Kenneth Aron Derksen was born on February 7, 1960 in Spirit River, Alberta to Gordon and Helen Derksen of Silver Valley, Alberta. He was a younger brother to Melvin and an older brother to Denise. Silver Valley remained Ken’s home base for the duration of his life. He passed away suddenly on May 15, 2008.
During Ken’s youth his creative skills grew and it was not a surprise when upon completing school he went on to apprentice as a heavy duty mechanic.
With Ken’s skills, he never had difficulty finding work. Ken worked at Watrous Diesel, did auto body work in Rycroft and a mechanic in Tumbler Ridge, purchased a backhoe and worked for himself, intermittently for Ritchie Bros, and then in Grande Prairie for BJ Services.
Ken was a committed asset to the Savanna Fire Department and his problem solving skills were constantly utilized. The Savanna Ag Society will miss Ken’s knowledge and expertise in the operation of the ice plant.
Ken as a friend forged relationships that were deep and lasting. For many he was a friend as close as a brother.
Ken was predeceased by his parents Gordon and Helen. He is survived by his brother Melvin (Raquel), sister Denise (Faron), nieces and nephews: Jessie, Aron and Maria Derksen and Stephanie Zank, numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
A funeral service was held on May 24, 2008 at the Savanna Agricultural Rec Plex, Silver Valley, Alberta. Officiated by Pastor Terry Lobb. Interment followed in the Alexview Cemetery.
BEATRICE MARIE LEFEBVRE
1935 - 2008
Beatrice Marie Lefebvre was born on March 1st, 1935 in Carruthers Sask., the 5th child of 9 children born to Harry and Antoinette (Toni) Lefebvre. They moved to a farm in Barthel, Sask. Living and growing up on the farm were fond memories for Bea, milking cows, feeding animals, helping with the baking and cooking during busy harvest times.
As a young adult she moved to Quesnel, BC where she met Ron McAuliffe. They fell madly in love and were married in 1955. They moved to Dawson Creek where Ron established his own welding company and Bea did the books. Their first home was purchased in 1960 and Bea lived there until her passing.
Happy occasions were spent with family and friends. Ron played the guitar and Bea sang along. Bea also learned to play the guitar and music continued to be a huge part of her life. Ron and Bea were blessed with four beautiful children. Their happy family life was changed drastically with the passing of Ron.
A few years later Bea met and married Earl Therrien. Earl was involved in the rodeo circuit and Bea also got involved in barrel racing. Earl and Bea were blessed with a son. In 1969 Bea and Earl separated and later divorced. Bea and the children continued to find ways to enjoy life going on hot-dog roasts, swimming, picnics, fishing, camping, and visiting relatives.
Nothing can compare to the love Bea had for her children. The closeness they shared became stronger as the years went on. They were a constant source of pride and she loved the adults they became. Bea’s biggest life challenge came with her son Dale’s death in 2003.
One of Bea’s greatest joys was her grandchildren. She did all the things kids like to do and enjoyed it right along with them. She loved each and every one of them as individuals and often spoke about their unique qualities.
In the early 1980’s the doctors discovered Bea had a heart condition and in 2001 she had heart surgery. She recovered and returned to her little house where she continued to enjoy her lifelong passion of gardening. Bea passed away peacefully in her own home, carried away by the hands of GOD!
Bea was predeceased by her parents Harry and Antoinette (Toni) Lefebvre, husband Ron McAuliffe, and son Dale. She is survived by and will be lovingly remembered by her children: Kenneth (Linda) McAuliffe, Angele (Gene) Dobie, Debra (Greg) Stromquist, Shane (Heather) Therrien, grandchildren: Ashley McAuliffe, Gina and Jeramie Dobie, Mandi Moore, Mitchell, Courtney and Karly Stromquist, Carmen, Cody, Chantal and Charmaine McAuliffe, Tegan, Cheyanne and Sierra Therrien; siblings: Lloyd, Charles (Agnes), Gerard (Lillian), Leo (Joanne), Ray (Jeanne) and Agnes, Jeannette (Murray),and Glenna; numerous nieces and nephews.
