John Kanda, resident of Pleasant View Lodge in Spirit River, passed away at the Central Peace Hospital in Spirit River on Friday, September 21, 2001 at the age of 75 years. John was born to John (Sr.) And Katherine Kanda on December 3, 1925 in Kimberley, B.C. He was the second oldest of four sons. His family moved from Creston, B.C. when John was 4 years old where they filed for a homestead quarter in the area of Bay Tree, Alberta. John's father passed away in the fall of 1944 when John was 18 years of age. John then took on the task of helping his mother and his younger siblings with the farm. John liked farming and eventually purchased the homestead quarter from his mother and resided with her until her death in 1971. John continued to reside on the homestead quarter after the death of his mother and dedicated his life to farming for 60 years until his move to Pleasant View Lodge in May 2000. John's physical health was deteriorating so he sold his farm and machinery and came to Pleasant View Lodge to enjoy his retirement. John enjoyed his 16 months residency at the Lodge and quickly made new friends and also reacquainted himself with old neighbours at the Lodge, who will all dearly miss him. John is survived by his brother, Robert (Bill) Kanda; nephews Brian (Holly) Kanda and Gary (Beverly) Kanda and nieces Kathy (Richard) Strebchuk and Sharon Spendiff and their families. John was predeceased by his father John (Sr.) Mother Katherine, brothers Nick and Raymond Kanda. Cremation arrangements were under the care of Reynars Funeral Chapel and Crematorium Dawson Creek, B.C.
Robert William (Bill) Kanda
Robert William (Bill) Kanda, a long time resident of Bay Tree, Alberta passed away on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 at the age of 73 years.
Bill was born in Creston, B.C. on December 9, 1927 to John and Catherine Kanda, the third oldest of four children. The Kanda family moved from Creston to homestead in the Bay Tree area in 1930. Bill went to the Many Creeks School, which was a two-mile hike from home, morning and night. After leaving school, he helped with the farming during the summer and worked out of the district during the winter.
In 1952 Bill joined the Navy for five years, serving on various ships and seeing quite a bit of the world including Korea, Japan, Panama, the Caribbean, South America and various stopovers. His time with the Navy was one of the most enjoyable and memorable of his life. He never tired of speaking of his many experiences.
After leaving the Navy he worked for a summer surveying the area for the Mica Dam in southern B.C. In 1958 he purchased a quarter section of land in Bay Tree, which he lived on and farmed until ill health forced him to retirement and moved to Dawson Creek in 1998.
Bill enjoyed the outdoors and spent a great deal of time exploring and hunting in the Saddle Hills. He knew of every moose lick in the area and his knowledge of wildlife and hunting was well known. Bill was also an avid gardener and took great pride in his garden, especially the various rhubarb patches, one variety tracing back to an original plant his family started with when first moving to the area in 1930.
In January 2001, Bill moved to the Hythe Pioneer Lodge where he made many friends and enjoyed reminiscing with fellow pioners.
Bill was predeceased by his father John(Sr.) Mother Catherine, and brothers Nick, John, and Raymond.
Bill is survived and sadly missed by his nephews Brian(Holly) Kanda, Gary(Bev) Kanda, nieces Sharon Spendiff and Kathy Strebchuk and their families.
Cremation arrangements under the care of Reynars Funeral Chapel and Crematorium, Dawson Creek, B.C.
1904 - 2000
Martha Keding (nee Frielich) passed away on May 23, 2000.
She was the daughter of Johane and Emmy Frielich. She was born on Nov. 26, 1904 in a German settlement in the Ukraine. She was one of 11 children.
In 1925, Martha was married to Adolf Keding and soon became the mother of three boys Kurt (Greta), Horst (Emmy) and Erich (Lynda).
Martha and her family survived both World Wars in Eastern Europe, often having to flee from the coming fronts. During WWII, Martha's husband and two sons, Kurt and Horst, were taken prisoner of war. Martha spoke of the anxiety of not knowing when or if they would return and make her family complete again. Happily, they did return and together settled in West Germany after the war.
Martha's youngest son Erich immigrated to Canada in 1952. Martha and Adolf, Horst and Emmy and all their children soon followed in 1958. They all settled in the Dawson Creek area. Kurt was the only son who remained in West Germany with his wife Greta and son Jurgan. In Canada, Martha made several dear friends through the German Community and St. Paul's Lutheran Church.
Although Martha seemed shy and frail-looking, she will always be remembered by those who were close to her as being exceptionally strong, wise and self-determined.
Martha was predeceased by her husband Adolf and three sons. She is survived by seven grandchildren. She will be remembered with much love and admiration by those whose lives came in contact with hers.
Martha now rejoices in the eternal life that has been given to her by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. She is at peace and is forever with the Lord.
Margaret Irene Kennedy
1907 - 2000
Margaret Kennedy, resident of Pouce Coupe and former resident of Dawson Creek, passed away on March 24, 2000 at 93 years of age. A funeral service was held at the Notre Dame Roman Catholic Church, Dawson Creek, B.C., officiated by Father Chris Lynch. Interment followed in the Dawson Creek City Cemetery.
Margaret was born on February 23, 1907 in Lake Wilson, Minnesota, to parents William and Sophia McDermott.
Margaret arrived in the Peace River Country in 1930 and made her home in Dawson Creek ever since. She saw a lot of changes in her community in the last 70 years. She could tell a lot of stories and certainly knew the weather patterns of the 'crops' when it came to seeding. She kept a journal of the weather for all seasons, 365 days a year for many years.
She traveled with her husband on many "Brand Inspector's" tours in the country side. She loved the Peace River country and always bragged about this part of British Columbia.
She was a woman dedicated to her family, church, community and, most of all, her husband. She never neglected a hard days work with her husband at her side when it came to the farm. She loved her grandchildren dearly, caring and worrying about them all. She loved her garden, and her flowers. She was a wonderful cook and homemaker, the 'Cookie Jar' was always full of homemade cookies, and she also enjoyed canning. Margaret always teased that you knew what kind of a housekeeper a woman was by the way she hung her curtains or her clothes on the line! She had a wonderful sense of humour, and had the heartiest laugh of the McDermott family.
