November 2, 1930 – April 17, 2014
Gerda died peacefully at the age of 83 in Nelson, BC with her family at her side. Gerda was predeceased by her husband George of over 50 years, sister Cora (Penney) and brother Edwin. She is survived by her two sons, Gregg and Grant (Marty), and grandchildren Liam, Sean, Colleen, Kai and Finn. Gerda’s family extends their heartfelt appreciation to the incredible caregivers at Mountain Lakes Senior’s Community and the many others who supported her in her last years.
Her parents, Anne and Guttorm emigrated from Norway early in the last century and settled near Provost, Alberta. Her Norwegian heritage was important to her. She often made lefse and lutefisk as delicacies, and spoke the language on occasion. Her youth was spent on the family farm, where she loved the prairie life and her horses. She would often reminisce about the freedom they gave and about riding to and from grade school.
Gerda completed business college, enjoyed working, and had shrewd business-sense. She married and moved to BC, living in New Westminster, Surrey, and Sidney. After having children, she was the ideal homemaker – a gracious host with impeccable manners. Everyone was welcome to her dinners and fresh baking. Gerda loved a lively game of cards, particularly canasta, and entertained with music, highballs, smokes and fancy cocktails.
Gerda enjoyed exploring the Gulf Islands by boat and camping around the province. She delighted in the ocean; watching the waves and picnicking at the beach. She was an endless worrier about others, particularly for her active teenage boys. Gerda developed debilitating arthritis in her 40’s which led to her openness and experimentation with alternative therapies. Her success in overcoming this painful affliction speaks to her strength of character. In the early ‘80’s, Gerda and George returned to Alberta to be with her brother, to reconnect with the prairies, and to re-establish ties with many of her old friends. They chose to settle in Bragg Creek where they became active in a community they loved, even enduring the seasonal floods. Gerda kept a garden (just for the local deer, she’d say), and so appreciated the wildlife in her yard.
Gerda is remembered for her beaming smile, her signature red hair and wonderful hospitality. She kept a meticulous home and was set for any occasion that required food, and lots of it; much from her own garden. Gerda always looked sharp and fashionable and bright accoutrements. With a wry humour and the gift of conversation, she kept guests entertained.
As an avid reader, she had a particular interest in spiritual, mystical, and new-age writings and with them, the study of reincarnation and alternate existence. She played the piano and loved listening to her grand-children with their varied musical instruments. She appreciated music of all genres, especially big band dance songs, show-tunes of the ‘50’s, boogie-woogie and the Beatles.
Gerda dearly loved her siblings Cora and Edwin; speaking of them often, and missing them always. Gerda will be interred this summer at the Eyehill Cemetery, near Provost, next to her family. She loved the prairies, watching the wind blowing through the fields.