April 14th, 2024

Friday, March 8, 2024


By Lethbridge Herald Obituaries on March 8, 2024.

VENABLES, Robert ROBERT CLAIRE VENABLES January 17, 1933 – February 18, 2024 lt is with great sadness and breaking hearts we express the loss of our dear husband, father and grandfather, Bob Venables, who passed away at St. Therese Villa in Lethbridge, Alberta at the age of 91.
A Come and Go Celebration of Life will be held between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM, on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH 1614 5 AVE S, Lethbridge, Alberta.
Cremation entrusted to Martin Brothers Funeral Home.
Bob was an animal lover. In lieu of flowers, please find it in your heart to donate to an animal shelter of your choosing.
Visit http://www.mbfunerals.com to send a condolence.
THURBER, Bruce BRUCE THURBER 1964 – 2024 It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Bruce Thurber, loving husband of Sherry Davis, father of Isobel and Finn Thurber on March 1, 2024. He will be deeply missed by his blended family Nicholas (Tori) Davis, Paul (Kim) Davis and their children.
All are invited to a Memorial Service that will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday, March 8, 2024, at MARTIN BROTHERS RIVERVIEW CHAPEL, 610-4 STREET SOUTH, Lethbridge, Alberta.
Flowers are gratefully declined. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the Lethbridge Animal Shelter, https://www.communityanimalservices.ca/adoptions
We appreciate your love and support during this time.
Visit http://www.mbfunerals.com to send a condolence.
BUIS, Lorne LORNE BUIS 1965 – 2024 Lorne William Buis of Foremost, Alberta, loving husband, brother, uncle, and friend passed away unexpectedly at home on March 3, 2024, at the age of 59. Lorne was born in Calgary, Alberta on June 8, 1964, and welcomed into the Buis family at 6 weeks old.
Lorne was devoted to his community and loved to help people. From his first ambulance call on his 18th birthday to his last volunteer shift this past week, Lorne always had his community in mind. He also had a large network within the agriculture community that was developed during his 26 years with W. Buis Holdings Ltd. He served on the Village of Foremost council for 23 years on various committees with the last 6 years as Mayor. He took so much pride and joy volunteering in various organizations such as HALO, Redcoat Rail, and the PEP Board just to name a few.
Lorne loved dogs, going on motorbike rides, spending time at the lake with family, watching and officiating hockey, and serving his community but what Lorne truly loved was being a fire fighter and EMT. From his start in 1989 with the Calgary Fire Department, then serving almost 40 years on the Foremost Fire Department, to recently fighting wildfires in Northern Alberta this past summer, Lorne was always the first to run when the tones dropped.
He had a larger-than-life personality and loved to talk to people. If you were a stranger, you didn’t stay one for long.
Lorne is survived by his best friend and wife Kerri (Rowley); mother Charlotte (Dillenbeck) Buis; sisters Lisa (Warren) Bechthold; children Taunie (Nathan) Magnuson, and Colby Bechthold; Chris (Ron) Preddy; children Kristen and Luke; sisters-in-law June Roy, Leslie (Lyle) Treiber, children Teri (Craig), and Kale (Courtney) as well as numerous other family members and friends.
Lorne was predeceased by his father William “Sonny” Buis and niece Cammie Magnuson.
A Celebration of Lorne’s Life will be held Saturday, March 9, 2024, at 2:00pm at the FOREMOST COMMUNITY HALL, 802 1st Ave West.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Foremost Fire Department c/o Village of Foremost, Box 159, Foremost AB T0K 0X0 or HALO Air Ambulance 557 18th St SW Medicine Hat, AB T1A 8C4.
To watch the service via livestream, please go to https://www.mbfunerals.com/obituary/Lorne-Buis and scroll to the bottom of Lorne’s obituary.
Visit http://www.mbfunerals.com to send a condolence.
HALPEN, Stella HALPEN STELLA EMILY HALPEN, of Raymond, beloved wife of Cliff Halpen, passed away peacefully at the Raymond Health Centre, on Monday, March 4, 2024 at the age of 73 years.
Known as Nana to just about everyone in her world, Stella Halpen was a loving Baba, mother, wife and friend.
Born in Wakaw, Saskatchewan March 30, 1950, she married Cliff, a member of the Armed Forces in 1974. This is when they began their travels all over Canada. With the desire to retire in Kamloops, near to her brother John, they spent several years there, followed by a move to Raymond in 2013 to be closer to their clan.
Stella had the special touch when it came to gardening. Her home was always filled with glorious plants from Hibiscus to Amaryllis, and whether she was sharing tomatoes and cucumbers or peonies and sunflowers, family and friends always benefited from her outdoor garden. Much to her dismay, she didn’t have the opportunity to raise chickens and goats.
She also knew how to help her grandkids grow. Her love and devotion to them knew no bounds and her Ukrainian heritage meant they were always fed and often treated to a bowl of fresh fruit.
Stella will be fondly remembered by many for her Christmas dinners which always featured her specialty; hundreds of handmade perogies.
Stella is lovingly remembered by her children and their spouses, her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and dear friends.
At Stella’s request, a private Family Service will be held.

