Laurie Dean O'Dwyer
1956 - 2000
On November 19, 2000 friends and family joined together to celebrate the life of Laurie Dean O'Dwyer (nee Tower), at the Rolla Baptist Church, with Pastor Gary Henderson officiating. Interment followed at the Rolla Community Cemetery.
Laurie passed away suddenly on November 14, 2000 at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton after a short struggle with cancer.
Laurie was born on February 27, 1956 and was the eldest child and only daughter of Wayne and Martha Tower of Rolla, B.C. She was raised in the Dawson Creek area and attended Grandview Elementary, Frank Ross Junior Secondary and South Peace Senior Secondary.
Her interests were varied but she mainly concentrated on her piano, youth group and curling. She was a very competent curler and continued this sport on into adulthood.
After she graduated, she went to Prince George College to attain her certificate as an LPN. She then worked at the Dawson Creek and District Hospital until 1977 bringing calmness and compassion to all she cared for.
She married Rick O'Dwyer in 1976 and they were blessed with three children, Trevor, Jenny and Kim. Her children were her pride and joy and brought her more happiness than anyone would ever dream to have. She and Rick took a keen interest in everything and anything that their children were involved in and gave unselfishly of their time and efforts. Because of this she wore many hats: score keeper, camp cook, bible study leader, Sunday School teacher, teacher's aide, banquet coordinator, seamstress, adoptive mother, secretary of School Board, chief cook and bottle washer.
She loved having her children's friends over and made them feel welcome and accepted.
Laurie resumed her employment at the Dawson Creek Hospital in 1983. Over the years, she did various administrative jobs and spent the last nine years as a unit clerk. On her last day of work before leaving for Edmonton, she celebrated her 17-year anniversary. Her giggle, her words of encouragement and her competency will be greatly missed by all.
Laurie had many hobbies and spent any spare time she had gardening, sewing, quilting, reading, dried flower arranging, and embroidery. She loved to give gifts and received special delight in being able to give her crafts to family and friends.
Much of Laurie's life was devoted to the church. She and her family faithfully served and attended Rolla Baptist for over 17 years. She served in various capacities: treasurer, pianist, administrative coordinator, Bible study leader, cell group leader, Sunday School teacher, Summer Bible School organizer, and initiated and carried out any projects that needed to be completed.
Rick and Laurie were instrumental in two recent building projects. The first one was completed two years ago. The second one was only framed and insulated on the day that Laurie passed away. Knowing that this is where Laurie would have wanted to have her funeral, the church and community rallied together for a work-bee and in three short days the addition was completed to a stage where it could be used.
The last service she attended was in her home church with over 650 friends and relatives in attendance. A true gift, reflecting the love and admiration everyone had for her.
Laurie is predeceased by her Grandma and Grandpa Tower, and her Grandma and Grandpa Pavlis, uncles George Tower and Joseph Pavlis Jr., and aunt Audrey Vipond.
She is survived by her loving husband Rick, children Trevor, Jenny and Kim; parents Wayne and Martha Tower; brothers Kent (Valerie) and Brent (Dianne) and nephews, Christopher, Kyle and Garrett.
She will be deeply missed, no doubt, but we look forward with anticipation and expectancy to meeting her once again 'On the Other Side' - this time never to be separated again.
Funeral Arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services and Crematorium Ltd., Dawson Creek, B.C.
Doris Josephine O'Genski
1933 - 1999
Doris O'Genski (nee Welbourn) passed away Nov. 5, 1999 in the Saanich Peninsula Hospital, with her family be her side, after a lengthy illness.
Doris was predeceased by son Brent in 1991 and her parents Ernie and Gladys Welbourn.
Left to cherish her memory are her loving husband Ron; her children, Ron (Donna) O'Genski, Donna (Howard) Emslie, Cheryl (Richard) Lalonde, Norman O'Genski, Janice (Doug) Charlton; her grandchildren Kyle and Daryl O'Genski, Brad and Scott Emslie, Grant and Brent Lalonde and Jardey and Corby O'Genski.
