you to everyone for coming to join with us, to remember and to celebrate grandpa’s life. I wanted to speak to you from my heart today. I loved my grandpa. We had such wonderful times together. Last year he introduced me to the wonderful world of garage sales; we would try to race Eleanor Fick and Helen Gilbertson to the next place on the map - you’ve got to be sharp to beat those girls. Or I would meet grandpa at the Senior’s Hall for floor curling. He would wave his stick around to indicate where he wanted me to throw the rock - I never knew what he really wanted and would just throw and hope for the best. We would attend the Community Hall diners; I think grandpa’s favourite was the Doe River dinners for Thanksgiving and Christmas. He would stand in the kitchen and help carve turkey after turkey and love every minute of it. Sometimes we would go to church together and after take a toodle through the country side looking at the crops, talking quietly; these were my favourite times with grandpa.
I loved grandpa for his strength, his self-confidence ( I don’t think I ever saw grandpa hesitate), his humour and most of all his sense of community and the well being of the community. When he and grandma arrived here in Dawson Creek, there was not much to behold. It was mud and more mud and just a few people. Those few people and my grandpa were our city’s pioneers and they went to work. Roads were built and paved, buildings were constructed, businesses came, the arena erected, parks were planned and fair grounds and fair boards were created. A lot of hard work was done, but the most important thing grandpa put into Dawson Creek was his heart and soul. For he loved it here.
I like to think that Dawson Creek, as a result, has some of grandpa’s qualities. This truly is a strong community of friends who help, it is a community of families who love and it most certainly is a community of neighbours who are willing to give support.
So every day I live in Dawson Creek I see grandpa; every day I live in Dawson Creek I feel his presence for his life and works are truly reflected through this wonderful community, this place we call home, Dawson Creek.
Grandpa will be sadly missed by his surviving family members: Jon and Kathy Thomsen, OK Falls and their four children, Sean, Justin, Riah and Brodie Thomsen; Norma O’Donnell, Sarnia Ontario and her four children, Mike, Jim, Mary O’Donnell and Ann Stanley; grandchildren Jenifer McAmmond, Don, Tim, Tom and Scott Thomsen, and thirteen grand children. Ralph was predeceased by his wife Dorthy and his two sons Donald and Jim.
Arrangements were under the care of Reynars Funeral Chapel and Crematorium Dawson Creek, B.C.
Andrew Tenise McKenzie
Andrew McKenzie a long time resident of Dawson Creek, B.C. passed away on July 30th, 2002 in the Dawson Creek Hospital, at the age of 79 years.
A funeral service was held on Tuesday August 6th, at 11:00 a.m. from Notre Dame Catholic Church, Fr. Chris Lynch officiated, interment followed in the Brookside Cemetery.
Andrew was born to Walter and Rose McKenzie on September 8th, 1922 at Notre Dame Du Nord. Quebec. He was one of twelve children and was raised on the Temisscomine Reserve and lived there until he was 8 years old. The family then moved to a farm raising cows, pigs, chickens and horses. The horses were the families main source of transportation. Andy’s family did not have running water, but lived next to a Creek that was the main water supply, the family also had no electricity at that time, they used coal oil lamps for lighting and wood stoves for cooking. Andy helped with the chores around the farm, chopping wood, hauling water, milking cows and tending the garden. The family’s main food source was the garden. Andy stayed on the farm until he was 18 years old. He went to Toronto at the age of 18 to sign up with the Army and spent 4 years overseas fighting World War Two (1942-1946) In 1944 Andy went to Normandy, France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany. Andy was wounded in Holland in 1944, he was shot in the arm and leg, his hearing was also permanently damaged.. His regiment was Queens Own Rifle of Canada, 8th Brigade, 3rd Division Rifle Regiment. Andy was discharged from the Army in 1946.
In 1950 Andy was married to Lorriana Battise and had three sons, Glen, Joey, and Carl. His first wife passed away in 1958. In 1966 he met Alice Delice St. Denis in Notre Dame Du Nord, Alice had one child Louise St. Denis. They moved to Timmins, Ontario where he worked as a Miner.
Andrew and Alice had two daughters, Donna and Diane. It was a desire of Andy’s to see the younger generations learn their Native Culture and Heritage, he remembers learning the language, and native crafts such as making snowshoes. He retired from mining and the family moved to Vancouver, B.C. He joined the Legion in 1976 while living in Vancouver. Andrew and Alice worked at odd jobs as he was not the type to sit around and do nothing.
In 1976 he moved his Family to Dawson Creek, he still liked to keep busy, and would help out doing odd jobs around Louise’s home. He enjoyed riding his bike, going for walks, camping, and watching hockey. He also enjoyed meeting his friends and visiting over coffee at the Co-op.
Andy always liked having his Grandchildren around, on holidays he always had goodies for them, and he loved to spoil them. Grandpa would tell them stories from when he was a boy, the stories were very interesting and the grandchildren loved to listen.
Andrew was predeceased by His Mother and Father, Rose and Walter McKenzie, and Grandchildren Steven and Shannon Oldfield.
He leaves to mourn his passing his loving wife Delia, Children Donna Oldfield(Rob) Diane Dejarlais (Dennis),Glen McKenzie, Joey McKenzie (Paula), Carl McKenzie (Debbie)Louise St.Denis(Al). Numerous Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren, Nieces, Nephews, Sisters and Brothers.
Andrew was a loving Husband, Father and Grandfather and he will be sadly missed.
Arrangements were under the care of Reynars Funeral Home and Crematorium Dawson Creek..