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British Columbia, Canada Obituaries and Death Notices Collection

BRITISH COLUMBIA - Dawson Creek - Miscellaneous Obituaries - 49

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Date: Thursday, 23 June 2016, at 7:21 p.m.

Ruth Marie Schaefer
January 3, 1922 - April 1, 2010

Ruth was born at home in Slope County, Bullion View Township, North Dakota, January 3, 1922 to John and Edna Kempenich. On April 1, 2010 Ruth peacefully passed away at the Dawson Creek and District Hospital. Ruth was the eldest of five children and was raised on a farm 30 miles north of Rhame ND. She completed her high school education in Rhame ND and continued on to Dickinson Teacher College where she completed her teacher training. She married Aelred Schaefer and is survived by her family of five children Roberta (Lance) Cuthill, Bonita (Lee) Gellings, Carol (Ross) Dyer, Layton (Lorna) Schaefer, Jean (Dennis) Gellings. 12 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren and one brother, Gerald Kempenich of Bowman, ND.

Ruth very much enjoyed cooking, gardening, and family picnics. She could often be seen cheering on her favourite rodeo contestants. Her favourite vehicle was their small motor home that carried her and Aelred to events and on trips to visit family. Ruth was a member of the Catholic Women’s League as well as a member of the Bon Accord Women’s Institute. In 2007 she moved from her farm in Progress to Heritage Heights where she enjoyed the company of many new friends. Her final move was to North View in July, 2009 where she again made new friends.

Ruth will be sadly missed. May she rest in peace.

A funeral service was held on Wednesday, April 7th 2010. Arrangements in care of Bergeron Funeral Services and Crematorium Ltd.

Expressions of sympathy in memory of Ruth may be made by donation to the ‘Canadian Cancer Society’ 1000 – 105 Avenue, Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 2B9.

Joan Hawkins
1941 – 2010

Joan Hawkins affectionately known as Amma passed away in Chetwynd, British Columbia on August 25, 2010. Amma was born in Quill Lake, Saskatchewan in January of 1941 to William and Johanna Atkinson. Later she moved to Dawson Creek, British Columbia where she married the love of her life and best friend, Joe Hawkins in May of 1958. There they raised three children. First came Janet, second was Jody. As grandpa was wheeling Amma into the hospital for the third child he gave Amma a reassuring pat and a loving kiss and these words of encouragement, “if it’s not a boy, you’ll be back again in nine months.” Thankfully Amma pulled through and Joseph Jr. was born to complete their family. Although times were tough for them, Amma stayed home to raise the children, Dad and my aunties remember coming home to the smell of baked cookies and receiving hugs and kisses from Amma. After raising their children, they moved to Chetwynd in 1978. There Amma worked at Canfor until the mid 1990s and then decided to be a full time housewife and gardener. She also was a proud grandmother of eleven grandchildren. Amma was a private person but she loved her family with all her heart and was the anchor of all the families to get together for the holidays. She loved nothing more than to be surrounded by the ones she loved. She went all out for Christmas especially. She would bake her world famous fudge, vinaterta and butter tarts as well as a vast assortment of cookies complete with trays of candy. Then the competition between the grandchildren for back tickles from Amma was on.

Amma wasn’t without a sense of humor either. Apparently after our family and Auntie Jody’s family moved out to their acreages, she decided that for one Christmas it would be a great idea to buy the grandchildren snow shovels for Christmas…apparently…I will still deny that fact to this day, there is no way our Amma would be responsible for such an act. Regardless, she loved to laugh and play. She also played a very active role in being a peace keeper in defending her grandchildren during the summers of camping when they would get their fishing lines tangles in Grandpa’s boat motor. She may have been small in stature but she knew how to tame a bear named Grandpa quite easily. As a mother, she was full of love and compassion and left her individual mark on each of her children. I know right now she is happier than she has ever been in eight years. Her and Grandpa are sitting down together again sharing a coffee and cigarette and a dance or two by a lake and catching up on old times.