A memorial service was held Tuesday, Nov. 9, 1999 at 2 p.m at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Burnaby.
Interment was held Wednesday, Nov. 10, 1999 at 10 a.m. at Ocean View Cemetery. Father Joseph officiated.
Expressions of sympathy may be made by way of donation in memory of Doris to the Victoria Hospice Society 1900 Fort St., Victoria, B.C., V8R 1J8.
Janet Amanda Oldenburg
1962 - 2000
Janet Amanda Harding was born in St. Helens, Lancashire on April 13, 1962 to her Irish mother, Vera Kinahan and English father, Geoffery Harding.
The family moved with younger sister Jennifer to Carnduff, Sask. where her father was the town doctor for seven years. They moved to Moose Jaw for three years and returned to the United Kingdom in 1974 for her father to specialize. Janet trained in physiotherapy in Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom.
There she married Tim Brooks and Edward and Peter were born. Janet returned to Canada in December 1988 and moved directly to Chetwynd. She was pregnant with their third child Alex, who was born in August 1989. She became the town physiotherapist and remained so for 10 years until ill health forced her to retire in 1998.
During the 10 years she worked in Chetwynd, she also held positions in Dawson Creek, Tumbler Ridge, Hudson's Hope and Mackenzie. She was respected by doctors and patients as a very skilled physiotherapist and gave of those skills and love to the needy what ever their status and regardless of whether she was paid or not.
Music had always been important in her life and in the mid 1990s, she joined up with local musicians to put on gigs at the Coffee Club and The Mill. Her keyboard skills and good voice led to a partnership and eventual marriage to James Oldenburg. Their CD together, "Till the Sun Goes Down" was original music, mainly by Janet and their further collaboration was to end when Janet's voice was affected by the cancer.
She will be remembered with love and affection for the love she brought to her family, friends and patients. Janet leaves to mourn her husband - James Oldenburg; three sons - Edward, Peter and Alex; father - Dr. G. Harding; mother - Vera Vigfusson; sisters - Sarah (Thor) Pruckl, Jennifer (Kevin) Erbach, Gillian (Bruce) Dokken, Becky Harding, and numerous aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and friends.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Chetwynd Hospice/Palliative Care Society.
Funeral Services were held at Reynar's Chapel in Dawson Creek on Saturday November 25 and a Memorial service was held in Chetwynd on Monday November 27 at 1 p.m. from the Cottonwood Room at the Chetwynd Rec Center. Funeral arrangements under the care of Reynar's Funeral Chapel and Crematorium.
Edgar 'Ted' Charles Oldfield
Edgar Charles Oldfield, better known as 'Ted' Oldfield, resident of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, passed away on August 22, 2001 in Dawson Creek, at 79 years of age. A memorial service was held at 1 p.m. on August 25, 2001 at the Bergeron Funeral Chapel, Dawson Creek, with Beverly Dunsmore officiating.
Ted was born on December 6, 1921, in Calgary, Alberta, the second child of four, to Roy and Grace Oldfield. He and Dorothy moved from Cochrane, Alberta to Dawson Creek in 1959. At the time of Ted's passing, they had been married for 49 years, and their marriage was blessed with two children, Curtis and Cindy.
Ted worked for Tri-Mac as a truck driver and made many trips up and down the Alaska Highway, he also worked for his uncle Bruce Harden at Harden Cartage. From 1972-1986, Ted was employed at the Department of Highways where his co-workers referred to him as the 'Wrench-Bender.'
The one thing that seemed to be very important in Ted's life was his work as a mechanic, he worked on many vehicles, and like most mechanics his own vehicles came last. Dorothy remembers one time calling him over the phone to see if he could make some time to work on his own vehicle. When they lived in Pouce, Ted got enjoyment out of tinkering in his shop; in fact, he often forgot about time and would more often than not be late for supper, Dorothy got so that most time she called him before she even started to prepare the meal.
