(1924 – 2006)
Russell Gilbertson, the second youngest son of Gilbert and Clara Gilbertson, was born on the family farm at Delisle, Saskatchewan, on June 30, 1924.
With his brothers, he attended a country school and as a teenager worked for local farmers. On January 26, 1942, a week after his mother’s untimely death, he lied his age and enlisted with the Seaforth Highlanders in Saskatoon.
Russ received Basic Training in Regina, Saskatchewan and was soon transferred to the east coast where he was trained as a radio-direction finder, signaling troop ships in and out of Halifax harbour.
He was sent to England for further training followed by active duty in the Mediterranean Campaign. He landed in Rimini, Italy, and fought in the trenches in the Southern Alps. Now a Corporal with his Battalion, his unit worked its way overland to the Netherlands, where they were among the first troops involved in the Liberation of Holland. Forty years later, Russ returned to Amsterdam to relive that eventful time.
In the fall of 1945, he returned to Canada via the troop ship, “Nieu Amsterdam”, and was discharged in April, 1946. He came to Dawson Creek to learn the auto-body trade from brother, Bill, who was an auto-body repairman with the Air Force.
Life moved quickly for Russ from then on. In 1947 he married Helen Dahlen. After working at Aspol Motors and Highway Motors, he opened “Russ’ Body Shop” in 1956, which he operated until retirement, in 1988.
Russ enjoyed “the good life”, hunting, fishing, golfing, and holidays in Arizona, until he was afflicted with kidney disease and cancer. Due to lack of dialysis treatment in the local hospital, he recently spent five months in Vancouver, longing every day to “come home”. His wish was granted and he passed away, peacefully, September 15, 2006, in his own home surrounded by his family.
Funeral services were held at Grace Lutheran Church, September 19, 2006, with Pastor Tim Johnson officiating. Russ’ six grandsons were Honorary Pallbearers. Son-in-law, Alan, read the eulogy. Grandson Karyl read the scripture. Daughter, Julie, and sons Dale, Gary and Kevin read heartfelt tributes to their loving father. Granddaughter Allison and her father Dale accompanied by Carey sang Amazing Grace, and son Gary sang Peace in the Valley. His twelve grandchildren lit candles in his memory.
The Canadian Legion paid final respects with an Honour Guard. Last Post was played by Pastor Tim, followed by a two-minute silence and Reveille. Russ’ ashes were interred on the gravesite of his infant son, Russell Karyl.
Russ is survived by his brother, Henry (Cora) Gilbertson; his loving wife of fifty-nine years, Helen; daughter, Julie (Alan Lazzari), Neal, Kristen, Carlie; son, Dale (Carey) Gilbertson, David (Jennifer), Eric, Allison, Timothy; son, Gary Gilbertson & Charlotte Levell, Jennifer, Shane; son, Kevin (Cathy) Gilbertson, Karyl, Jaclyn.
Friends and relatives joined the family for bountiful refreshments provided by the Ladies of Grace Lutheran Church.
Donations welcomed: Kidney Foundation, Cancer Society and Grace Lutheran Church.
Memorial arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd, Dawson Creek, British Columbia
Mabel (Stephenson) Armitage was born on a cold day, January 9, 1921, in a small cabin south east of Dawson Creek, BC. Although her parents at the time were residents of Kilkerran, B.C. they had traveled to stay at the home of a midwife as well as closer to the Pouce Coupe Hospital prior to Mabel’s arrival.
Mabel, sister to older brother Harry, grew up and learned under his watchful eye. Mabel often remembered her childhood as being busy, fun, with lots of friends. Riding horseback to school, working on the farm and helping with keeping a homestead going. As a young woman
Mabel worked with her Dad and Mother for 13 years operating the Co-op store at Kilkerran. During this time Mabel learned to drive and hauled stock from Dawson Creek to the store. Often times cold weather and bad roads made this a real test for a young girl on her own.
Mabel met Marvin Armitage when he moved to the Peace River Country from Saskatchewan with his family in 1933. Like many young men in the area Marvin enlisted in the Air force, and it was during one of his leaves home in August 1944 that the couple married. A short honeymoon followed in Edmonton and then Marvin returned to duty and Mabel returned to help with the store, post-office and her parents. Tragedy struck Mabel’s life a month later as her brother Harry was killed overseas in Italy, followed a week later by her cousin.
In 1946 after Marvin’s discharge the couple started their new life together on the construction and maintenance of the Alaska Highway. Living first at Muncho Lake and later at Prophet River.
Ed was born in 1948 followed in ‘52 by Dennis. Mabel often looked back on her life on the “Highway” as the best 10 years she had. Her responsibilities were her husband and family. Mabel and Marvin would make many life-long friends during their time on the hi-way and spent many hours hiking mountains, fishing and hunting. For years Mabel was recognized for catching the largest lake trout at Muncho Lake.
In 1956 the family moved to Dawson Creek to be closer to schools and Grandparents. Mabel put everything she had into making everyday special. She was a wife, a mother, a daughter and friend to many. Her days were full with gardening, cooking, baking and making a warm family home.
