Velia Elva Civitarese

Velia Elva Civitarese


We are sad to announce the passing of our mother on April 1st after a short time at the Kootenay

Boundary Regional Hospital.

Predeceased by husband Gino, parents Fanny and Egisto Decembrini, brother Irvo.

Survived by daughters Debbie (Brian) Towns, Kayla (Don) Gurniak. Grandchildren, Brennan (Tracy) Towns, Jenny (Dustin) Parsons, Kyle Gurniak, Andrea Gurniak (Kyle Wong), brother Dino and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mom was born and raised in Trail’s “Gulch”. Etched in our minds are the endless gulch tales

that Mom loved to tell. From pool halls to bootleggers, hardship and happiness, lifelong friends and family; her stories spoke of a tight knit Italian Community- the fabric of Trail.

Much to her mother’s dismay she ditched her embroidery for athletics. Mom made her parents proud, winning blue ribbons in the Butler Park track meets. In her youth she performed in local

theatre productions. In 1947 she was crowned Colombo Queen. Mom attended Trail Business College and later worked for the CP Rail where she met Gino. They were married in 1949. As the train rolled past St Anthony’s Church, their co-workers punctuated the ceremony with

several loud toots of the engine!

Mom loved her job and continued to work for 33 years. When we were teenagers, mom was offered a yardmasters position. (That would have made her the first female yardmaster in CPRail history) She refused the job for two reasons: 1) She needed to keep an eye on her teenagers, 2) It would have made her Dad’s boss. (Not good)

We are thankful to have had such a caring and thoughtful mother who was also as tough as Judge Judy (her favourite show)

She was a fabulous Nona to our children, in fact, she was the Nona of the neighbourhood. Quick with the candy dish, a pizzelle or iced tea. Her love for sports was with her life long, an avid Canucks fan, hockey was her favourite game.

Mom, we’re going to miss you!

Graveside Service for family and friends will be held on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 11:00 am at Columbia Riverview Cemetery in Glenmerry with Father Jim McHugh, Celebrant. Lunch to follow immediately at Holy Trinity Parish. Al Grywacheski of Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services™ has been entrusted with arrangements.

As an expression of sympathy, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation at

4 – 1551 Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna, BC, V1Y 9M9 or online at

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

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