Ted really enjoyed his TV; especially watching WWF. He liked to read, and very much enjoyed the National Geographic. At one time, Ted was a member of the Elks Club in Dawson Creek.
In years past, Ted like most men in the north, enjoyed hunting, but Cindy and Dorothy were always very grateful that most years Ted and his friends were not successful, and so they did not have to endure eating the wild meat.
He enjoyed his grandchildren, and got a lot of pleasure in giving the boys some money so they could buy themselves a little something at the store, and they in turn loved to bring Grandpa a chocolate bar when they came to visit.
Ted was predeceased by his parents, two brothers, Don and Mervin, and sister, Eileen.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Dorothy; his daughter Cindy (Shell) Watson, and their children Tyrone, Shelby, and Shanten; his son, Curtis (Sheila), and Sheila's daughter, Abigail Haugen.
Memorial arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd., Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
Irma Louise Olenik
1929 - 2000
Irma Louise Olenik of 10741 - 10th St., Dawson Creek was born on August 3, 1929 in the Pouce Coupe Hospital to Archie and Tress Nelson.
She passed away on Sept. 20, 2000 after a short battle with a brain tumour.
Irma was the beloved wife of Nestor Olenik. Irma and Nestor were married on January 10, 1950 and lived on a farm in Bonanza, Alta.
Three years later they sold the farm and moved to Dawson Creek where Nestor took employment with the Case Company, then moved on to work for John Deere and finally on to Rempel Trail until his retirement.
Irma resided in Dawson Creek until her death.
Irma leaves to mourn her beloved husband Nestor, son Larry Olenik, daughter Lorna Jones, grandson Deven Buettner, grandson Justin tate Knutson, and numerous other relatives. She was predeceased by her father Archie Nelson in 1959, sister Alma Naslund in 1984, and mother Tress Nelson in 1994.
Irma was a faithful worker with the church group for many years in sacrificial giving and ministry. Her faith in God and belief in the works of mercy, became her identity.
Irma died loving her Lord and has gone on to claim her eternal reward. Irma was truly loved and will be greatly missed.
Funeral services were held on September 25, 2000 at Reynar's Funeral Chapel. The Rev. Judy Hare officiating.
Funeral arrangements under the care of Reynar's Funeral Chapel and Crematorium.
August 25, 1929 - March 4, 2001
Clifford was born in Elbow Saskatchewan on August 25, 1929, to Nickolie and Olea Olson. He was the youngest of six children. In 1930, Clifford's family moved to North Rolla BC where he grew and accomplished his schooling.
Clifford then ventured out to work for Clarence Ness at the sawmills for three years, returning home to the farm where his heart really belonged. He was a community minded man, looking after the Church and Community Hall for years. Clifford traveled the area to many square dances and eventually became president of the Doe River Promenaders Club and in 1967 was the president of the Centennial celebrations.
Also for many years Clifford worked the gates at the Doe River Rodeo. Clifford was a hard working man, dedicated to his home, his land, his animals, his family, and his friends. He was always there for anyone who needed a helping hand. Clifford was a man of few words and when he did speak, his words always proved to be meaningful and kind. He loved life and was a kid at heart.
His laughter, sense of humor, game playing, involvement in square dancing, horseshoes, card playing, chasing and teasing the kids, will be sadly missed. Traveling to Norway with Ole in 1972 and then with Edna in 1997, were the highlights of his life. He often talked about the many relatives he met and the good times they had.
Clifford was pre-deceased by his father Nick in 1959, his mother Olea in 1975, sister Johanna in 1985, and his brother Ole in 1994. He is survived by his brother Magne, sisters Edna and Margret, nephew Marvin(Edie), nieces Bonnie and Judy(John), numerous grandnieces and grandnephews, and many loving friends and neighbours.