To send a condolence, please visit http://www.cornerstonefuneralhome.com
OLFERT, Ron Ron Olfert 1949 – 2024 It is with great heartache and love that the family of Ronald Herman Olfert announce his unexpected passing on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at the age of 74 years.
Relatives and friends are invited to meet with the family at Southland Funeral Chapel, 5006 – 48 Avenue, Taber on Sunday, March 10, 2024 between 3:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M.
The Burial Service will be held at the Hays Cemetery, corner of Park Drive and Central Avenue, Hays on Monday, March 11, 2024 at 10:00 A.M.
The Funeral Service will be held at the Brooks Evangelical Free Church, 625 – 8 Street West, Brooks on Monday, March 11, 2024 at 1:00 P.M. Condolences may be forwarded by visiting our website at http://www.southlandfuneral.com.
Those who are unable to attend and wish to view the service online may do so by visiting Ron’s obituary page on our website and clicking on the livestream link that will be available at 2:45 P.M. on Monday, March 11, 2024. Barring any technical difficulties, the livestream will begin at 1:00 P.M.
Besides Doreen, his loving wife of fifty one years, Ron is survived by their three children, Lisa (Rob) Rempel of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Rocky (Melanie) Olfert of Abbotsford, British Columbia and Renny (Brendan) Pinches of Edmonton; ten beautiful grandchildren whom he loved so much, Riley, Connor and Peyton Rempel, Easton, Griffin and Cooper Olfert and Anaya, Emery, Isla and Maëlle Pinches. He is also survived by his sister Janet (Ken) Whitmore, Ken (Marylin) Olfert, Terry (Sylvia) Olfert, Tim (Paula) Olfert and by numerous nieces and nephews who loved him dearly.
He was predeceased by his parents Isaac and Mary Olfert.
Ron was born in Rosthern, Saskatchewan on June 11, 1949 and lived there until 1958 when the family moved to farm in Hays. This is where Ron started his career as a farmer. He completed high school in Vauxhall and then started work for the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) in Hays.
Ron attended Swift Current Bible School where he met Doreen Thiessen, the woman of his dreams. He was a man whom she only knew as “Cowboy”, as he was affectionately known. They were married in 1972 and lived in the Hays area since Ron was still working for the PFRA. In 1973, they moved to Parcel 220 when he started working on the farm for Dave Berg. In 1977, Ron and Doreen, along with their three children, had a vision of starting their own farm and that’s where his dreams came alive. They bought bare prairie land seven miles south of Hays and began breaking up the land. Over the years they built a house, corals, a shop, a barn and planted many trees. In time, the farm was filled with many animals, but his one passion was having cattle. This farm is where Ron’s dreams were developed into his love. With much dedication, time, hard work, sweat, long days, nights and weekends, Ron’s farm became a success. The farm has been a source of joy, adventure and hospitality for many over the years.
Ron was humble, caring and a good listener. He enjoyed going for coffee, taking time to visit with those that came on the yard even though he was so busy but always expressed interest in the lives of others. He shared what he had on the farm and most of all, he was a man who sacrificed his time for those he knew and loved. Ron enjoyed going to hockey games, visiting with anyone young or old and spending time at community events whether he had an interest or not.
Ron has left the farm just as he wanted, not having to retire. We know that even though he isn’t present here on earth, his presence is all around us; whether it’s the farm he built, the family he was apart of, or all the people he was in contact with in the community. We all have a part of him in our hearts and that is his legacy.
Ron was a man of God who led by example. He showed others who Jesus was through his personality, generosity and positive attitude. He was filled with kindness, love, laughter and many more attributes that made him liked and loved by those in the community and his family. He was a blessing to so many and will be missed and cherished by all who knew him and loved him.
Ron is not here anymore, but with God in Heaven, where his body is perfect and he is able to dance with his boots once again. One day soon, we will see him again and that’s our hope. See you “Cowboy”, until we meet again!
If friends so desire, memorial tributes in Ron’s name may be made directly to the charity of one’s personal choice.
Arrangements in care of Southland Funeral Chapel, Taber. Telephone: (403) 223-8778.

