On April 27, 2018, I passed away in the loving care of Haven Hill Retirement Centre after a great life.
At age 2 in 1921, I first arrived in my beloved Penticton on the SS Sicamous! Doctors had told my parents, Sydney & Ada (nee Hambley) Killick to move me from New Westminster to the Okanagan’s dry climate to prevent TB. It worked! I was the last surviving of their 6 kids: Dora, Gilbert, Irene, George and Hilda Killick.
We lived in a canvas tent while Dad built our first home on Van Horne Street. We had free run of the town, lakes and hillsides. Back then, no one worried where their kids were! We’d swim out to the paddle wheelers docked in front of the original Incola Hotel. We’d paddle canoes in summer, skate in winter on the lakes or Guernsey’s Pond, and dance into the night at the Aquatic Club where the big bands played enroute from Vancouver to Calgary.
While working at the packing house in 1939, I fell in love with Douglas Haig Gawne, brother to Mac, Bud and Bill, who grew up on Naramata orchards homesteaded by their parents, Jim and Edith Gawne. We married just before Doug shipped to England with the Calgary Tanks for a long, hard overseas stay, capped by the horrors of the Dieppe landing. While Doug was away, I purchased a little home on Ellis Street (with an outhouse in the back) and birthed our first handsome son, Gerry (Dianne) who started as Ger the Bear on CKOK Penticton radio, later at KING radio and advertising/ writing in Seattle.
Doug returned to a lifetime job as Collector of Customs in Penticton where we raised two more kids: Arlene Gawne (Chuck), a realtor/African wildlife artist/ photographer, and Jim Gawne (Ina), a musician/computer specialist. We built and sold houses from the West Bench to Carmi Heights, kept a beautiful orchard and gardens, and travelled in our camper van across western Canada and US, with a flying visit to the Isle of Man and Scotland. After Doug passed in 1996, I visited Italy, Bali and Australia to enjoy their art. Now our grandkids: Graham, Gillian, Jenna and Jarrod, and great-grandkids: Mason, Sawyer, Sophie, Finn, Jackson and Carter are scattered across North America. Name a place and our offspring want to see it!
In my mid-Fifties, I added two more passions to my busy life. I played golf into my late Eighties and even hit 2 Holes-In-One on the Penticton course. Into my Nineties, I painted the striking beauty of the Okanagan with its rolling bench lands, sage brush, clay cliffs, lakes and its amazing Syilx people.
I declare Penticton to be the best place to live in the whole world! Please preserve its natural beauty long after I am gone.
My 100th birthday party will now become the Big Wake on the Lake, Okanagan, on August 26, 2018. I’ll be there in spirit, so watch out!
Memories may be shared by visiting www.everdenrust.com