A Special Tribute to The Memory of Clifford Olson
Clifford Olson was my friend Farming was his trade Helping out his neighbors In a good old fashioned way I never heard him say a bad word About his fellow man We'll meet again one day old friend In God's great meadow-land.
Marilyn Anne Oltmanns
Marilyn Oltmanns was born on March 24, 1957 in Stettler, Alberta. She passed away on November 8, 2001 in Arras, British Columbia at 44 years of age. A funeral service was held at 2 p.m. on Monday, November 12, 2001 at the South Peace United Church, Dawson Creek, with Pastor Lee Stephenson officiating. Cremation followed.
Often, there are opportunities in life where we have missed a chance to say what was on our mind. We have a tendency to let our actions speak what our heart feels, as actions sometimes speak louder than words. Marilyn was an 'action' type of person. I think if we could interpret her actions, this might be one interpretation of her feelings for everyone in her life.
For Marilyn's friends, she wanted to say what a joy it was to be a part of your life. She was excited at the prospect of pulling a practical joke on you. She loved sharing a coffee and heartfelt chat. She always had time to sit down and help those when they needed it the most. Every one of us in this room has benefited from knowing her. And we are better people because of it.
For Mel, Karen, Bruce, Kathy, Yvonne and Sandra, Marilyn wanted nothing less than the very best for all of you. In times of need, the 'big sister' Marilyn was undying in her devotion to the family and everything that it stands for. Lending a helping hand was just one of the many ways that she said, "I Love You."
For Derick, Marilyn held a special place in her heart. As Derick grew from a little boy into a man, Marilyn could not stop from telling everyone about his God-given talent of working with wood. Who can forget about Derick's 'Recipe for Freckles' that Marilyn held so close to her heart? Marilyn had a connection with Derick that allowed her to share in his accomplishments and his sorrows. As Derick continues to take the world by storm we know Marilyn is beaming with pride at the gentleman you've become.
For Laryssa, Marilyn had the understanding that only a mother and daughter can share. Marilyn was always there to help with life's hardships in all the right ways. Never did Marilyn ever doubt your abilities. Gentle encouragement was often all you needed to see that your strengths as a wife, mother and woman are very real. May your children bless you with all the gifts that you gave to her. To say that Marilyn was proud of you is an understatement.
And for Rudy, we know that Marilyn was as devoted to you as any wife ever was. She helped you through all the hardships and never once complained about it. Her love and support helped carry the relationship many times, and in the end, it helped to make your bond with her stronger than ever. Marilyn recognized your will to work hard and provide for Laryssa and Derick. Early morning coffee with you was always a special time for her. She knew more than anybody that underneath your tough exterior is a man that just wants to love and be loved.
As time marches on, we will never forget how Marilyn has enriched our lives with her generosity, humour, practical jokes, compassion and love. Marilyn, we all want to say a few words to you, words that we could never manage to fit into any conversation. Thank you Marilyn, for helping us to see the good in every situation. Thank you for taking the time to make us all feel good about ourselves and our place on this earth. The only thing bigger than your heart was your ever-present smile. Our only way to repay you for everything you have done is to lift you up to Heaven and let the Lord bask you in His glory. We will love and miss you forever.
Funeral Arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd., Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
Garda Betty Orr (Mortenson)
We regret to announce the passing away of a true pioneer to the Dawson Creek/Lakeview area. Many old timers remember her as Garda Mortenson, and the support she and others gave to her husband, Gunnar Mortenson, with starting the Lakeview Credit Union.
Garda's life started July 3, 1906 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her parents died when she was 10 months old. She was the youngest of five. The family was split up and she was raised with two brothers by her adoptive mom. Her one brother was killed in the First World War; he was just 16. She did not know she had sisters until she was older (many years later, they met for the first time in Denmark).