Bea’s funeral mass was held on May 4, 2008 at Notre Dame Roman Catholic Church, officiated by Father Michael Anyasoro. Interment followed in the Dawson Creek City Cemetery, and a Celebration of Life was held at the Notre Dame School Auditorium.
Gene Wilkinson’s life began in Folkstone, England. His mother was a WWI war bride and brought her young son to Canada.
Gene met his first wife, Tina Unger, at a work camp, and they married and moved to Dawson Creek where he built his own house. The house is a comfortable warm space and is the house he lived in for the rest of his life.
Gene Wilkinson was an only child but married into a family of 15 children. All of them regarded Gene as a brother and a man they respected and relied on.
Over the years, while working for others, he would bring in extra money using his ingenuity and community spirit. He called square dances, provided music at functions, instructed and demonstrated dances, and provided background music to stores in Dawson. He was his own sound man and technician. He developed a love of electronics that grew to light up the town every Christmas season.
Gene’s displays lit up the hillside of Dawson for more than 30 years. With a
Christmas message flashing from what became known as the "Ho Ho Ho House", and Santa waving to all the cars going up 8th street, his ingenuity amazed and amused Dawson Creek as they watched Rudolph's red nose bobbing up and down, long before such things could be purchased at the store.
Throughout his life he loved to take part in community events. He attended
and played at the music festivals and community celebrations, drove his Model-T's and other cars in parades every opportunity that he could, and was honored as Dawson's Citizen of the Year.
When Tina passed away, his family thought he might start to slow down a little and lead a quieter life. But there grew a twinkle in his eye and a slightly higher spring in his step. Her name was Madeleine. She has been a wonderful and happy part of his life. They danced their way across the country every year to Manitou Lake in Saskatchewan, drove in the parades and were an active part of the community. Together they volunteered at the Manor and were a part of the events and celebrations there, dressing up in costumes to dance and share music, they volunteered for Meals on Wheels for more than 13 years, a member of the Vintage Car Club for more than 30, the Historical Society, and the Senior's Hall. He continued dancing up to and past his 90th Birthday.
Gene died peacefully in his sleep at the wonderful age of 90.
Gene was predeceased by his first wife Tina and daughter Bonnie. He is survived by his wife Madeleine Wilkinson, daughter Gwen Silk, grandchildren: Kurt (Sherri) Silk, Lincoln (Michelle) Silk, Amanda Swan, Bradley Wilkinson and Denise Silk, great-grandchildren: Kristi, Kari, Brennen and Hudson Silk.
A Celebration of Life Memorial Service was held on May 12, 2008 at the Senior Citizen’s Hall, Dawson Creek, British Columbia. Officiated by Pat O’Reilly.
Elaine Ruth Toft
1944 - 2008
Elaine Ruth Toft a resident of Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 6, 2008.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date.
1926 ~ 2008
Jozefa Wesolowski was born March 12, 1926 in Wloolimierz Wolinski, Poland. She was the second youngest of seven children three brothers and three sisters. She came from a very self sufficient family.
They raised all their own food, made their own household items even raised their own material for making clothes.
Josephine fell asleep in death early the morning of April 1st 2008 in Dawson Creek, British Columbia at the age of 82 years of age.
Josephine was taken away from home as a teenager and used in forced labour as a Nazi slave.
It was there in Germany that she met her future husband, Marion who was also a forced labourer- working long our in the fields. They were married shortly after the 2nd world war in May 1945
In 1947 Josephine began what would become her life long work, teaching the Good news about God’s Kingdom to all that would listen. In 1949 she was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In 1952 the communist government in Poland banned Jehovah’s Witnesses so she continued to preach underground. Most of the brothers were put in prison so Josephine looked after a little congregation of 25 or 30 fellow witnesses. Conducting all the meetings and even giving public talks while seated at a table and chair. She would walk 6 or 7 kilometers to the meetings and she raised both of her children to have the same love for the Bible that she had.