Amma is predeceased by her parents Jamma and Bill, husband Joe, and sister Nola. She is survived by her brother Bill (Linda) Atkinson, children Janet Cameron (Jim Lloyd), Jody (Roger) St. Pierre, and Joe (Debbie) Hawkins, eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Rest in peace Amma, until we see you again.

A celebration of Joan’s life was held on Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 11:00 am at the Fellowship Baptist Church, Chetwynd, British Columbia with Pastor Bill Evans officiating.

Evelyn Charlotte LaForge

Peacefully on August 29, 2010 Evelyn Charlotte LaForge went home to be with her Lord and Saviour.

Evelyn was a loving wife, mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, great grandmother, great-great grandmother, aunt, and friend. She was a life-long Bible student, gifted artist, lover of books and music. For more than 60 years as a faithful member of the Tupper Church of the Nazarene, she held many church offices and played piano.

Mourning her passing are: her immediate family, her children, Sharon (Alan) Moi; Carol (Russ) Airhart; Clint (Cindy) LaForge; Bill (Kate) LaForge; Julie (Bart ) Johnson; her grandchildren, Arthur (Olene) Moi, Jim (Barb) Moi, Lindsay Airhart, Jeff LaForge, Brett LaForge, Tyler LaForge, Jarrett Johnson, Casey Johnson and Mike Johnson; her great grandchildren Aurora Airhart, Meaghan, Reighann, Abby, AJ and Austyn Moi and her great -great grandchild Micha Moi. She will also be missed by her six remaining sisters and their families, her two sisters-in law, her brother-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews.

Evelyn was born at Didsbury, Alberta in 1916 to Wilfred and Mayme Merner. She lived in Wetaskiwin and attended Canadian Nazarene College in Red Deer. She married James LaForge in 1944, and moved to Tupper, British Columbia where she spent over 60 years near the shores of Swan Lake.

Evelyn’s life was a journey of faith based on Bible principles. She talked openly about her spiritual foundation and her personal relationship with God and most importantly she lived what she spoke. Her family and friends knew her to be loving, caring and generous.

For the last four years, Evelyn was surrounded by a loving and supportive community in Assisted Living at Southview and Northview, Dawson Creek Hospital, and at Rotary Manor Palliative Care. The family wishes to thank the various staff members and administrators who allowed her to live independently, cared for her when she became ill and then provided a beautiful environment for her in Palliative Care. Her last months were peaceful and she was comforted by her “nurses” who loved her and assisted her to leave this life with dignity. The family extends a special thank you to Dr. Steve Ashwell who provided tender loving care for our mother.

A memorial service was held on Friday, September 3, 2010 at the Alliance Church, Dawson Creek, British Columbia with Pastor Ruth Czerniak officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to ‘South Peace Hospice Palliative Care Society,’ Room 101, 816-103 Ave. Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 2G1 or the ‘Tupper Church of the Nazarene’ P.O. Box 601, Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 4H4, in memory of Evelyn LaForge.

Violet Mary Wilde
1932 ~ 2010

Violet Wilde (née Zorn) - It is with great sadness that we announce the passing, on August 24, 2010, of our dear mother, family matriarch, and friend. Vi (as she was best known) was born on January 21, 1932 in Fort St. John, BC while her parents briefly resided there for her father’s job. During the formative years of Vi’s early childhood, she learned to work hard beside her parents on their Saskatchewan farm. In 1940 the family moved to south-eastern BC’s orchard country, Creston, where Vi completed school to grade nine and began her life’s work in food service. In 1951 she married Pat Wilde and moved to the wilderness of his parent’s Sunset Prairie homestead 30 miles west of Dawson Creek. There, she raised her 5 daughters, largely on her own, due to Pat having to work away. Ever industrious, she milked cows, raised chickens, and kept a huge garden, determined to raise her children on the best that the earth could give. Though Vi endured some great hardships including the loss of her firstborn, a grandson, and her marriage, she never gave up in life. After leaving the farm, she moved to town and got a job cooking at the local hospital where for 10 years she produced excellent food for patients and staff that to this day, people still rave about. After retiring from her position as Head Cook, Vi went on to a retirement filled with gardening, travel, an active social life and endless family gatherings. Her home was a hub of activity that drew friends and family from near and far. Known for her hearty laugh, Vi’s social personality led to many community involvements over the years including the local WI, Kiskatinaw and D.C. Fall Fairs, Hospital Women’s Auxiliary, 4-H, and senior’s groups such as the Walking club and Red Hat Ladies.