She attained a degree in home economics specializing as a dietician and delivering babies; this training proved invaluable later. Gunnar Mortenson, from Sweden was doing his practical training in Denmark while attending Agriculture College in 1926. This is were they met and fell in love.
Garda graduated in 1927, and she and Gunnar decided to come to Canada and get married. In 1928 they arrived in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan with other family members. Gunnar worked 20 miles away but would walk each weekend to see Garda. They were married November 15, 1928. Their daughter, Ruby, was born December 27, 1929. They farmed, but the first year they were hailed out and the second year there was a drought.
They, like others, had heard stories about free land in the Peace River Country. Gunnar came and got a job working for the A.R. Crull family in the Lakeview District, and sent for Garda. By this time they were broke. They filed on a bush quarter section in the Sweet Water District. This was the start of the Hungry 30's.
They built a 14' x 16' shack out of poles and lived there for three years. A son, Boyd, was born in this shack on June 25, 1932. After two years, Gunnar with help from some other Swedes, built a log house.
Gunnar was offered some already cleared land, to rent, back in the Lakeview District, so they took the log house apart and moved it. They farmed four quarters of land using horses and later a Fordson tractor. Gunnar often provided the music for dances as he was an accomplished accordion player.
Although Garda said that people were happier in those days it was clearly a tough time. Banks were not lending money and homesteaders relied on moose meat and frozen potatoes.
This was the spark that ignited Gunnar, a natural leader, to do something for the farmers. He traveled around gaining support. At first Gunnar did not always have support. Garda said, 'Keep going, once it is started they will sign' - and sign they did.
Gunnar did receive exceptional support from such community members as Ben Miller, and the other charter members William Conn, A.R. Crull, Hans Larson, Ralph Lefferson, Bert Faulkner, Homer Stevenson, Ruby Stevenson, Arnold Ebert, Harry Wood and Elizabeth Golata, among others such as C.W. Bumstead, the first President.
Garda was a member of the Lakeview Women's Institute and the idea of the Credit Union was discussed there as well. On September 4, 1943, the Credit Union became legal.
Garda kept room and borders, and Boyd, as young as he was, would do much of the farm work. Ruby helped as well. It was a family effort as Gunnar worked for the first three years without any pay as Manager and Secretary Treasurer. This included walking seven miles into town every week to the Credit Union, now located in the Co-op. A niece Marilyn lived with them for six years as well.
One of Garda's borders was Betty Golata, a school teacher, who currently is the only original surviving Charter Member.
Their son, Lyle, was born in 1946. They moved into Dawson Creek in 1948, as the Manager job was now full time.
The effort paid off, and Garda's positive outlook was right. Within a few years, the Lakeview Credit Union had exceptional growth, becoming the second biggest Credit Union in B.C.
Many farmers were helped through the years by its establishment and Gunnar's knowledge of farming, his management skills, and desire to help.
Many, many personal stories are told of ones getting their loan (some their first) from the Credit Union, when the banks had turned them down.
Garda was to attend the opening of the new Credit Union in 1999. The directors were outstanding and were going to show her around. Her health was against her coming at the time, but admitted later that she did not want a fuss made over her anyway.
When the Credit Union President, Dale Bumstead, heard she was not coming he immediately left the gathering and went and visited her. A very kind gesture.
The directors were very kind in recognizing the work the early pioneers did in starting the Credit Union.
Months later she told her second son Lyle, that she still had not yet seen the new Credit Union and would just like to see the outside in a quite unannounced fashion. She had previously been moved over the nice writings in the local newspapers.
She was driven slowly around the new building several times. Being then 93 and her eyesight almost gone, she nevertheless could see the huge structure and just peered in amazement at what the new directors had accomplished in keeping that early Credit Union spirit alive. Her head would move slowly up and down as the rounds were made.
After being dropped off, she told Lyle that he just made an old lady very happy. She had, along with others, given so much to see the Credit Union success a reality. If Gunnar was only alive to see how the members and the Directors had carried the torch. (He had died in 1973).