SCHWAB, Andrew “Mitch” SCHWAB ANDREW “MITCH” MITCHELL SCHWAB, of Stirling, AB, beloved husband of Nancy Schwab, passed away peacefully at the Foothills Medical Centre on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at the age of 63 years.
Besides his loving wife, Mitch is survived by his daughter Terra-Leigh of Edmonton and son Andrew of Lethbridge, as well as 11 grandchildren, as well as his sisters: Dianne of Edmonton, Dolores of Edmonton and Linda of Edmonton, and brother Talbot of Westlock.
He was predeceased by his sons, Aaron and Erik, and parents, Irma and Ernest, as well as numerous brothers and sisters.
Andrew Schwab was born May 30, 1960 to Ernest and Irma Schwab in Meyronne, Saskatchewan, the 11th of 12 children. After attending school and working on the family farm, he moved to Edmonton, where he worked various jobs. He moved to Edson, where he met Nancy Weber. They married on October 5, 1979 and had their first daughter, Terra-Leigh on September 20, 1982, followed by Andrew on June 23, 1989, Aaron on November 24, 1991 and Erik on November 20, 1992.
He will be dearly missed and hold a special place in all of our hearts.
A Funeral Service will be held at CORNERSTONE FUNERAL HOME, 2825 32 Street South, Lethbridge, AB, on Monday, March 11, 2024 at 1:00 P.M. with Pat Siedlecki officiating.
Mitch will be laid to rest in Saskatchewan at a later date.