Josephine is remembered as a good person, someone who cared deeply about other people.
She is predeceased by her husband – Marion and first born son.
Josephine is survived by her son Tadek (Ela) Wesolowski, daughter Krystina (Ted) Swejda, grandchildren: Amy (Calistus) Edioke, Jack (Jessica) Wesolowski, Ben (Tamara) Swejda, Tim (Rebecca) Swejda, Monica (Gerald) Chmilar, Jimmy (Amber) Swejda and Abby Swejda (Max Karpinski) ;great-grandchildren: Shana, Cullen, Cade, Jude, Zoey, Thomas,
Hayley, Reanna, Isabella, Gage and Tennyson and sister Janka Krupa.
A Memorial Service was held on April 4, 2008 at the Bergeron Funeral Chapel, officiated by Rod Harman.
Donald Marino East
Donald Marino East of Grande Prairie Alberta passed away on April 8th, 2008 at the age of 71 years.
Don was born in Climax Saskatchewan December 26th 1936. He had resided in Dawson Creek area for the last 40 years of his life. In 2001 he moved to Grande Prairie to be near his daughter Donna. Don was a loving father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. In his lifetime of employment he worked many years in the oil field. He enjoyed spending his time with family and friends. He loved country and fiddle music, playing crib and doing puzzles. He was a generous good-hearted kind man with a good sense of humor. He loved spending time with his grandchildren, taking them to rodeos, auctions and truck rides. He told jokes, stories and sang all the time. Dad will be sadly missed by all who knew him. It was Dad’s wish to be cremated and laid to rest by Evelyn in Riverview Cemetery in Pouce Coupe, BC and also to be with his parents in the Climax Saskatchewan Cemetery, at a later date. Memorial services were held at Bergeron Funeral Chapel in Dawson Creek BC on April 12, 2008.
Don is survived by his two daughters Agnes (David) Allen; Donna Calliou; stepchildren Randy Freeman; Tracy Calliou; Ricky Calliou, and one sister Janice Charles, grandchildren: Tenisha, Jailyn, Madison, Tyler, Ava, Raquel, Devin, Reid, Owen, Harley and Brittany and numerous nieces and nephews.
Don was predeceased by his parents Agnes and Frank East; two brothers William (Bill) and Kenneth East; two sisters Gwen Keen, Phyllis Ferguson, his lifelong partner Evelyn Calliou and stepdaughter Tammy Calliou.
We thank all who supported us through this difficult time. We are forever grateful to all who showed kindness during our time of need. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the charity of your choice.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd. Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
Elizabeth Rose Schilling
August 20, 1933 - May 4, 2008
Elizabeth Rose Allen, known to everyone as Betty, was born to Ella and Jim Allen, August 20, 1933 in Loon Lake, Saskatchewan at the Red Cross Hospital. Her older sister Margaret and Betty were named after English royalty as Ella and Jim had immigrated from England and they were staunch monarchists. The family homesteaded in Loon Lake - they were the first family to settle in that township living there for 17 years. The family moved to Dawson Creek in 1947 and eventually bought the store in Clayhurst and called it Four Corners. In 1949 they moved to Little Prairie, now known as Chetwynd, and open Bettys Shadybrook Cafe. Through the time working there she made many friends.
Betty married Walter Schilling and they raised their two children Sharon Rose and James Walter. Walter was self-employed in the construction industry while Betty worked at the old IGA, the Chetwynd Hotel and the Elks and Legion Hall Lounges. Betty helped Jim and wife Judy setup Casper’s Neighbourhood pub, where she helped manage for some 3 and a half years.
