• Barry Jack Grinsted

    Thursday, 19 Oct 2017

    It is with bitter sweet sorrow that the last two remaining members of this generation of the Grinsted clan, Daryl Grinsted of Edmonton Alberta, and Kevin Grinsted of Yellowknife NT share with you the news of the death of Barry Jack Grinsted, October 18th, 2017 at the Gillis House in Merritt BC.
    Barry endured the burden of stage four pancreatic cancer for almost a year. With the help of Dr. Ross and his pharmacist Kurt Thom of Black’s Pharmacy, Barry’s journey was made much easier. There were many challenges made easier by wonderful people like David Quinn, Brenda, the good people at Ask Wellness, the Department of Social Services, Gillis House and finally, Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services in Kamloops. In his youth, Barry survived a catastrophic brain injury when his friend lost control of the vehicle due to high speed and other contributing circumstances. Barry’s side of the car impacted with the Colletville Bridge on August 15th 1969 at 1:00 am. Barry suffered extensive bodily injuries and nearly died, but after 21 days in a coma he began the long recovery process which lasted many years. The bones healed and fused but profound brain Injury as we know affects people in unexpected ways. His life now forever altered by this senseless catastrophe, the new Barry rebuilt what he could out the shattered pieces of his life. He found love and lost it on at least two occasions. In spite of the pain of these partings he always believed in love, meaning and caring. Barry co parented for time during one of these relationships and assisted in the development of two foster children during that time. Barry loved books, science, travel and discovery. He was a spiritual man, but private. He chose the Baha’I faith shortly after both his parents in the 1980s. He assisted many faith groups, volunteering to serve in various capacities. He saw each person as fellow travelers in life and respected all creeds, colours and religious traditions. He felt sheltered here in Nicola Valley; he knew and trusted the people here. His life mingled with many others over the years. During the bedside vigil many shared how they were helped over the decades by Barry’s kind, nonjudgmental, mindful presence. He listed himself on facebook as “Self-employed”. Although he trained as a massage therapist, due to his brain injury and the stigma attached to it and due to his infirmities, steady work eluded him.
    During the vigil Barry shared how he had often lived in fear. He was always wary of the stranger, as people sometimes preyed upon him. He could go nowhere else to live because of the abuse he experienced trying to find "good People" in new places. So he lived as much of his life as he could with the “good people” of Merritt, where it seems almost everyone his brothers meet “knew him” trusted him and are sad to see him gone. Barry would probably like you to think “good thoughts” for his cousins Kenny & Francine McConnel of Oliver and their children, Amanda & Jenney, his niece Shannon of Seattle, cousin Rick McConnel and his wife Dracy and their children, cousin Wendy Mitch of Surrey BC, Alfred Hills family of White Rock, Uncle David McConnel of Merritt, Aunt Sharon Hubby of Maple Falls Washington, US and nieces Jenny and Tracy of Airdrie Alberta, Kevin & Janet Grinsted of Yellowknife and their children Roya and Kevin, and Daryl Grinsted of Edmonton.
    The two brothers want you to know this gentle man has died. He gave what little he had to “Ask Wellness”, the thrift store in Merritt, and to anyone who needed what was left. Our family is diminished, yet it grew during the vigil. We saw the unseen reverberations of his life in other good people’s live. Both those who are family and friends, and those who were strangers to us, were a part of Barry’s life as he was a part of theirs. Together their, sharing, talking, laughing ....helped the healing begin. Some relationships extended over 5 decades and into the lives of their children.
    The two brothers could not think of way to justly address the need for sharing and closure as a result of his death in the time at hand. We would like you all to attend a celebration of life in 2018 in Merritt where a proper sendoff of all Barry’s families can convene, reminisce and celebrate. Stay tuned please your presence is requested most humbly and with love. The two remaining brothers would ask that you donate what you can to nearest Soup Kitchen/Homeless Shelter in whatever fashion or amount you are able. Barry himself steadfastly volunteered at the Anglican Church soup kitchen and others in Merritt for almost 17 years. He was an excellent “self-employed” dishwasher, fund raiser, co-worker, snow shoveler, server and volunteer. Barry was a soul whose body and operating system were altered by events outside of his control, but still he contributed more than he took. He focused his capacities to help his fellow less fortunate brothers and sisters in the Human family. This was his joy, his purpose and his duty. We think he was a wonderful example for all of us in being “self-employed”. Arrangements entrusted to Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services 250-554-2324 Condolences may be expressed to the family from www.myalternatives.ca

  • Shirley Evelyn Burgess

    Monday, 16 Oct 2017

    It is with great sadness that the family announces the passing of Shirley at age 80. Shirley passed away peacefully in the arms of her loving husband. Survived by her husband of 63 years, Jack Burgess, sons Scott and Kevin (Sonja), 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Celebration of Life will be held on Oct 29 at the Merritt Seniors Centre at 12:00. Shirley will be missed greatly by all those whose lives she touched.