Margaret knew a lot about health, herbs, and health stores long before it was fashionable. She showed a great deal of pride in many pieces of crafts, knitting and crocheting made during the long winter months.
She was an active member of the Catholic Woman's League and obtained her 50-year pin with the 'Council' in Dawson Creek. She became a 'Chartered Member' in good standing.
She was predeceased by her husband Clarence Michael Kennedy and her son Larry Kennedy.
She will be dearly missed by her children Lucille Haines (Fred Johnson) of Calgary; Mike Kennedy of Arras, B.C.; Patrick Kennedy of Spirit River, Alta.; and Iris Brittain of Vernon, B.C.; 17 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and nine great-great grandchildren.
Funeral Arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd.
Janice Lavina Kiyawasew
Janice Lavina Kiyawasew a long time resident of Dawson Creek, B.C. and a member of the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation in Alberta; passed away after a lengthy illness on Saturday, December 21, 2002 at the age of 42 years. Janice was born in High Prairie, Alberta on January 14, 1960.
A memorial service was held on April 22, 2003 at 2:00 p.m. from Reynars Funeral Chapel, Father Chris Lynch officiated.
Janice had a great love for the many joys of life but perhaps her greatest joy was being around her family and friends. Janice was greatly influenced by her late Grandmother Isabelle. We remember how hard our Kookum worked and how she always made sure that everyone was fed and clothed properly. Kookum never turned anyone away and she would often be seen feeding and doing whatever she could to help her visitors and neighbors. Observing our grandparents must have had an obvious impact on Janice because the same kindness and generosity that was displayed by both our grandparents was what also made Janice so special to many people that were privileged enough to have known her.
Janice did not turn away anyone who was in need of help. She would often have people stay at her house that had nowhere else to stay. She did not complain, neither did she ask to be paid in any way. Her only payment came in knowing that she did all she could to help others. Janice was someone who would walk into your life when all others walked out. She had a beautiful and loving smile and a laugh that reminded you of someone who had no care in the world but to enjoy the moment. You tended not to take the daily struggles of life too seriously after spending some time with Janice. She just had this calm, patient way about her that made you feel more relaxed and less stressed out. Janice didn't believe in physical punishment for her kids. She tried her very best to be a good mother to her three daughters. Janice also had this soft and quiet presence about her as well, but if someone were to pick on her family or friends then those people would find out quickly just how fierce and fearless she could be when it came to protecting her loved ones.
Janice wasn't just a friend to people. Many people regarded her as a sister, someone who was always there to share her time with anyone who was feeling lonely and just needing someone to talk to. She was the type of person who would share the last of her bread to anyone who was hungry.
Janice loved animals. She would often bring home stray dogs and puppies and she'd take it upon herself to nurture and care for them. She wasn't too fond of cats but if she happened to see one on the street that seemed to be in need of help, there was Janice bringing the cat home.
Janice also had a love for music; she enjoyed listening to her favorite albums or someone playing a guitar.
When Janice was young she spoke the Cree Language. When she was very young some of her uncles would jokingly ask her "tansi Kisikason" (What is your name). Janice would casually reply "Meemin tanta". In her own words what she was trying to say was "Raymond's daughter" in Cree.
Janice would spend time between Dawson Creek and Sturgeon Lake in her youth. When she missed seeing her family and friends in Sturgeon Lake, she would make it a point to go and visit even if it meant having to hitch hike.
Janice loved to swim. She would spend all the daylight hours in the water if she could. You had to literally drag her out of the water. She loved swimming in Sturgeon Lake. In the winter we would toboggan down the hills near our grandparents' house. Janice also loved to ride horses. She had a favorite horse down at a place call Doonans' in Dawson Creek. Janice had a special love for animals and the animals always seemed to respond positively to her.
Janice loved to get together with friends and family for special occasions like Christmas and Birthdays. Janice had a great sense of humor and you could always hear her rich and lively laugh. She was not a person to dwell on anything negative, she had an amazing inner strength. Janice taught others how to love and live life to the fullest.
Janice was predeceased by her maternal grandparents, Constant and Isabelle Kiyawasew and paternal grandparents, Frank and Jeanette Mitchell.
Janice was deeply loved and will be greatly missed by daughters Jessica, Trudy, Kelly and granddaughter Bailey, mother Mary Kiyawasew of Dawson Creek, and father Raymond Mitchell of Debolt, sister Sandra(Richard)Kiyawasew-Webb, Jackie (Gilles) Kiyawasew, Marj Blais, brothers Chris (Bettina)Kiyawasew, and Duncan Kiyawasew. Janice also leaves behind numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends.
Memorial arrangements were under the care of Reynars Funeral Home and Crematorium, Dawson Creek, B.C.
1916 - 2000
Our dear mother, Sara Klassen, went to be with her Lord on March 14, 2000.
She passed away in the Prince George Hospital at the age of 83. Funeral services were held in the Dawson Creek Alliance Church on March 20 with her son, The Reverend Harold Klassen, officiating along with the Reverend Ed Drewlo from the Lakewood Alliance Church of Prince George.
Mom was born in the village of Reinfeld, Saskatchewan. She was the daughter of Benjamin and Anna Schmidt and the sister to five brothers and four sisters.
She attended school in Neuanlage, Sask., and this is where she met her future husband, John Klassen. They were married in 1935. They had one daughter; Lesa, and six sons; John, Ben, Willie, Harold, Gerald and Norman. Willie passed away in 1942 at the age of 18 months and our father passed away in 1985 at the age of 70. Mom was also predeceased by her parents, two brothers, Harry and Benjamin, and great-granddaughter Amara Joy Carelse.
In 1955, Mom and Dad moved to the B.C. Peace River Country where Mom resided until moving to Prince George in 1992.