Vi was predeceased by her daughter, Lois Sterling, her grandson, Clayton Wetherill, nephew by marriage, Randy Wilde, and her parents, Mary and Johan Zorn. She is survived by her daughters, Cathy Wilde, Karen Wetherill, Donna Wilde and Judy (Alan) Wetherill. Grandma to Lorrie, Darren, David, Regan, Barbara, Lee, Danny, Kevin, Justin, Cara, and Shane, and all respective partners. Great Grandma to Tyler, Michelle, Amanda, Patrick, Ella, Brin, Camryn, Sara, Autumn, Kaden,& Cole, all of whom carried Nan’s special nick-names. Her many nieces and nephews, and greats there-of are lovingly acknowledged as well.

A funeral service was held on Monday, August 30, 2010 at the Dawson Creek Alliance Church. Interment followed in the Willow Valley Cemetery, west of Dawson Creek, British Columbia. A Celebration of Life Tea and Social gathering took place at the McLeod Community Hall in honor of Vi’s contribution to her family, friends and community.

Expressions of sympathy in memory ofVi, may be made by donation to the British Columbia Women’s Auxiliary c/o the Dawson Creek and District Hospital, 11100 – 13th Street, Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 3W8, or the Dawson Creek Horticultural Society, c/o Barb Carlson, P.O. Box 815, Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 4H8.

Jessica Dawn Wassenaar
1986 - 2010

Jessica Dawn Wassenaar of Rolla, British Columbia, passed away on August 22, 2010 in Dawson Creek at 24 years of age. A funeral service was held at 10:00 am on Saturday, August 28, 2010 at the Rolla Baptist Church, officiated by Pastors David and Phyllis Roch. Interment followed in the Rolla Cemetery, officiated by Pastor John F. Klassen.

Jessica was born in Dawson Creek on April 7, 1986, to Mike and Cheryl, a true blessing, as their first child, Alisha had died in infancy only 15 months previously. At three months of age Jessica became ill and was flown to BC Children’s Hospital where she underwent surgery and tests. The diagnosis was a very rare and incurable genetic disorder called Tyrosinemia. Her only hope was a liver transplant.

Jessica, nicknamed ‘Tiger’ in hospital, was a real fighter. Her parents and grandmother, June, had to go through intense training to learn to care for her. ‘Tiger’ continued to fight for survival and was allowed out of hospital to spend her first Christmas with family at home.

At nine months old, Jessica, her dad and grandma flew to Minnesota and Ontario so Jessica could undergo tests for possible transplant. Both facilities accepted her as a good candidate, and they flew back to BC to await the call. Cheryl had been unable to travel at the time as she was expecting Jessica’s baby brother, Sheldon.

Just days before her first birthday, she had her transplant. After a long and rocky recovery, she felt better than she ever had, and there was a permanent smile on her face!

She enjoyed cycling, swimming, reading, music, pets, school and church. Jessica asked Jesus into her life at three years of age and became gifted at scripture memorization, and singing in church.

At age nine, Jessica’s prayers for a sister were answered as Mike and Cheryl adopted a baby girl, Jasmine. She was like another mother to Jasmine. When Jessica was 14, the family adopted Cheylyne, and Owen. She was thrilled and became a very protective big sister.

Jessica attended Rolla Elementary School, Central Middle School and South Peace Senior Secondary. Due to ill health she left South Peace and enrolled in Electric Ed at the O’Brien Education Centre, where she graduated and received her dogwood diploma.

In the past couple years Jessica’s health took its toll; she rededicated her life to the Lord while in Edmonton for her last medical check-up.

