February 12, 1924 – August 13, 2022
In Loving Memory ~
It is with sadness and gratitude that we announce the passing of Nellie Dunlap on August 13, 2022. Predeceased by her husband, Angus Dunlap in 1995, she is survived by her children, Kathy (Gary) and Bob (Vi), grandchildren Grant (Nan), Shelley, Shannon (Matt), Thomas (Audrey), Nicole (Dan), and great-grandchildren Kieran, Meera, Brynlee, Brodee, Oliver, and Hailey.
As Nellie lived 98 1/2 years, she held various titles, from Nellie, Mom, Mother, Grandma/Gram/Mrs D., and Great-Grandma. Consequently different names are used here in the telling of her life story.
While looking through Mother’s records, her first British passport, issued June 19, 1940, showed that she entered Canada as a student. With her last passport, being an eternal optimist, she applied for a 10-year passport in 2014.
Nellie (Walker) Dunlap was born on February 12, 1924 in Kobe, Japan. She was the youngest of six children. Her first 16 years involved attending St. Maur’s International Girls School in Yokohama, spending time at the ocean, and exploring her neighbourhood around “The Bluff.” She shared many fond memories of her early life and loved growing up in Japan.
With the possibility of Japan entering into WWII, Nellie’s family had to leave, deciding to emigrate to Canada. Arriving in Vancouver in 1940, with her sister and brother, she boarded and attended Little Flower Academy. She later enrolled in the School of Nursing at St. Paul’s Hospital and on completion, worked as a nurse in Vanderhoof and Fernie.
In 1950, Mom and Dad (Moke) were married. They started a family and for many years, Nellie was a stay-at-home mom.
With the kids in school, Nellie became one of the office nurses at the Fernie Medical Centre (Sparling East Clinic), sharing the duties there for over 25 years.
Upon retiring, Mom volunteered at The Holy Family Centre. Being a Christian was always important to her and she attended mass faithfully.
Grandpa and Gram loved their many years at Tie Lake. They enjoyed visiting, playing games, viewing the bears at the dump, working on various lake projects, and watching each grandchild appreciate the lake.
Nellie loved the adventures of travelling. Her travels took her to more than 30 countries. Some of the highlights were multiple visits to Japan, walking on the Great Wall of China, riding a camel down to the Pyramids of Giza, and visiting many sites in Israel. But her all-time favourite was seeing the Big 5 while on a safari in Kenya. This “wanderlust” has been passed on to several members of her family.
Nellie nurtured many wonderful friendships, particularly through playing games. She loved her weekly Scrabble and Mah Jong sessions. Playing cribbage and participating in the Senior Games was fun for her. Saying she was competitive is an understatement. Reading and knitting helped to fill Grandma D.’s spare time. She kept us all in warm clothing and she donated many pairs of mitts and gloves to the church and Senior Centre craft tables.
Mom’s environment, West Fernie and the trails along the Elk River, were her paradise. She lived in her home up until 5 months ago where she loved to garden, bird and squirrel watch, and walk; either with her dog or a borrowed one from one of their neighbours. As of this past fall, she was still walking several blocks using her walker, meeting many residents and forming friendships along the way.
Family was the most important part of Mom’s life. Sunday dinner was always special. She was a good cook and her pastry and raspberry jam were everyone’s favourite. Visitors were always welcome for a meal or a cup of tea. Traditions, like cooking Christmas dinner, were important to her and it was only in the last couple of years in which she passed the torch onto other family members.
With her passing, Nellie’s family would like to thank the community of Fernie. Particularly in the last couple of years, the people of Fernie were so caring and compassionate to her, making her life absolutely fulfilled. Nellie knew how truly blessed she was, appreciating everyone. On behalf of Mom, a big heartfelt, THANK YOU!
A Celebration of Nellie Dunlap’s life will be held on September 26, 2022. Our Mother liked her 80th birthday get-together, marvelled at her 90th birthday party, and was always inviting people to her upcoming 100th birthday, slated for February 12, 2024. She was looking forward to it and planned for a grand “bash.”
You are welcome to come and celebrate her life at a Catholic Mass at Holy Family Parish in Fernie at 10:30, and if you were one of the many she invited to her upcoming 100th birthday, we would love to see you at her celebration luncheon at The Fernie Senior Centre around 12:00. Hope to see you there.
Memories & condolences shared at www.cherishedmemoriesfs.com Arrangements entrusted to Cherished Memories Funeral Services Ltd.
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