Mom loved the beautiful autumn colours on the Peace River hills and in the winter the snow laden valleys that gave such a calm, restful look. Being a prairie person and she loved the changing seasons and wide open skies. Mom was an avid gardener and the feel of the earth made her feel close to her creator. Her love for God and His people was very evident.
Mom accepted everyone and was especially accepting of those who were less fortunate. She was a friend of both young and old alike. Mom was caring and had a very gentle, loving spirit about her which she passed along to all her children. There was always a twinkle in Mom's blue eyes and wit in her conversations, which made her a joy to be with.
The past eight years were spent in Prince George, the last three of which she resided in the Parkside Intermediate Care Home where she had many friends.
She is survived be her brothers; Andrew (Rose), Jim (Beth) and Jack (Helen); sisters, Anne Zacharias, Eva Neufeldt, Nettie (Neil) Peters, Mary (John) Sawatzky; her children, daughter Lesa (John) Prins of Prince George and their children Bekki, Jerod and Rachelle; son John (Anne) of Kamloops and their children Tayna (Ben) Becker, Corrie and Trisha; son Ben (Russella) of Prince George and their children Lynae (Darrol) Carelse, Sherryne (Troy) Belbeck and Janelle (David) Lewis; son Harold (Maureen) of Sherwood Park and their children Lois (Ron) Bachmann, Mark (Linda) and Krista; son Gerald of Prince George and formerly of Dawson Creek; son Norman (Kit) of Fort St. John and their children Nicole and Alex. She is also survived by eight great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She will be sadly missed by all who knew her.
Claudia Melody Kloosterman
1984 - 2000
Claudia Melody Kloosterman, resident of Caronport, Saskatchewan, former resident of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, passed away on July 31, 2000 at Pisew Falls, Manitoba, at 16 years of age. A funeral service was held at the St. James Presbyterian Church at 2:00 pm on August 8, 2000, with Pastor Harold Wiest officiating. Interment followed at the Brookside Cemetery.
Claudia was born in Hazelton, British Columbia on January 20, 1984 to Brigitte and Gerard Kloosterman. Before moving to Dawson Creek in 1993, she and her family had also lived in Grande Prairie, Smithers, and Kelowna.
While in Dawson Creek, Claudia attended Ron Pettigrew Christian School for four years and Mountain Christian school for one year. Dawson Creek always held a special place in Claudia's heart due to the great losses she experienced while living here. She lost both her brother and Oma, but the friendships created, and the support given her, always made Dawson Creek very dear to her. After leaving Dawson Creek in 1998, Claudia and her mother moved to Caronport, Saskatchewan where Claudia attended Caronport High School while her mother studied at Briercrest Biblical Seminary.
Claudia enjoyed bicycling, camping, reading stories, swimming, and listening to 'Adventures in Odyssey' tapes. She also loved babysitting and working with children. Her compassion for children, especially those less fortunate, could be seen in her actions, as she donated money from her paper route to sponsor a child for World Vision.
Claudia was a very determined and persistent person. She was uncompromising in those issues which she felt so strongly about. She also had an insatiable thirst to know more about life, and was dreaming of going into nursing; the profession chosen by her mother and her two aunts.
This summer, Claudia worked at Midway Bible Camp near Thompson, Manitoba as a junior counsellor. In her journal, we read how her faith in Christ had grown and how happy she was working with the children at this camp.
On July 31st, Claudia, her mother, and other members of the camp staff were on a day break to visit Pisew Falls for a picnic supper and hike, when Claudia lost her footing on a slippery rock. Claudia went over the falls. Her body was recovered on August 2, two kilometers down river.
Claudia was predeceased by her brother Eric, and by her grandparents Ernest and Hilde Dietzsch.
She is survived by her mother Brigitte Kloosterman of Caronport, Saskatchewan, her father and step-mother Gerard and Fern Kloosterman of Woking, Alberta, her many aunts, uncles and cousins. Claudia is also survived by her many friends and family in Christ.
Words are not adequate enough to express the heartfelt gratitude for the numerous ways your love has been expressed. We thank you for your overwhelming prayers and support.
Funeral Arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services and Crematorium Ltd., of Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
Eileen Sarah Knapp
1920 - 2001
Eileen Sarah Knapp was born November 14, 1920 in Fernie, British Columbia. She passed away July 14, 2001 at Pouce Coupe Care Home in Pouce Coupe, B.C. A funeral service was held at 2 p.m. on July 17, 2001 at the Bergeron Funeral Chapel, Dawson Creek with Reverend Judy Hare officiating. Interment followed in the Peace View Cemetery, Shearerdale, British Columbia.
Eileen moved to Doe River B.C. with her parents in the early 1930's. Eileen was the eldest child of Ted and Sarah Williams. On June 23, 1940 Eileen married Fred Knapp. They raised five children, Gary, Ed, Derek, Marilyn and Janeen.
As a child growing up, Eileen took all her schooling at the Shearerdale School and won a certificate for writing. She also worked at the Doe River Store, exercised horses and was a jockey for Cap Haine. The horse she rode was a brown and white pinto. While raising their family, Eileen was busy cooking, cleaning, planting large gardens, as well as selling eggs, cream, strawberries and raspberries. She also enjoyed being in the plays that were put on at the Doe River Hall. Eileen was also a member of the Shearerdale W.I. for as many years as there was one.
Fred and Eileen farmed for many years in the Doe River area. In later years, after all the children left home and got married, they moved to Dawson Creek. In 1982 they purchased a home on 116th Ave. Eileen took up bowling, curling and playing darts and did a very good job of all of them and has many trophies to show for her efforts. Eileen always enjoyed people coming over for a visit and being able to serve a special meal. She always did an excellent job of entertaining. They also enjoyed travelling. They have visited England, Alaska and Australia.
In the year of 1994, Eileen was overtaken by Alzheimers. In 1996, Eileen became a resident of Peace River Haven, where she could get the care she needed. As the sickness progressed she was moved to Pouce Coupe Care Home in 1998, where she remained until her passing away on July 14th. Eileen had a long hard fight with this sickness. She took the challenge with the greatest of strength and courage that no person could ever imagine.