Jessica was predeceased by her sister, Alisha; her grandparents, Arnold and Jacoba Wassenaar, and Frank Mamm. She will be lovingly remembered by: her parents, Michael and Cheryl; siblings, Sheldon, Cheylyne, Jasmine and Owen; grandmother, June Mamm; aunts and uncles, Dale (Susan) Mamm, Rick (Lorna) Mamm, Donald Mamm and Carol Mamm, Jeannette (Russell) Sherwood, Adriana McGill, John (Christina) Wassenaar, Lillian (Scott) Hayes, Harry (Nadine) Wassenaar, Edward (Deanna) Wassenaar, and William (Robin) Wassenaar; and her many cousins; extended family and friends.

Expressions of sympathy in memory of Jessica, may be made by donation to the 'David Foster Foundation' 212 Henry Street, Victoria, British Columbia V9A 3H9.

Irene Ferne Hoffart
1931 ~ 2010

Irene Ferne Ballman, known to everyone as Ferne, was born on November 3, 1931, in the farmhouse at Milestone, Saskatchewan, where she and her six siblings grew up. She was the third child of Charles and Janet Ballman. She attended school in a small, local one room school house for several years until it closed and she was bused into Milestone. She went on to take nurses training from the Grey Nuns at Grey Nuns Hospital in Regina. This was an era when the young women in training all stayed in dorms which were part of the hospital facility, and could be called out for emergencies at any hour of the day or night. She met my father Joe Hoffart, as his nurse, when he was admitted for surgery at this hospital. They were married on August 11, 1953.

The first two or three years of their marriage were spent on the farm at Minton, Saskatchewan where they farmed in close proximity to his bothers. Very shortly after Anne, the second child was born, they moved to Regina, as Joe was having severe back pain. Ferne did not go back to nursing, but stayed at home raising her family. After living in two different locations in Regina, they moved back to a farm, near Bengough, Saskatchewan in 1964. The last of eight children, Mike was born there.

Ferne had many passions. The first she had was baking. She could bake bread and buns to rival the best bakery anywhere, and she taught this to all of her daughters. In the last several years she spent on the farm, she even developed the art of baking bread with true whole wheat, using a small flour mill my parents purchased to grind our own wheat. It was her interest in health and healing, from her nurse’s training, plus the knowledge she had learned from the voracious amount of reading she did, that lead her to another passion - that of health food. She was, to my knowledge, one of the first people that found the common packaged and processed food we so often enjoyed to be lacking in many of the essential nutrients we needed. To that end, she decided to fortify the diet of her family with the natural foods that she had determined we needed. I’m absolutely sure that none of us will ever forget her famous “pep-up” There are not words yet invented that can describe the taste of that stuff. Mom also used her nurses training to bandage and heal the numerous cuts, bruises and sicknesses that are a part of everyday life on the farm. Another one of mom’s passions was sewing. She loved to buy cloth and patterns and create clothing for her family and loved ones, and taught every one of her daughters the art of sewing.

In later years, after losing their third child, Gordon, in a truck accident they made the decision to follow two of their older children north to Dawson Creek. They sold the farm and moved to this area in 1981. They bought property out at Arras, and following their faith, attempted to build a home for unwed mothers. It was not to be. They did however get to spend countless hours with their grandchildren as they grew up, and for that, all of us will fondly remember many times spent on “the farm”.

Ferne is predeceased by her husband Joseph; son Gordon; parents Charles and Janet Ballman and her youngest brother Wayne Ballman. She is survived by seven children; Melvin (Heather) Hoffart, Anne (Oliver) O’Reilly, Joan (Richard) Gray, Linda (Noel) Granger, Rita Hoffart, Martin Hoffart, Michael (Corinna) Hoffart; nineteen grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

A funeral service was held on August 26, 2010 at the Notre Dame Roman Catholic Church. Father Michael Anyasoro officiated. Interment followed in the Brookside Cemetery, Dawson Creek, British Columbia.

Expressions of sympathy in memory of Ferne, may be made by donation to the 'Knights of Colmbus' c/o Notre Dame Parish 908 - 104 Avenue, Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 2H7.