In the early 60's Mabel’s mother took ill with cancer. Mabel provided care in her home for over a year and helped her mother resume independence and enjoyed life for a number of years after.
As Mabel’s family grew up she was able to do more for herself. She was a tireless volunteer for the Cancer Society and worked at McLeod’s Store for a number of years. A job and co-workers that she really enjoyed.
Marvin and Mabel continued with many adventures as they grew older. Many hunting and fishing trips, holidays to visit relatives in Michigan and Arizona, and many relaxing days at Moberly Lake. Together they traveled to England looking up distant relatives and family. Another trip they remembered with great joy took them to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
In later years, as Marvin’s health deteriorated, Mabel once again became a care-giver. She lovingly cared for Marvin at home and then visited him everyday at the Pouce Coupe Care home until his passing in 1999.
Mabel continued to live in her home, gardening, baking and preparing family meals whenever called upon. She resumed her volunteer work with the Historical Society and the Pioneer Village taking much enjoyment from being a part of the history of the Peace River region. As well she continued her visits to the “Care Home” to comfort many life long friends.
Mabel’s family remained most important to her. Whether it was a son who dropped in for Mom’s home-cooked breakfast or lunch, or a grandchild who needed a place to talk or a package of cinnamon buns for school, Mabel was always there and available. Great-grandchildren were a special joy and she loved to partake in their birthday parties or just to have them at her knee. Mabel loved her sports and was always quick to attend hockey, baseball, swimming, soccer or any other sport her family may be participating in.
Mabel took ill quite suddenly but was able to be cared for, in the home she loved, by her family and a dedicated group of care-givers. Mabel passed away peacefully in the company of her family, Friday morning, September 15, 2006. We all will feel a huge empty space in our lives with Mom’s passing, but we’ll forever try to live our lives by her example.
Mabel was the dear wife of the late Marvin Armitage.
Loving Mother to Ed (Donna) Armitage and Dennis (Sandi) Armitage
Grandmother to Sean (Dani) Armitage and Kara (Rob) Powell
Kris Armitage and Stephen Armitage
Great-grandmother to Emily, Chloe and Aidan Armitage
Ben and Quinn Powell
As per Mabel’s wishes, a private family service was held on September 18, 2006 in the South Peace United Church. Officiated by Reverend Marilyn Carroll. Inurnment followed at the Dawson Creek City Cemetery Columbarium.
Donations in Mabel’s memory can be made to the South Peace Hospice Palliative Care Society or the Walter Wright Pioneer Village.
Memorial arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd, Dawson Creek, British Columbia
Gerhard Artur Schmakeit
Gerhard Artur Schmakeit passed away on September 13th, 2006 at his home in Tower Lake BC at the age of 70. He was the only child of Artur and Meta Schmakeit-born April 12th, 1936 in Buenden, East Prussia. At the age of six, Gerhard lost his father to the war. During this time most of his relatives relocated to the province of Westphalia in West Germany. His mother remarried and once more Gerhard had someone to call Dad. Otto Huner was a good stepfather and grandfather. While growing up Gerhard was surrounded by many aunts, uncles and cousins in Germany. He took his sport of boxing very seriously and won the championship for his province
On August 27th, 1955 Gerhard married Kaethe Petrowski. Both Gerhard and Kaethe worked hard and played hard for a few years before settling down to have a family. Three big boys were born to the couple within 4 years, Klaus, Juergen and Werner. Gerhard worked and Kaethe maintained the home. His trade was auto mechanics and he also drove truck all over West Germany.
In 1967 Gerhard and Kaethe got itchy feet. They wanted a change and a chance to get ahead. They did this by immigrating to Canada. They arrived in Richmond BC not knowing a soul. Many friends were made in their new country. Gerhard took a job driving truck throughout the lower mainland.
In 1977 Gerhard and Kaethe and the boys sold their house in Richmond and moved to the Peace Country. Their good friends Alfred, Erica, Tom and Tim Braun from Langley had already moved to Arras BC. The two families visited back and forth weekly. Gerhard, Kaethe and boys had cattle, chicken and Kaethe grew a prize garden each year. Food was always plentiful at the Schmakeit’s. Anyone that came around was always fed and sent home with a jar of Kaethe’s latest canning or baking. Gerhard worked for Tru Nor Log Homes and has retained a friendship with Ron Fell and Allan and Cathy Peters to this day.
Gerhard and Kaethe watched all three boys grow up, finish school and marry. In 1991 the grandchildren came —Lainie, Lannah, Matthew and Hannah. The house was no longer quiet!!
Gerhard was predeceased by his mother and father, father and mother-in-law, stepfather and eldest son Klaus. He leaves to mourn his wife Kaethe, sons: Juergen (Jennifer) and Werner (Connie) ; his grandchildren: Lainie, Lannah, Matthew and Hannah Schmakeit and many loving cousins in Germany and Stanwood Washington.