Eileen leaves to mourn her husband of 61 years, Fred Knapp. Her sons: Gary (Pierrette), Ed (Oonagh), Derek (Elaine); daughters: Marilyn (Horst) and Janeen; her sister, Dorothy Hart and sister-in-law Phyllis Williams, numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Eileen is predeceased by her mother and father, Ted and Sarah Williams, brother and sister-in-law, Dave and Ella Williams, sister and brother-in-law, Lillian and Dick Bernard, and brother, Jim Williams.
The family would like to take this time to say a special thanks to all the staff at Pouce Coupe Care Home, for all their care and love they gave our mother and wife in her time of need.
And special thanks to all that are here today to help us through this day. Thank you!
We love you mom!
Harold Earl Knowles
Harold Knowles was born on April 11, 1917 in Regina, Saskatchewan to Frederick and Beulah Knowles. As a young lad he loved to ride the freight steam engines with his father. He delivered telegrams for the Canadian Pacific Railway on his bicycle and sold newspapers on the street corners of Regina.
In 1930 his mother, brother, Dave, and sister, Irene, moved to the Doe River area where the children attended school in Rolla. It was at this time that they received word that their father would not be joining them as he had passed away. The family moved to Bonanza, Alberta and Harold had to go to work to help support the family.
During this time he acquired many skills, one of which included plowing with an eight-horse hitch. He also cut brush by hand and logged with horses. Many of the people that he worked with included the Iverson's, Dick's, Hull's, Guay's, the Moxness brothers and Dick Cross.
He worked for the McDonald's in the Rolla area breaking land with an eight-horse hitch. Working alongside him were his very close friends Carmen Pettit and Tony Johnson. They then endeavoured to make a living logging with their own teams of horses. Harold's team was two Percheron half-brothers named Buck and Bob. He later sold the team to Tom Hingley who worked them for a while before retiring them on his farm.
Harold then went to work for Bill Broadway in 1939. It was during this time that he met and courted Bill and Kay's daughter, Mary. They were married on October 10, 1939. Over the next few years they had three sons (Jack, Harry and Dennis) and two daughters (Lorraine and Lucille).
In 1941, Harold drove the Broadway truck and hauled freight for Wilson Freightways and Spinney Trucking. While trucking along the Alaska Highway he was approached by a Sergeant of the American Army and was offered a job as a grader operator at the Swift River Army maintenance camp (Mile 733). The family was moved to Swift River where they resided at the army base. In 1955, due to his acquired skills as a grader operator, Harold was offered a transfer to the Whitehorse Maintenance camp to help in the construction of a large new subdivision.
In 1957, the family moved to Dawson Creek where he worked for Joe and Nick Kosick, operating heavy equipment for Dawson Creek Sand and Gravel. His time working with Joe turned out to be the most memorable experience of his career as Harold formed a deep and long-lasting friendship with Joe that lasted his lifetime. He then worked for Columbia Bithuletic as a finishing grader operator. In 1966, he went to work as an equipment operator and service crew foreman at the WAC Bennett Dam.
Harold then undertook a new and unusual career as a business owner/operator with 'Dot' at Yellow Cabs. In the spring of 1969, he went into partnership with Jack Venkers and bought United Cabs. His next business endeavour was to get into the pilot car business, followed by his final business venture - that of becoming an owner/operator of a trucking business with his son, Jack. The trucking business included hauling freight, fuel and logs.
In 1976, Harold decided to enjoy life and retire. During his retirement years he enjoyed doing many things. Every day he could be found out biking his 15-20 kilometres around the Malls or the Northern Lights College Campus.
Mary and Harold traveled extensively throughout B.C., Alberta, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. He was an avid snowmobile enthusiast and won several trophies as the most senior trail and mountain participant.
Fishing was another of his favourite outdoor activities. He enjoyed going out with his grandsons, Shawn Kropp and many of his fishing buddies George Hull, Max Walters, Tom Hingley and Walter Broadway. It was also an annual event to go hunting with his sons. He had many stories to talk about after these escapades - some good some bad.
Other activities that he thoroughly enjoyed and participated in were floor curling and bowling. One morning activity that became a part of his life three days a week was walking with the Happy Hoofers for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. He met some wonderful people there, and the socializing became as important to him as the walking. Even after he was unable to actively participate, he would still go and meet with the group for coffee. He would usually sit with his longtime friends, Fred Flavelle and Pat Farrell.
In 1995, Harold met his new friend and companion, Flo Hyde. During the ensuing years they enjoyed each other's company and spent many hours at the Co-op and McDonald's. Playing bingo throughout the area was one of their favourite pastimes.
Harold entered the hospital on December 1 due to complications with his diabetes and heart disease. He was such a strong man, and amazingly on Christmas morning, he was able to leave the hospital and spend several hours with most of his family gathered around him. He passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early morning hours of December 27 at the Dawson Creek hospital.
Harold was a man with a mission and that was to enjoy his life and live it to the fullest. He had a great sense of humour and could entertain old and young alike with his captivating tales of his life experiences.
Harold was predeceased by his parents, his wife, Mary, in August of 1990, and his son, Harry, in December of 1991.
He will be sadly missed by all of his family members - his sons, Jack (Elaine), Dennis; his daughters, Lorraine Sumners (Fred), and Lucille Jacobsen (Bud); sister, Irene Morris, and brother, Dave Knowles (Edith); grandchildren: Troy Knowles, Colleen Knowles, Devonna Redmond (Carl), Diana Hall (Jay), Terina Dyck (John), Kathy DeWolfe (Stuart), Sandra Bassett (Greg), Scott Sumners (Trina), Brad Jacobsen, Brock Jacobsen (Tina), as well as many nieces and nephews.
Harold also thoroughly enjoyed the great grandchildren who lived nearby. They
Herbert Joseph Koecher
1925 - 2001
A Funeral Service for the late Herbert Koecher of Gundy B.C. was held on Tuesday August, 7th 2001 at 2 p.m. from Reynars funeral Chapel. Rev, Warren Brower officiated.