Betty loved animals but mostly dogs, huskies, poms, and of course her beloved Jade – a Yorkshire terrier. Travel decisions were often made or delayed around her dogs. After Margaret passed away she inherited her Smoky, she just couldn’t let anyone else take him. Her greenhouse was always loaded with tomato plants in the spring – up to 200 sometimes. Birds had a happy home in her backyard, always well fed. Bluejays were her favourite. Christmas baking was her passion - apple pies were her specialty.
In 1986 Betty moved to Dawson Creek to be closer to her mother who had become quite ill. She went to work at K-Mart cafeteria until it was taken over by Zellers. She had many regular customers who came in for her bacon and eggs and won many ‘Employee of the Month’ awards. She was very content after she retired, gardening, canning, visiting friends, taking care of her pets, and baking for her family.
Betty taught her children the values of hard work, honesty and integrity. Betty was devoted, supportive, and protective of her family and friends. She was a very independent, proud, classy, spunky woman who lived her life to the fullest and she did it her way. She will always be loved and missed by all.
Betty is survived by her children Sharon (Brad) Smith, Jim (Judy) Schilling, grandchildren Christopher and Devin Schilling, Craig and Krista Smith, step-daughter Lorna Belcourt, brother in-law George Schilling, nephew and niece Bob (Lorna) Schilling, Pinkie (George) Neagle, Elsie (Ian) Ross and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial Service was held May 4, 2008 at the Bergeron Funeral Chapel, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, officiated by Pastor Gary Henderson. Inurnment was held in the Dawson Creek City Cemetery.
Robert John Hope
Robert John Hope was born on the family farm at Acme Alberta on April 10, 1928. The youngest of 5 children to Pearl (Herring) Hope of Kemmerer Wyoming and George Fergus Hope of Carberry Manitoba. He had been a resident of the Pouce Coupe Care Home since January 2007 and before that had been a resident of Groundbirch, BC for 42 years. He passed away at 3:30 am on April 25th 2008 at the age of 80 years.
When he was in better health he enjoyed hunting, fishing, a drink and a laugh with friends, and he loved to dance. In his later years he enjoyed the company of his pets, he loved to go to auction sales and he took up an interest in gold panning.
Bob was raised on a farm in the Acme area and lost his own father at an early age, so he was required to pull his share of the load in helping his brother, George and the rest of the family run the farm. He attended Selkirk School and went to high school at Caroline finishing grade 9.
His first job was renting himself and his team of horses out to various farms during harvest time to help with the threshing.
Following a brief stint in the air force as a tail gunner trainee at the end of world war II, he bought a 1950 GMC 3 ton and did some custom hauling.
On November 23, 1950 Bob married Betty Anne Johnson in Water Valley. They settled on the old place at Acme to grow grain and raise cattle. In November of 1956 they adopted their only son Rodger and in February of 1959 the adopted their only daughter Sharon Lee. During this time Bob took up making lamp stands out of diamond willows and did some beautiful work,
he loved to tinker with wood for the rest of his life. In 1960-1961 Bob worked as a ranch foreman on the Macleod Ranch at Fort Macleod, Alberta. The family was direct descendants of James Macleod the first commissioner of the RCMP. In 1965 they moved away from Acme for good. After falling in love with the Peace Country while on vacation the year before, he bought a place in Groundbirch, BC were he maintained a residence until moving to Pouce Coupe for his final days. Bob and Betty separated in 1975 but became friends again in Bob’s last years which was a source of comfort to the family and Betty was present on the last night of his life. Robert had several occupations during his life; farmer, ranch hand, cook, carpenter and coal miner but his best job was being a father and a friend and as the best drinking buddy a guy could ask for. The most important thing he taught his family was not to be afraid of hugging a loved one and telling them I care. Bob was pre-deceased by his sisters Lavina and Pearl, and brother George.
He is survived by his ex-wife Betty, son Rodger, daughter Sharon, sister Evelyn (Harley) Gibson, sister in-law Frances, and numerous nephews and nieces.
We love him and miss him so much.
A Celebration of Life service was held on May 5, 2008 at the Bergeron Funeral Chapel, Dawson Creek, British Columbia.