Robert Lee Herman
1936 ~ 2010

Dad was born in Scottsbluff Nebraska on May 7, 1936. He was the third child of Henry and Grace Herman. When Dad was very young the family moved to Riverton, Wyoming. Dad went to school and was married to Vonnie Wiechlman in Riverton. While in Riverton three children were born and a fourth child was born in Dawson Creek British Columbia.

Dad's family ran a family business that included trucking, feedlots and an equipment dealership. In 1966, Dad and Mom decided to move their family to Dawson Creek British Columbia, and in 1967 Dad also bought land in Flatrock, BC. The family lived in Dawson Creek until the fall of 1972 and we then moved out to Flatrock to live on the farm. The family lived on the farm until it was sold in 1979 and then moved back to Dawson Creek where Dad and Mom lived until their passing.

Dad was always a truck driver. He would always be gone for extended periods of time hauling logs, freight, equipment, or whatever the job required. He would always tell you his passion was to run the Alaska Highway, he had trucked all over North America, but his favorite run was north to Alaska. He first ran north to Alaska in 1967 and was hooked from there on. I was able to run north with Dad and one of my memories was while running double on our way back from Anchorage, I stopped to take a pee break and check the tires. When I got back in the truck to take off I slammed the door, as soon as the door closed a hand appeared on my shoulder tightly gripping it and explaining that while running team you never slam the door. Another memory for me was a time the whole family was getting ready to go to the fall fair and Dad had lost his wallet while out harrowing. The whole family was called in to search for the brown wallet in a 40 acre field, Dad had told us that if we found the wallet we could have all the money in it for rides a the fair. We found the wallet and did enjoy the fall fair.

Another story Grant and I know well is the giant peace sign and the Herman name written in a field where Grant and I were supposed to be plowing down fescue. Grant had came up with the idea of using the harrows to mat the grass down and imprint a peace sign and the Herman name, the only problem was a neighbor was out flying that day and saw the handy work created by Grant and I. When we were questioned about the artistry we had to confess.

Dad was predeceased by his parents Henry and Grace Herman, brother Harvey Herman, sister Evelyn Long and his grandsons Kyle Herman and Carsten Herman

Dad is survived by son and daughter in-law Grant and Karen Herman of Victoria BC, son and daughter in-law Greg and Elsa Herman of Fort Nelson BC, daughter and son in-law Danita and Ken Nastrom of Campbell River BC and son and daughter in-law Glenn and Becky Herman of Bay tree AB as well as many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

A funeral service was held on August 24, 2010 with Pastor Gary Henderson officiating. Interment followed in the Brookside Cemetery, Dawson Creek, British Columbia.

Expressions of sympathy in memory of Bob, may be made by donation to the ‘Dawson Creek & District Hospital Foundation’ 11100 – 13th Street, Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 3W8.

Murray Wesley Harper
1928 ~ 2010

Murray Wesley Harper was born on May 4, 1928 in Pouce Coupe, British Columbia. He grew up on the family farm attending the Saskatoon Creek School up to grade eight and then on to Dawson Creek for high school.

In 1949, Murray married Ardella Dahlen and took over the family farm along Saskatoon Creek where they farmed until retirement in 1993. Murray lived “working the land” and spent his retirement years with Ardella on the farm. He enjoyed watching rodeos around the Peace Country and driving the country roads admiring the crops as well as the wide open space.

He and Ardella made many road trips through British Columbia and Alberta visiting children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Murray passed away on August 16, 2010 at the Dawson Creek Hospital surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife Ardella, six children - Patricia (Richard) Devore, Brian (Alana) Harper, Norine Harper, Trever (Melody) Harper, Dennis (Joanne) Harper, Maura Seyl (Brad), 14 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, sister Grace (Ed) Quint of Belleview, Washington, USA, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and several cousins.

Murray was predeceased by parents Wilbur and Della Harper, sister Isabelle, brothers-in-law Donald and Lloyd, nephew Willie and son-in-law Andy.

A funeral service was held on August 21, 2010 at the South Peace United Church, Dawson Creek, British Columbia. Interment followed in the Brookside Cemetery.

Expressions of sympathy in memory of Murray may be made by donation to the ‘British Columbia Lung Association’ 2675 Oak Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6H 2K2.

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