A famous philosopher once said: "Your reward in the hereafter is directly related to what you were after when you were here"
Herbert Joseph Koecher was born in Bodenbach, CSR on September 2, 1925. His early childhood and education was interrupted by Hitler's regime in 1938. Herb's family became separated with his father and one brother fleeing to England, while his mother, his other brother, and himself attempted to leave for Poland. Unfortunately a border patrol captured the family, which resulted in Herb's mother being sent to jail and the two boys spending six weeks in an orphanage.
Following their mother's release, the family was hastened out of the Polish country by German police. Determined to be reunited with the rest of the family, they gratefully accepted the help of the underground resistance. After a 30 mile walk, the trio was placed on a ship to England where the father and brother were anxiously awaiting their safe arrival. Three weeks later, the Koecher family boarded the Montrose bound for Canada. After arriving, the family eventually traveled across the country and settled in Tupper, B.C. on July 5, 1939.
The family originally established themselves in what was known as the West Group, and later moved on to the East Group. Eventually, the family was able to obtain their own land and proceeded to clear the home quarter by hand. Money was short and Herb's father, like so many others, left for Fort Nelson to work for the army on the Alaska Highway. The three boys in an effort to help make ends meet, cut, split and delivered firewood to Pouce Coupe for $3 per cord, in addition to completing the chores at home.
After the war, Herb went to work in his father's logging camp by east Gundy. It was here that he first met a young cook by the name of Joyce Rule. In an obvious example of getting to a man's heart through his stomach, the result was that the two were married July 1948. Herb was part of a successful farming and logging operation with his father from 1947~1963, when his father's health began to fail.
Herb was only 13 when he came to Canada, and had only completed six years of grade school.
As was the case with many Sudeten youngsters, he was placed in a school in Gundy to learn the English language. However, Herb had the misfortune to meet the original miss Meade, who was a notoriously strict teacher. This encounter likely resulted in Herb cutting his education short. Through hard work and determination, Herb learned to do by doing. Over the course of his life as a welder, mechanic, lumberjack, machine operator, etc, he gained his diploma from the school of Hard Knocks, where mistakes cost you real money.
I remember my first meeting with Herb on a cold winter morning in 1948. The winter of 1948 was one of the coldest years ever on record. We were in the throes of a great blizzard which blew shut all roads and there was a definite lack of snowplow equipment in those days. Along comes Herb bundled up in an old TD9, Joe walking behind him and their dad driving the fuel truck. The temperature was -55F and you could hear the convoy for miles. The heroic trio plowed all of the side roads from Tupper to Chapman Hill.
The Fister and Koecher families have always been close friends. My mother and Herb's mother were classmates in Bodenbach school in 1906-7. Our father's often helped each other as they worked off the farm. So it came as no surprise when my father took ill in 1956 that the Koechers were there to offer their support. Getting to and from Dawson Creek was not easy in those days, as vehicles were few and far between.
They made sure that we could get to town for Dad's pills, drove him back and forth to the hospital, and when my father passed away, Herb dug the burial site by hand. It should be mentioned that all of this occurred during the harvest time, and my mother told the Koechers that they should not leave their farming duties. Herb's remark was "we will make time!!!" I am eternally grateful for his help and will never forget it.
I, as with many other men from the area worked in the Koechers' logging camp. It was here that I began to see what a supper human effort Herb put in when logging. The snow that year was chest deep in the bush. Herb would throw his old 40 Pioneer chainsaw, gas jug and his axe on his shoulder and literally wallow from tree to tree. He also hopped on his cat and plowed roads so that he could skid the tree to the mill. Once the trees were bucked into 16 foot lengths, he would have someone roll them down a steep slope on the rollway and catch them on the fly with a huge cant hook.
I marveled at how he could dance around down there, when a miss with one of those 3 foot diameter logs coming at you could mean you might lose more than your hat. As versatile as Herb was in the entire logging operation, he was the best at the carriage, setting dogs two at a time. Joe used to say that it was the 3 C's logging company. Herb canting, Joe counting, and the old man cutting. I can see him sitting under the old army "Deuce and a half " 6X6 thawing out frozen gas lines with his bare hands on the evening trip home.
By spring he was in such good condition that he could nearly tear out a spruce tree by the roots. He was a large man almost 270 pounds, but could run like the wind and as quick as a cat on his feet. His fathers' failing health led to the end of the saw milling operation, so Herb entered the public workforce. After a brief stint as setup man Parkland Equipment in Dawson Creek, he was swept up with the dreams of
"Big Bucks" at the Bennett Dam In the years that followed, he worked at the Peace Canyon, Taylor Refinery and in various other positions across Canada from Dease Lake to Churchill Falls in Labrador. His last big construction job was to work on the Tumbler Ridge Coal Mine.
Herb's reputation for hard work was such that one needed only to mention some of these legendary monikers "the Bionic Backhoe, the Gundy Gorilla, the Human Crane, and Hi-ab Herb" and people knew who you meant. Herb truly built his own legend in the construction industry.
He was always on top of the union call out list and many contractors wanted him hired by name alone. He was often the first one hired and the last one laid off, many times having to write out his own layoff notice! He never backed down from any job, and typically the tougher the work, the better he liked it.
Stories abound on construction sites regarding Herb's incredible work habits and strength. He is reputed to have literally buried two younger men at the Taylor refinery because they could not shovel the dirt away as quickly as Herb could dig and throw it out of a six foot ditch. At the Bennett Dam construction site, he carried concrete pipe joints on one shoulder that normally took two men to carry. I am not sure where this incident occurred, but he is rumored to have taken a 120 pound "Peter Schmidt" anvil and held the pointed end with one hand for one minute on a wager.
A big man with a healthy appetite, Herb loved his food. He used to pack the biggest lunch bag in camp. After his retirement he took up cooking as a hobby. He could whip up the biggest, juiciest steak this side of the Rockies. And as many people can attest, it was your fault if you went home from his place hungry.