A Memorial Service for Gerhard was held at 2:00 PM on September 19th, 2006 at Bergeron Funeral Chapel in Dawson Creek, officiated by Peggy Bergeron. His Urn will be inurned in the Dawson Creek City Cemetery Columbarium with his son Klaus’urn.
Memorial arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Service & Crematorium, Dawson Creek BC
Jeannie (Jean) Everyl Campbell
Febuary 5,1936 – August 11, 2006
Born in Thorsby Alberta on February 5, 1936 the fifth child for Percy and Lily Killaly. Jean passed away at the Fort St. John General Hospital on August 11, 2006.
Jean will be dearly missed by her husband of 52 years Hector Campbell, siblings Walter (Betty) Killaly, Wilmer Killaly, Betty Baumann, Margaret, Jurykoski, Patricia (Jim) Wilson, Thelma (George) Gunning, Kelly (Cookie) Killaly, son Dale (Faye) Campbell, grandchildren Kelly, Heidi and Brett Campbell, and great granddaughter Melia. The smile on Jean’s face when Melia came to visit her bedside will remain with us forever.
Jean was predeceased by her mother Lily (1973), father Percy (1980) and her brother Leonard (1999) as well as her brother-in-laws Elmer Baumann (1978) and John Jurykoski (1994) .
Jean will be remembered for her love of family, cooking, music, sports, her sense of humor, and compassion for animals. Jean loved to cook and was happiest when cooking a family feast. Cooking was a natural occupation for her. Jean’s passion and spirit in everything she did will be impossible to forget for all those fortunate enough to have known her. Her joyful attitude always made every occasion a celebration.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Fort St. John S.P.C.A. 9311 – 81st Avenue, Fort St. John, BC V1J 6P6.
I expect to pass through this world but once
Any good therefore that I can do or kindness that I can show to any fellow creature
Let me do it now, let me not defer or neglect it
For I shall not pass this way again
A Memorial service was held for Jean on Thursday, August 17, 2006 at the Royal Canadian Legion, Leo Felix officiated. Inurnment followed in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Fort St. John, BC.
Memorial arrangements entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd Fort St. John, British Columbia.
Margaret Kathleen Eason
Margaret Kathleen Eason (nee Bentley) was born on July 30, 1927 in the Red Cross Hospital in Pouce Coupe, B.C. fifth child and third daughter of Lloyd and Hannah Bentley. At the age of three the family moved from a farm at the old Dawson Creek Town to the new town site where it stands today. Margaret completed her schooling in Dawson Creek and remained there until 1948 when she met her husband to be Douglas Bruce Eason. There, they married on August 11, 1948 and moved to Gordondale, AB to start their life together. Daughter Grace was born in May of 49 with Stan following in 1951. Moving back to the BC Peace Alice was born in 1953 and in 1954 they homesteaded the farm at mile 61. The first summer they were truly pioneer living in a canvas wall tent with their 3 very young children. Year by year they built up the farm and their family with the last addition in 1963 when Lorna was born. Through those years Margaret worked hard on the farm as a mother, wife, farmer and later as a cook at Tompkins Truck stop. She was well known for her delicious cinnamon buns. Margaret retired after working for the school board for many years.
Margaret moved from the farm to town in 1987; first to a mobile home on 75th street and then in 1989 she moved into her home at 8215-97 Ave. This address was her pride and joy. She continued to enjoy her family, ever multiplying grandchildren and great-grandchildren and friends. She also loved to travel, enjoying many bus trips including Alaska, Florida, Texas, California/Disney land with a short cruise included. A trip with friends to Mexico was made by air lines. She loved camping with her motor home traveling to rodeos, fall fairs, horse pulling events or any friendly get together. In a special category of their own were all of her wagon trail rides: the Buffalo Wagon Trek in 2000 in Grande Prairie, a trip at the Doig in 2002, the Meek Ranch in 2005 and recently a beautiful sunny afternoon on the Peace River banks in June with Jim & Marion Sodergren. Margaret also loved music and enjoyed many events at the cultural center as well as the FSJ Seniors Centre. Margaret volunteered with the Ride for the Disabled as well.
Margaret is survived by daughters: Grace (Chris Pearson), Alice, Lorna (Daryl Hosker) son: Stan (Jane), grandchildren: Sonya, Carolyn, Dalton, Tawny, Ben, great-grandchildren: Murray, Amanda, Vienna, Hannah, David and great-great-granddaughter Haylee.
Predeceased by husband Doug, siblings: Myrtle, Buck, Irie, Dorothy, Grace, son in-law Louis Haugen, and grand-daughter Audrey.
On August 5, 2006 Margaret passed away peacefully with family at her side after a valiant battle with cancer.
A funeral Service was held for Margaret Kathleen Eason on Friday August 11th at The Charlie Lake Community Church, Charlie Lake BC. Pastor Don Holloway officiated. Interment followed in the Fort St John City Cemetery.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Service & Crematorium Ltd. Fort St. John, British Columbia.