Verna Salekin

Verna Salekin

January 16, 1938 – March 6, 2015

Verna passed away peacefully in the early hours of March 6, at Trail Regional hospital.

She was born to Irene and Bill Elasoff in Salmo on the family farm. There she grew up with older brother Bill and sisters Lucy and Mary. Farm chores were always on the agenda for everyone but late summer days were remembered for trips to Porcupine Creek for huckleberries which were plentiful in Salmo country and which were sold to customers from as far away as Washington state.

Verna had to come to Castlegar to finish high school which she was able to do because sister Lucy and hubby John Popoff lived there.

It was in Castlegar that she met her future husband Fred. Both graduated from Stanley Humphries High School in 1956 after which Verna attended business school in Trail.

Verna and Fred were married in 1958 by which time she found work with Canada Post under the tutelage of Russel Deans well known in the community

After a year in Victoria the Salekin family – Arlene was born in 1959 – moved to Princeton, later to Nelson and eventually back to home turf in Castlegar.

Robson became the family’s home and in time the birth of son Barry and daughter Renita completed the family. A good garden ensured that the family was well fed. Verna was especially proud of her fruit cellar which was wall – to wall jars full of canned goodies – tomatoes and peaches, pears and jams enough to supply the Russian army it was said. Of course the deep freeze was loaded with the obligatory huckleberries and mushrooms. Visiting children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren never left without boxes of preserved stuff from Verna’s labour of love.

When the children became independent Verna returned to employment with Canada Post, first as clerk and later as postmistress in Robson. Nearly everyone in Robson came to know her and she was able to memorize all the post office box numbers of those she served. When the Robson post office was closed, she had to commute to Montrose where she served as postmistress until her retirement.

Left to mourn are her immediate family, husband Fred, daughters Arleen Langille and Renita Lennon, and brother Bill Elasoff of Nelson. She was predeceased by her son Barry in August 2014, by her parents, and by her two older sisters and their husbands. She is survived by four grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Her family will be forever grateful to the friends who helped her in her troubled times especially Norma Waldron and Grace.

Thanks also to Drs. Dixon-Warren, Treholm and the staff at Trail Hospital. And finally, thank you to Gwen and the staff of Alternatives Funeral Service for your professional care and helpful advice.

Castlegar News

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