I would like to add to one more moniker to the ones I mentioned earlier. "Honest Herb" always paid his bills, he never owed anyone for any length of time. If he owed you money, he would find you and settle the debt quickly. His motto was simple. "A days work for a days pay".
He was the type of man I was very glad to call a friend, the kind of man one would want in your corner when things got rough. He was a man who didn't mince words. If he liked you, you had a friend for life. If he didn't, he would tell you to go to Hell and wouldn't care if the trip was enjoyable or not.
Herb and Joyce have left behind a legacy of honesty and hard work. This is not something you can buy nor can it be built in a day, a week or a month. It takes an entire lifetime of building respect, trusting yourself and then passing that Code of Ethics to your children. It is the best memorial that your parents could have left.
Herb was predeceased by his parents, his wife Joyce, and his brothers Joe and Kurt. He is survived by his children: Sybel (Ernie); Carl (Donna), Adam, Carlyn, Annette, David, Dawny,
Jonathan; Herb (Debbie) Jeremy, Andrew; Rolland (Debbie) Brandon, Courtney; Crystal (Kevin) Tygh, Kelsey Lardner; Eddie Luke, Colby, Kristen; Tony (JoAnn), Justin, Jade; Sisters-in-law Ursulla and Mary Koecher and numerous relatives in Germany.
A special acknowledgment from the family and friends must go out to Al and Mary Henschel for chauffeuring Herb around on business and pleasure when his eyesight had diminished to the point where he was no longer able to drive himself. A mobile man like Herb would have surely gone stark raving mad had he been "confined to barracks". Herb did not want to be a burden on anyone.
He often said that his final wish was to die in his sleep on his farm with his shoes on. We should all be so lucky. A song, Circle of Life by Elton John was dedicated to Herb from all of his children and grandchildren.
Herb's cremated remains were interred in the family plot at the Tomslake cemetery following the funeral service.
Funeral Arrangements were under the care of Reynars Funeral Chapel and Crematorium.
1930 - 2000
Kurt Koecher passed away at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria on Jan. 7, 2000 during a struggle with lung cancer.
Kurt had just turned 69 years old on Dec. 16. Kurt was born in Politz, Czechoslovakia to parents Josef and Emma Koecher.
Kurt was the youngest of three boys, Joseph passed away on March 15, 1995; Herb Koecher, born Sept. 2, 1925, is left to mourn.
Kurt spent his first eight childhood years in Czechoslovakia until his family fled their homeland to escape conflict and start a new life for their families in Canada. They walked 30 miles to Poland and received help from the Organized Party. They then travelled to England on a boat called the Warszawa. They then travelled on a boat called the Montrose from Liverpool to Montreal. They arrived in Tupper, B.C. on July 5, 1939.
Kurt and his family were taken by horse and wagon to the community of Tomslake. They lived in a tent surrounded by mud. They started their new life farming in Canada. They worked hard, raising livestock and harvesting for local farmers. Later they purchased a sawmill and went logging east of Gundy.
The family bought two cats and started doing custom work of clearing land for local families. Joe, Herb and Kurt worked hard to settle into their new country and provide for their family.
Kurt met Mary Hodak on Sept. 15, 1951 at Annie and Han's Pohl's wedding dance in Tomslake. They went together for one year and were married in Notre Dame Catholic Church on Nov. 8, 1952 in Dawson Creek. After one week of marriage, Kurt bought Mary a present; it was a washboard. This was later used a lot as they had seven children. Kurt and Mary have seven wonderful children, Gretel, Annabell, Rosie, Lilly, Marian, Dianne and last but not least, finally after six girls, they had a son, Frank Joseph Gerald Koecher.
Kurt and Mary have five sons-in-law, Eric, Larry, Lawrence, Brian, Dan and one daughter-in-law, Shelly.
Kurt also has 14 grandchildren Kathy, Aaron and Serena; Angela and Jennifer; Monica and Amanda; Bryce and Brianne; Curtis and Terri; Anthony and Nicole and Trent.
Kurt and Mary were blessed just this year with two great grandchildren born one day apart from each other: Taiya and Anton.
Kurt also leaves to mourn his brother-in-law Frank Hodak and his wife Colleen and their seven children of Dawson Creek and sister-in-law Ursula Koecher of Gundy.
Kurt has always been a very hard worker, working steady both on and off the farm. Kurt worked with his father and brother Herb in their sawmill until he went to work for Fort St. John Lumber. Later Kurt purchased a water truck and began hauling water for the oil rigs. Kurt also opened his own service station in Dawson Creek called Rainbow Service. Kurt then worked for Dawson Universal Sales as a mechanic, shop foreman and then promoted as service manager.
In 1973, Kurt and Mary sold their farm and bought a house on Reasbeck Crescent. In 1974, Dawson Universal Sales went under new management. Kurt moved his family to Fort Nelson and worked for a GM car dealership. In 1975, Kurt and his family moved to Campbell River and worked as a service manager for three years, in a logging camp for two years.. In 1980, Kurt opened his own service station called Kurt and Guy Automotive. Kurt was a mechanic while Mary did the bookkeeping for 15 years until 1995 when they both retired.
Kurt and Mary enjoyed five relaxing years of retirement together. Kurt and Mary enjoyed listening to opera and German music in the comfort of their warm gas fireplace. Kurt took great pride in his love of cars, you could always have a good conversation about mechanics and antique cars.
Kurt cooked pancake breakfasts for the Knights of Columbus. He was in charge of the sausage and bacon. He would do this once a month in the wintertime.
Two years ago, Kurt fulfilled his dream to learn to paint and enrolled in a weekend class. Kurt created many beautiful paintings, which we will all treasure. Kurt has been a wonderful, caring husband during Mary's surgery and back injury. Kurt learnt how to garden and take care of all the household chores. He did so with no complaints... except for the weeding.