Her husband, Gunnar was Manager for 17 years, but the last few years, after seeing his goal accomplished, found that his heart was still in farming. He talked to Garda about returning to the farm. He planned his exit from the Credit Union by talking the Fort St. John Manager, Hubert Orr, to come and be Assistant Manager. This was a promotion for Hubert, because the Lakeview Credit Union was much larger at the time. Gunnar at one time had also asked George Graham (founder of Joy Propane) if he would like to be manager, recognizing the leadership qualities in George. George could not do it at the time, but later went on to establish a very successful business of his own.
Gunnar gradually lost much of the drive he had at first. By 1960, all his goals with the Credit Union had been realized. Running a big Credit Union also had its own anxieties as well. He knew it was time for him to move on and he graciously left the reigns to others in 1960, as he entered semi-retirement but was never able to return to farming.
Garda later married Hubert Orr, and they moved to Penticton in 1974, because of Hubert's health. When Hubert passed away in 1985 she immediately made plans to return to Dawson Creek, and did so in 1986. She loved this country and could not wait to return.
She bought a house and built an imitation fireplace by herself at 80 years of age. She stayed in the house alone until she was 92. She requested to be moved to a care facility as an early childhood polio disease and some falls had caught up to her, leaving her in a wheel chair.
Garda was noted for her very sharp mind even at 95. She always had a quick witty sense of humor. Even when sick, her sense of humor came through.
She was asked about an oral examination the nurses gave her when she was 93. When we questioned Garda what they had asked, she quickly smirked and said "O they asked me if I missed sex".
The examining nurses humorously declared that she had a better mind and was more sane than they were.
She made us and many laugh often with her quick one liners. You had to really be on your toes though. Since she could also very quickly speak her mind in no uncertain terms.
Her last few years physically were hard, but she always showed a measure of happiness and love of life. She had always shown much love for others, especially the elderly in her life time. It made it easy for us to show love to her. She was also loved and cared for very well by many staff at the Pouce Coupe Care Home and Peace Haven.
She was very independent minded. When she asked for help, you knew darn well she could not do it herself, or she would never ask. It helped her with life, but at times she forgot the physical condition she was in and rather than ask for help, when she should have, she suffered some accidents.
At 5 a.m. on July 26, 2001 due to complications from an earlier fall out of bed, while reaching for a dresser drawer (one time that her independent spirit was a detriment), Garda peacefully died.
Seeing our loved ones suffer and die clearly makes one look forward to the fulfillment of the promise given at Revelation 21:4 "And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more; the former things have passed away".
She left to mourn:
Children: Ruby Burka, of Drumheller; Boyd Mortenson, of Rycroft; and Lyle Mortenson, of Dawson Creek. Niece/Stepdaughter, Marilyn Lewis, of Victoria. Grandchildren: Jacquie Williams, of Drumheller, Jannene Disher, Blake Mortenson, and Jane Lepp, of Chetwynd; Wade Mortenson, of Falher; and Todd Mortenson, of Abbotsford. Great-Grandchildren: Liana Hunter, Shawna Bice, Stacy Siller and Gina and Alex Lepp, all of Chetwynd, Amber and Jodi Williams of Drumheller. Great-Great-Grandchildren: Austin Bice of Chetwynd. Spouses of above: Gladys Mortenson, of Dawson Creek, Agnes Ellwood, of Rycroft, Don Disher, Ed Lepp, Garrett Hunter, Joel Siller and James Bice of Chetwynd, and Terry Williams of Drumheller.
Pre deceased by husbands, Gunnar Mortenson and Hubert Orr; and son-in-law, Frank Burka; as well as numerous relatives in Denmark.
Memorial Service to be held at Bergeron Funeral Chapel on Wednesday August 1, 2001 at 2 p.m. Refreshments to follow at Bergeron's.
Arrangements entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd., of Dawson Creek, British Columbia.