Delphine “Del” Birkenes (nee Wallace)

September 23, 1926 – June 17, 2018
Del to her friends; Wally to her oldest friends; Mom to us Daughters and Sons; took her last breath on the morning of June 17th, 2018.

Del (nee Wallace) was born on September 23rd in Nelson, BC. Her family farmed in Saskatchewan until the Dust Bowl and the Depression eventually compelled them to move back to the Slocan Valley.

Mom shared many stories with us about growing up in the Valley; plus stories from her adventures in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC) at age 18; as well as various jobs she did as a teen and young adult. (Nanny, Labourer in a Potato Chip Factory, Furrier’s Assistant, Waitress, and her favourite – Telephone Operator in Alberta and BC). All of these memories she shared either had us roaring with laughter or gave us pause for reflection.

In 1953, Del met her future husband Robert (Bob). They were a great team for 61 years until his passing in March 2016. Together they raised 5 children: Karen (Jagtar); Jo-Ann, Don, Laurie and Richard. They were the proud grandparents of Shinder (Melvin); Alamjeet (Bobbi); and they were equally proud great-grandparents of Summer, Alaniya, and Monroe.

We remember the two of them working alongside each other as Volunteers in the Boy Scouts, BC Beekeeper’s Association, and SOAR.Mom also did a stint as a cook at Tweedsmuir Camp for the Boy Scouts; as well as helping out at other Church affiliated camps and various Church activities. (Pioneer Girls, Nursery, Sunday School Teacher, Kitchen Ministry, etc…). Many new friendships were formed with these get-togethers.

All of these experiences and being a Domestic Engineer – a.k.a. “Mom”- showed that she embodied the traits of her Mom and Grandma: strong, skillful, resourceful, and loving.

Del’s culinary, seamstress, writing, crafting and artistic skills were exceptional plus a green thumb was evident in her love for gardening.

In today’s world Mom’s curiosity, creativity, and inventiveness would have her posting on Instagram or pinning on Pinterest. We are quite confident that whatever was shared would have received many likes and/or repins. However being modest about her abilities, yet still an extrovert…she wouldn’t have been on Social Media. As always she would be insisting that ‘anyone could do it!’ As a Family, we found that hard to believe given her talents.

Mom is also remembered for her compassion, integrity, feistiness, infectious laugh, radiant smile, humour, and steadfast faith.

She was a voracious reader, a fan of cartoons, jokes, and nothing was more satisfying than finishing a crossword puzzle. Especially if it was done while enjoying one of her favourite foods. (A side of fried green tomatoes; a raw onion and orange sandwich; a stick of old fashioned licorice, or the end slice of her homemade loaf of bread). The latter favourite was due to the fact that it was mostly “all crust”.

Del was predeceased by her Parents – John and Francis; and Brothers Dewey (her twin), Donald, William; Sister Patricia; Nephew Lorne; Sister-in-law Georgina; and many other relatives. Del is greatly missed by her Brother Jay; Brother-in-law Emmanuel (Manolis); and Sister-in-law Joyce. She will be sadly missed and remembered by many nieces, nephews, extended family members, and friends throughout BC, Alberta, New Brunswick, and the States.

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Val – our Mom’s Care Companion – for these past two years. We never knew Angels could fly so low.

Words cannot express enough how thankful we are that our Mom’s Neighbours were always there for her; not only in friendship but also offering practical support.

Also we are very grateful for Physicians Dr. Trenholme, Dr. Tucker, Dr. Aiken as well as the other Physicians and Support Staff at the Riverside Family Medicine Clinic who were involved in the care of our Mom over the years.

Much appreciation also goes to the Pacemaker Clinic Team; in addition to the 3rd Floor Medical Team and staff at KBRH; and the various Professionals at the Kiro Wellness Centre for their care and compassion. All of you played an integral role in our Mom’s life and wellbeing.

Lastly, a big “thank-you” goes out to the entire Team at Castleview Care Centre. Your hard work, dedication, and kindness will always be remembered. It was a peaceful harbor for our Mom to experience during her remaining months.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, August 24th at 10:30 am at the Trail Alliance Church, 3365 Laburnum Drive with Reverend Ken Siemens, officiating. Al Grywacheski of Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services has been entrusted with arrangements.

As an expression of sympathy, please donate to a Charity of your choice or do a random act of kindness.

You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the family’s online register at www.myalternatives.ca

We love you Mom and we know you left this Earth with a full heart. Hugs and kisses…until we meet again.
 Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services

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