Kurt was diagnosed with lung cancer on Dec. 1, 1999. During Kurt's illness he has shown us remarkable courage and strength. He was brave for all of us and kept his sense of humour. Kurt could also see Mary's stamina and felt reassured she had the strength to go on. Kurt never lost faith and hoped to return home to Campbell River. He accepted he couldn't and went to rest peacefully on Jan. 7, 2000.
Although we are all very sad that Kurt is no longer with us, Kurt's death has taught us a great deal about life. Kurt was a man of few words, but when he spoke in his deep voice, you listened.
Friends and family relationships are very important to Kurt and Mary; they loved each other and every one of their seven children and 16 grandchildren very much.
Kurt will always be a part of our lives. As long as you hold someone in your heart, you will never lose them.
Kurt, Rest in Peace until we meet again.
August 28, 1912 to February 25, 2002
Adolph Krapp, resident of Dawson Creek, British Columbia passed away February 25, 2002 at the age of 89 years.
A funeral service was held at 2:00 pm on March 1, 2002 at Notre Dame Roman Catholic, Dawson Creek, with Father Chris Lynch officiating. Interment followed in the Dawson Creek City Cemetery.
Eulogy read by Judy Tremblay:
Adolph was born in Garden City, Kansas on August 28, 1912. He was the eldest son of Joseph and Anna Marie Krapp One of eleven children.
Along with his parents and older sister, Emma, they moved to Friedenstal in 1914, where they took up homesteading. It was there, years later, that he met Mary Heck and they were married February 26, 1935.
Together they had five children: Frank, Sal, Hubert, Pauline and Fred. They resided in Friedenstal until 1957 when they decided to settle in Dawson Creek.
After their arrival, Adolph worked for McKinnon Equipment for a short while then went to work for Frank's Grocery. In 1961, Adolph and Frank opened up a Shell Service Station. He continued this until his retirement in 1975. After retirement he found he needed something to do so he started repairing lawn mowers and small motors. He continued this until Mary's health started to fail in 1993. He continued to look after Mary until her death in September 1996.
Adolph or "Grandpa", as he is known to us, was not only a grandfather but a father to all of us. He was a very caring person who would do anything for anyone. His family was most important to him. He was a good listener and a strong support to all his family.
After Mary (Grandma) passed away, Grandpa was very lonely and would make his weekly trips visiting his daughters, Sal and Pauline and his sisters, Ledvina and Martha. It usually was the same day each week so we all knew he was coming.
He took great pride in his garden, raising pumpkins for his sixteen great-grandchildren. No one had to put in a garden as he grew enough to supply all of us.
Grandpa loved to play cards and would challenge anyone to a game of crib. He was very much a people person and loved to make a conversation with anyone. He would take daily trips to the boys' garage just for coffee and a good visit with their customers.
He was very proud of his grandchildren: Rene (Terri) Tremblay, Denise (Randy) Soderquist, Steve (Judy) Tremblay, Armand (Rhonda) Tremblay, Donna (Kevin) Blocka, Charene (Murray) Pratt, and Dean (Julie) Gerwien. He has 16 great-grandchildren, eight boys and eight girls.
Adolph leaves to mourn: two sons, Frank (Martha) Krapp, Fred Krapp (Wanetta Keith), two daughters, Sal (Lucien) Tremblay, Pauline (Lyle) Gerwien, one brother, Bernard (Madeline) Krapp, two sisters, Katie Schneider, Martha (John) Frank, and two brothers-in-law, Ed Soucie (Mary Dupuis), and Tony Dechant, one Aunt, Ledvina Becher, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Adolph was predeceased by his wife Mary in 1996, son Hubert in 1960, one brother, Florian, six sisters, Maria, and Maria, Emma, Elizabeth, Ledvina, Sister Celestine, and a brother-in-law, Adolph Schneider.
Lastly, I want to stop and just thank God for giving us a great man:
"Our Grandpa, Adolph Krapp."
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd., Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
1932 - 2001
Wandy Kravontka, resident of Grande Prairie, Alberta, former resident of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, passed away in Grande Prairie, on April 2, 2001 at 68 years of age. A funeral service was held at 2:00 pm on April 9, 2001 at Notre Dame Roman Catholic Church, Dawson Creek, with Father Chris Lynch officiating. Interment followed in the Brookside Cemetery, Dawson Creek.
Wandy was born in Jarvie, Alberta. He moved to Dawson Creek, BC in 1953. He started his own business, 'Wandy's Concrete Works' in 1960. In 1970, Wandy started his own commercial construction business, named 'Wandy's Construction Ltd.', which he owned and operated until his health failed.
In March of 1999, Wandy and Chris relocated to Grande Prairie, AB. Wandy insisted on maintaining an active influence in the Dawson Creek Community through the Dawson Creek Rotary Club. Wandy will be missed dearly, and his memory will live forever.
Wandy was predeceased by his parents, Martin and Elisabeth Kravontka, and a brother Ed Kravontka.
He is survived by his wife, Chris; sons, Leonard (Sheila), and Rick (Brenda); grandsons, Damian and Jared; brothers, Frank (Ethel) Kravontka, and Johnny Kravontka; sisters, Mary (Bert) Filwok, and Anne (Lorne) Crauser; sisters-in-law, Sybil Mulyk, and Elsie Winter; as well as numerous nieces and nephews, and many friends.
Wandy's family wish to thank: Father Chris Lynch, the pallbearers, Ray and Eileen Cowan, the C.W.L for a lovely lunch, Dr. Thur Wang of Grande Prairie, The Grande Prairie Ambulance Service, Emergency Medical Team, and RCMP. A special thank you to Sybil, Elizabeth, Randy and Nancy Mulyk for their continued support and help. Thank you for all the flowers, meat trays, and donations to the Diabetic Association. Thanks to Bergeron Funeral Services and Crematorium, we appreciated everything you did for us. We apologize if we missed thanking anyone.
Wandy was a great husband, father, grandfather and friend. He will be sadly missed.
