Arleene Thorpe
Arleene Thorpe

Obituary of Arleene Thorpe

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EULOGY OF

ARLEENE ANN THORPE

1943-2022

 

Hello everyone, first of all I would like to thank you all for coming today and taking the time to celebrate with us the amazing life and memories of Arleene Thorpe.

My Grandma was born on April 10th, 1943, at the Ottawa Civic Hospital to the proud parents of Orrin and Hilda Yendall.  She is the oldest of 3 siblings, followed by Wayne who sadly passed away in 2016 and Earl who is the youngest brother who is currently residing in Ottawa with his wife Tina and their 2 sons Bobby and Tommy. 

She would often tell stories about her childhood growing up as what we like to call an army brat these days. Her father was in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and that meant they were stationed in many provinces all across Canada throughout her younger years.

Grandma was on the Air Force base in Comox, BC when she met, and shortly after, married my Grandpa (Jim) on May 4th, 1963.  Shortly there afterwards they were transferred to Zwrebriichen, Germany where grandpa was stationed with the Canadian Air Force to support Peace Keeping after World War 2, he was kind of a big deal I know. This is where they started their family, both Uncle Paul and my mom Debbie were born over in Germany, in 1964 and 1966 respectively.  A couple years later they all returned to Canada, landing in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba first and then moving out west to Surrey, BC. Where grandpa would run a gas station working as a mechanic and grandma would take her early childhood education program.

Grandma loved the city life, but the Peace Country was always calling to Grandpa.  They packed up and bought a farm in Arras, BC, which for those of you who don’t know is just outside of Dawson Creek. On the farm they started raising Morgan horses and Heart Highway Morgan’s was born.  Although she didn’t ride the horses, Grandma grew to love the farm life and everything about it.

In 1987 they decided to sell the farm and move to town.  The family was growing, in 1988 Paul married Cindy and Debbie married Roland. Grandpa and Grandma decided it was time to build their dream home, and shortly after that the grandchildren started to arrive. First there was Cody, Josh, and Brad and then eventually came me. That is the house where all my memories are. The grandchildren were Grandma’s pride and joy, and it showed. But we also can’t forget that everyone here will tell you she will always be remembered for her signature deviled eggs she brought to EVERY gathering.

I remember one specific time that really showed her; I was about 4 years old, and Grandpa was still alive. I had gone shopping earlier that day with Grandma and she got me this new Snakes and Ladders game that I was just SO excited to play. I absolutely refused to have a bath that night until I got to play this new game, so she made a bargain with me that I could go and play one game with grandpa and then I would have a bath. So, I go running out to Grandpa, all excited, and he just shut me right down and said absolutely not – because he hadn’t heard this clever little bargain. The best part of this story is I just remember Grandma coming out and absolutely CHEWING him out for making me cry.

Grandma had several jobs in Dawson Creek. One of her passions was being involved with the Federal Liberal Party. She even ran for the MLA position in the Peace River riding.  She loved travelling back to Ottawa to be in the thick of things with any liberal conventions that were happening.  I do remember hearing about her being able to get Paul Martin (The Prime Minister at the time) to come and visit Dawson Creek.  She was so proud of herself.

Up until last summer, Grandma worked for Better at Home which is an organization that worked to maintain independent living for seniors. This is why, we’ve decided to ask for donations toward the Better at Home Organization in lieu of flowers, and in memory of Arleene to enable her continuing passion of helping seniors.

 Her other interests revolved around volunteering for many organizations in Dawson. She loved working with the Kiwanis Club, the Peace Chapter 58, Order of the Eastern Star, the Zenobia Daughter’s of the Nile and The Canadian Legion Branch 141, continuing on her roots as a Military Daughter and Wife. She was also an integral part of organizing the Remembrance Day Ceremonies and Dawson Creek Trade Show events, up until a few years ago.

After many years of volunteering, she was recognized with the Chamber of Commerce and given the Volunteer of the Year award. She worked and volunteered right up until she moved out of her house and to her first apartment in 2021. And let me tell you, we all know how much grandma loved her things and after that move I think we all classified ourselves as professional cleaners.  

On a more serious note, I would now like to share a few of messages we’ve received of special moments people have had with Arleene.

 

“I have many great memories of the Christmas Light Tours and working alongside her, with eastern star meetings and events. I will miss her humor and laughter”

 

“Spent many years visiting and working with Arleene, always a smile on her face and time for a chat”

 

“I enjoyed working in the same office as you and volunteering with Better at Home, even if you got a little bossy with me at times”

 

I think these all go to show the incredible impact Arleene had throughout her life on her community and of course, this family. I look forward to hearing the numerous other laughs, stories, and memories we all have had with her over the years.

So. Here’s to her amazing life, loving memory, and new journey that she has embarked on. She will always be in our hearts, greatly loved and missed. 

 

A Graveside Service will be held for Arlene on Friday, March 4, 2022 at 1:00PM.  Everyone will meet at Reynars Funeral Home at 12:30PM and then process out to the Brookside Cemetery.  Pauline Haycock will officiate..

 

Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium

A Memorial Tree was planted for Arleene
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium
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