To send a condolence, please visit http://www.cornerstonefuneralhome.com
MCFADDEN, Barbara MCFADDEN It is with heartfelt grief that we announce the passing of Barbara Jane McFadden on Saturday, March 2nd, 2024, at the age of 86. She died at home, cared for and surrounded by her loving family.
Barb was born in Lethbridge to Claire and Maude Simpson. After the war, her brothers were born, Bob (Dorothy) Simpson and John (Debbie) Simpson. Barb was known locally as a talented performer who was featured in the Howard Ritchie show and performed at the Capital Theatre and the old Lethbridge Bandstand by Henderson Lake. Barb was also a strong swimmer, a love that she nurtured throughout her lifetime, swimming laps with Stan Siwik as her coach in her youth, and falling asleep while floating on her back in the ocean in her sunset years.
Barb was just a lanky teenager when she met the love of her life, Barry McFadden. She was a few years younger than him, but a few inches taller, so she used to step off the curb when they kissed so they’d be the same height. Barb and Barry worked hard and built a beautiful life together, welcoming their daughter Sheri into the world, and then their son Jon, her baby boy. Barb had an adventurous spirit so there was never a dull moment in the household, whether she was redecorating, trying new recipes, or building a skating rink in the back yard for the whole neighbourhood to enjoy. Barb kept the spirit of fun going for her beloved grandchildren, Justin and Ashley (who was known to play sick so she could stay home from school and spend the day at grandma’s house.)
Barb was an entrepreneur later in life, co-owner of Gifts Galore, then opening Kid’s Town. Barb loved travelling to Montreal and Vancouver to buy fashion for the upcoming season, often accompanied by her daughter Sheri. Her keen eye for fashion was not wasted on herself, as she never left the house without a dab of coral lipstick and a gorgeous outfit on. Barb and Barry travelled the world attending Honda conventions, spent winters in Palm Springs and Arizona, and summers on the road in their motorhome, often in a multi-rig caravan with friends from all across North America.
Barb rallied against “damned dementia” in her final years, and although it impacted her ability to find the right word, it never impacted her adventurous spirit, her sense of humor, her generous heart, or the way that she shone and sparkled. With the support of her family, Barb continued enjoying the Bridges Seniors Day Program, local theatre performances, and weekly soaks in the hot tub at Nicholas Sheran Pool, right up until the end.
Barbara was a woman who loved deeply, lived brightly, and laughed often. She was held by her granddaughter as she left this life, and we know she was embraced by her daughter Sheri on the other side. These final words were written by Barb 20 years ago…
“As far as my feeling go regarding my life they are pretty simple. There is not much that I have wanted to do that I did not give a try. Some successful, some not but I did not hold back on living and enjoyed it to my fullest. I loved to try new things, meet new people, make new friends, keep old friends, keep a sense of humour whenever possible, and above all adored my family, each and every one.” A Celebration of Life will be held on March 12, 2024 at 1:00 PM at Salmon and Sons Funeral Home (433 Stubb Ross Rd S Lethbridge, AB)
To send a condolence, please visit http://www.salmonandsons.ca
FLECKENSTEIN, Leonard “Len” BRUCE JOHNSON 1937 – 2024 Bruce Hjalmer Johnson, aged 86, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at the Masterpiece Southland Meadows Retirement Home in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
He leaves to cherish his memory his sisters, Jean Neiss and Gail Schewelah; his children, Bruce Jr. Johnson, Tammy Johnson, Rosetta (Kevin) Sanders, and Lana Johnson; his grandchildren, Lisa (Jeff) Burnett, Corrinn Curzon, Mathew (Yessica) Curzon, Robert Sanders, Keith (Laura) Sanders, Bailey Sanders, Jeff (Krista) Johnson, Hjelmer (Wendy) Johnson, Ryan Johnson; his great-grandchildren, Abella Burnett, Danya Burnett, Katie Burnett, Kylie Curzon, Kyra Curzon, Alice Hand, Mathew Curzon, Hugh Araya-Johnson, Lydia Araya-Johnson; as well as numerous nieces and nephews, and a large extended family. Bruce was predeceased by his partner, Beverly Ryan; spouse, Carol Johnson; his first wife, Lauree Sauter; his youngest, son, Keith Johnson; his brother-in-law, Doug Neiss; and his parents, Hjalmer and Rosetta Johnson.
Bruce was born May 14, 1937 in Alix, Alberta. He and his two siblings were raised in Pees, Alberta, a farming community. Being raised on a farm provided Bruce with many various skills which he applied to welding and later as a machinist. Bruce lived a life full of travel and outdoor adventure. Bruce was an avid camper, forming friendships towing his Boler camper across Canada and the USA. Some of his most memorable hobbies include archery, race car driving, and flying his Aero Commander 100 plane. He will be remembered, however, for his personality. Bruce was headstrong, direct, a little bit cheeky, and always EARLY.
The Funeral Service will be held at Saamis Memorial Funeral Chapel, 1 Dunmore Road SE Medicine Hat, AB on Monday, March 11th, 2024 at 3:00 pm. Memorial gifts in Bruce’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer Society, 101-1201 Kingsway Avenue SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1A 2Y2 or the S.P.C.A., 55 Southview Drive SW, Medicine Hat, Alberta, T1A 8E8. Condolences may be sent through http://www.saamis.com or to condolences@saamis.com subject heading Bruce Johnson. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to SAAMIS MEMORIAL FUNERAL CHAPEL AND CREMATORIUM, “The Chapel in the Park”, Medicine Hat, Alberta. Should you wish any additional information, please telephone 1-800-317-2647.
PARKINS, Michael “Mike” PARKINS MICHAEL “MIKE” PARKINS, of Lethbridge, cherished son of Kathy Dunn and Rick (Wendy Bennett-Parkins) Parkins, passed away in Lethbridge, on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at the age of 44 years.
Cremation is entrusted to Cornerstone Funeral Home; A Celebration of Mike’s Life will be held at the end of April, 2024.