-Chris, Leonard, Rick, Brenda, Sheila, Damian, and Jared.
Funeral Arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd., Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
Edith Marie Kreuzinger
1933 - 2000
Edith Marie Kreuzinger, devoted wife, mother and grandmother, a resident of Dawson Creek, British Columbia and former resident of Tomslake, British Columbia passed away on June 16, 2000 in Dawson Creek, B.C. at 67 years of age. She was born on May 15, 1933 in Fridrichsdorf, Czechoslovakia and was the only child of Anna Roehrich.
In 1949, along with her mother, she immigrated to Canada and lived on the farm of her aunt in Tomslake. It was during this time that she met Arnold and they were married in 1950. They continued to live in Tomslake until 1960 when they moved to Dawson Creek.
Mom loved to spend time in her garden, as this was one of her favorite pastimes. She enjoyed growing all types of flowers and vegetables.
During the winter months she would be busy knitting sweaters and socks as well as working on other handicrafts.
Mom had a great sense of humor and loved to have social gatherings. She would spend many hours cooking and baking. Her baking was well known among family and friends, especially the Black Forest cake, which was delicious! Mom also spent many years working at the Crest Theatre and Ranch Drive-In with her husband, Arnold.
We are in debt to the many doctors, nurses and home care workers who cared for our mom over the last number of years.
Edith was predeceased by her mother, Anna Roehrich; son, Karlie. She is survived and fondly remembered by her husband Arnold; children Erwin (Marilyn) Kreuzinger of Dawson Creek; Carol (Mark) Webster of Adelaide, Australia; Tony Kreuzinger (Jenny McKeon) of Kitimat, B.C.; Tom Kreuzinger of Dawson Creek; and Terry Kreuzinger of Dawson Creek.
She also leaves six grandchildren: Ian, Andrea, Alicia, Jess, Bowen and Brenden.
Mom's last wishes were to be with her son, Karlie, so her ashes will be interred in Tomslake.
Expressions of sympathy may be made in memory of Edith by way of donation to the Dawson Creek and District Hospital Foundation, Dawson Creek, B.C., VlG 3W8.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services sand Crematorium Ltd., Dawson Creek.
1922 - 1999
Anna Kulachkosky, better known as Ann Kulachkosky, resident of Dawson Creek, B.C., and former resident of Bay Tree, Alta, passed away after a very brief illness at Dawson Creek and District Hospital on Dec, 23, 1999 at the age of 77 years.
Father Chris Lynch and Father Tom Magusin celebrated Ann's final Mass on Dec. 28, 1999 at Notre Dame Parish. Ann's wish was to be cremated and her ashes interred with her husband Nick at the Dawson Creek City Cemetery.
Ann was born on March 2, 1922 in Secovska Polonka, Czechoslovakia. She was the first child of Mike and Mary Sajtovich. Ann came to Canada in 1933 with her mother and younger brother Mike to join their father in the Bay Tree area.
On May 5, 1941 Ann married Nick Kulachkosky who had a small store. After World War II, Ann and Nick built the Bay Tree Store, which also was the Post Office and their home. In 1951 the UFA Bulk Fuel Agency was built in Bay Tree and they were the first Agents. After Nick's death in 1972, Ann and her son Bill ran the businesses until 1975.
On moving to Dawson Creek, Ann joined the Hospital Auxiliary and was a very active member. She donated many hours to growing African violets to sell in the shop. In the past few years, she donated half of her basement to the 'Flower Ladies' so they could come and make floral arrangements that were also sold in the shop. Ann loved growing flowers and she won many ribbons and trophies at various fairs. Her garden, flowerbeds and hanging baskets were the envy of many over the years.
Ann's faith was an integral part of her life. She daily prayed the Rosary and belonged to the Catholic Women's League. She loved baking cakes and tarts for the CWL Bazaar and selling raffle tickets at the mall. She used that time to catch up with her many friends on both sides of the border.
Her parents and her husband predeceased Ann.
Her son Bill (Pat) Kulachkosky and daughter Joyce (Jim) Birlew, and grandchildren Kristin and Michael Kulachkosky and Tara and Brad Birlew will lovingly remember her. She also leaves to mourn her brothers Mike (Ev) Sajtovich, John (Helen) Sajtovich, sisters Mary (Walter) Kulachkosky and Marg (Bob) Lowther.
1922 - 2001
Carolyn Kyle, resident of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, passed away on April 30, 2001 in Dawson Creek at 79 years of age. A memorial service was held on May 3, 2001 at 2 p.m. at the Bergeron Funeral Chapel, Dawson Creek, with Beverly Dunsmore officiating. Carolyn's cremated remains were interred with her son, Jim, in the Dawson Creek City Cemetery.
She was born on March 14, 1922 in Crocus, North Dakota, United States, the fifth child born to Charles and Elizabeth Murray. In October of 1928, the family moved to the Peace River Country and homesteaded in Kilkerran, north of Dawson Creek.
Carolyn married Robert 'Bus' Kyle on June 21st, 1945. They had three children; Jim, born in 1946, Bob, in 1948, and Cathy, born in 1949. Carolyn was a devoted wife and mother, her family was the center of her life. She was a hockey mom, a full time mom who was always there for her family. Carolyn leaves her children with many happy memories. She was their protector, teacher of life and values, their confidante, an example of honesty, always loving and supportive. She enjoyed being with family and friends, gathering together for Barbecues, Christmas Eves, it didn't matter what the occasion was, those were the times she loved the best.
She loved life and she lived it to the full. In later years she was active with the Dawson Creek Senior Citizens, in particular, she enjoyed floor curling.
Carolyn was predeceased by her husband, Bus; her son, Jim; and her great-grandson, Brandon.
She will be lovingly remembered by her son, Bob (Fiona); her daughter, Cathy (Michelle); grandchildren, Bill (Lysiane), Connie (Mike), and Terri (Jordan); her sisters, Mabel and Tenni; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral Arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services and Crematorium Ltd., Dawson Creek, British Columbia.