To send a condolence, please visit http://www.cornerstonefuneralhome.com
BROWN, Bonnie BONNIE JEAN CHERYL BROWN May 29, 1955 – September 13, 2023 Our beloved mother, Bonnie Jean (Bonnie), passed away suddenly on September 13, 2023 at the age of 68 years.
Left with cherished memories are her two children: Brynna (Phil) of Calgary, AB and Teague of Lethbridge, AB; her step-daughters, Christy (John) of Los Angeles, CA and Cheri (Tom) of Lethbridge, AB; and her siblings, Barry (Mary Lou) of Oakville, ON; George (Vicki) of Calgary, AB; Adair (Bob) of Victoria, BC; Terry (Gail) of Northampton, UK; and Trevor of Victoria, BC. Bonnie was predeceased by her parents, George and Lorna Brown, and by the father of her children, Jerry Pokarney.
Bonnie was born and raised in Calgary and moved to Lethbridge in 1972. She displayed exceptional musical talent from a very young age, and after earning her Bachelor of Music from the University of Lethbridge in 1979, went on to become an accomplished piano soloist, accompanist, and teacher. Bonnie enjoyed performing with numerous ensembles including the Lethbridge Musical Theatre, Vox Musica, and The University of Lethbridge Singers. She also spent summers working at MusiCamrose and the Lethbridge Summer School of the Performing Arts; accompanied numerous school ensembles and soloists in the Kiwanis Music Festival; and especially loved working alongside young dancers as a ballet pianist. Bonnie was also a passionate advocate for children with special needs and worked as an educational assistant in the Palliser School Division for over fifteen years.
Bonnie adored her family, her pets, and immersing herself in books. She loved deeply and radiated joy with her infectious laughter and bright smile.
To honor Bonnie’s memory, a memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 6th, 2024 at Southminster United Church in Lethbridge, AB with Rev. Lois Punton officiating. All who knew her are warmly invited to attend.

To send a condolence, please visit http://www.cornerstonefuneralhome.com
HOLLIHAN, Daniel HOLLIHAN DANIEL RAY HOLLIHAN, of Nanton, passed away after a valiant effort for life on Monday, March 4, 2024 at the age of 68 years.
Daniel is survived by his brothers, Rod (Holly) of Salmon Arm and Darran (Clara) of Lethbridge, and stepmom Clara of Lethbridge as well as nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his mother Maxine, father Ray and nephew Trevor.
At Daniel’s request, no funeral will be held.

To send a condolence, please visit http://www.cornerstonefuneralhome.com
GELLENY, Constance “Connie” GELLENY Constance “Connie” Midori Gelleny (nee Yoshida) passed away peacefully surrounded by family at the age of 88 at Chinook Regional Hospital on February 28, 2024.
Connie was born in Fanny Bay, B.C. on September 8, 1935 to Nobushige and Tomo Yoshida. During World War II, Connie’s family was placed in an internment camp in Slocan Valley, B.C. As the war ended, the family moved to the Picture Butte area to farm sugar beets in 1946.
Connie attended the St. Michael’s School of Nursing, being one of the first graduates of the school in 1956. Connie married Thomas in 1959 and had three children. After a long and successful career in nursing, Connie supported her husband, Thomas, at his radiator shop.
They purchased ‘the farm’ outside of Coalhurst and spent their retirement years being “hobby farmers”. Connie moved back to Lethbridge after Tom passed.
Connie loved to golf, travel, play the lottery, socialize and garden. She had an extensive collection of flowers in every place she lived. Connie at her age was well known for her walking long distances in the Coulee Springs area while wearing her beloved safari hat. In addition to golf, she enjoyed watching hockey and was a true Calgary Flames fan. The only teams that Connie loved more was any team that her granddaughter and grandsons played on. Connie loved to spend time with her grandchildren and enjoyed telling everyone around her how proud she was of them. Over the years, she volunteered her time preparing meals at the Soup Kitchen. Connie was able to continue living at home until her passing under the support and care of her son, Bradley.
Connie is survived by her three children, Karen (Kirk) Gelleny, Bradley Gelleny, and Susan (John) Beers; her grandchildren: Kala, Owen (Kayla), and Carson Beers; and many nieces and nephews.
Connie is predeceased by her husband, Thomas and her siblings Ruth, Jean, May, June, Tim and Min.
A sincere thank you to EMS, Dr. A. Wilde, Dr. S. Wilde and the medical staff at Chinook Regional Hospital. A special thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to nurse Cailei for her tremendous care and support to Connie and family.
Connie will be fondly remembered and missed by all who loved her.
As per Connie’s wishes, there will be no funeral service.
We Love You Mom!

To send a condolence, please visit http://www.cornerstonefuneralhome.com
NEIL, Matthew NEIL MATTHEW ALLAN NEIL, of Calgary, passed away peacefully at the Foothills Medical Centre, surrounded by family, on Monday, March 4, 2024 at the age of 49 years.
A private Family service will be held.

To send a condolence, please visit http://www.cornerstonefuneralhome.com
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