  • Albert Jager

    Tuesday, 03 Oct 2017

    Passed away peacefully at Merritt B.C., on October 3, 2017, aged 79 years. He will be lovingly remembered by his brothers, Bill and Pieter, nieces & nephews, as well as many friends and relatives.
    He is predeceased by parents and two brothers There will be no formal service by request. Should friends desire, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

  • Mitsuo (Mickey) Yasunaga

    Thursday, 28 Sep 2017

    With great sadness, we announce the passing of Mitsuo (Mickey) Yasunaga. Surrounded by family,
    Mickey passed away peacefully on September 22, 2017 at the age of 82 years. Survived by his loving wife Fusae; sons: Dennis (Wendy) of Winnipeg, MB, Glenn (Kimberly) of Merritt, BC; grandchildren: Christopher (Leeanne), Adam and Sara; great grandchildren: Hailey and Chloe, sister Alice (Roy) Tanaka of Vancouver, BC and many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his mother Masae and Father Kakuji. Mickey loved fishing, hunting, gardening and was interested in baseball and hockey. In his early years, he was a sawyer for Nicola Valley Sawmill and later for Aspen Planer Sawmill. Honoring his wishes, there will be no service. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to The Canadian Diabetes Association or The Kidney Foundation of Canada.
    Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.springfieldfuneralhome.com (250-860-7077)

  • Wayne Walter Gillett

    Sunday, 24 Sep 2017

    Mr. Wayne Walter Gillett passed away peacefully in Merritt, BC on September 24, 2017 at the age of 77.
    Survived by his wife Cheryl Gillett, sons Dave Gillett (Doris) of Chilliwack and Gary Gillett (Rosalyn) of Merritt and Granddaughter Christina, sister Sharon Fisher, as well as many nieces, nephews and great friends. Wayne was born in Nelson, BC, and lived in Chilliwack for a good many years before moving to Merritt in 1981. The majority of his life he worked in the logging industry on the coast. When living in Merritt, Wayne worked at Ska-Lu- La Workshop for 17 years before retiring at age 67.
    A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Should friends desire, donations may be made to The Kidney Foundation. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.MerrittFuneralChapel.com

  • Dianne Diebel (Lind) Gwendolyn

    Friday, 22 Sep 2017

    It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Dianne Gwendolyn Diebel (Lind). On August 18, 2017 while in her home she broke her neck in 3 places and eventually succumbed to her injuries.
    She will be remembered for her beautiful blue eyes, intense work ethic, quick wit, humor, grand smile, cooking, green thumb and her passion for gardening. She leaves behind her husband Dan Diebel, ex husband (friend) David Lind, devoted children Carolyn (Al), Connie, Carl (Elona); grandchildren Chris, Mike (Holly) Jenn (Randy), Cody, Steavie, and Colton; great grandchild Karian. Her sisters Maryann (Fred), Grace (John) Nieces: Beth, Deanne, Cindy and Nephews: Jason, Justin and Glenn Predeceased by her parents. Her strength to endure the severity of this immense injury is a testament to her strong character. She will now be reunited with her predeceased son Earl Thomas Lind (1988) a moment she embraced. She fought a courageous battle, gone too soon. Soar with the angels mom; time to rest your work here is done. A private memorial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers to either of the following societies would be appreciated; Kamloops Women’s Resource Group Society for the Behind the Curtain: Women Victims of Elder Abuse or the Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice.

  • Diane Sylvia Maritorena

    Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017

    It is with heavy hearts the family of Diane announce her passing on September 12, 2017 at the age of 74. She leaves to cherish fond memories; her husband Juan of 44 years, and their three children, daughters Michelle (Jim) Roe, Lisa (Morgan) Chenier and son Jose, four grandchildren, her mother Irene, Pearl (Jim) and Laurie (Emile),many uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces. She is predeceased by her father Lawrence and brother Brian. Our family would like to express sincere appreciation to the doctors and nurses who cared for her during her illness. A funeral mass will be held at the Sacred Heart Parish on Friday, September 22nd, 2017 at 11 :00 a.m. Tea and luncheon to follow in the hall. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the B.C. Cancer Foundation.

  • Istvan (Steve) Varga

    Friday, 08 Sep 2017

    Steve Varga passed away peacefully in the Kamloops hospital on Friday Sept. 8, 2017 at the age of 80.
    Lovingly remembered by his wife of 56 years, Grace Varga, and daughters Mariana (Alain) of Cold Lake AB, Angela (Byron) of Castlegar BC, Stephanie (Alex) of Calgary AB, grandchildren Aaron (Natalie) and Alexander, great grandson Isaac, Steve’s brother Mike (Diane) Varga and nieces, and many, many friends. Steve was predeceased by his mother Anna Varga and nephew David Varga.
    A celebration of Steve’s life was held on Friday Sept. 15th, 2017 at Merritt Funeral Chapel with Pastor Sherry Peterson officiating. Special thanks go out to the ICU staff in Kamloops, the doctors and nurses at Nicola Valley hospital who helped Steve, and the paramedic and trauma teams from both Merritt and Kamloops. Also heartfelt thanks “from the Varga family to our many friends who brought cards, flowers and food to the house”.
    Should friends desire, donations may be made to the BC Heart & Stroke Foundation or the BC Lung Association in Steve’s memory. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.MerrittFuneralChapel.com

  • Lydia Lange

    Wednesday, 06 Sep 2017

    We regret to announce the passing of Lydia Lange of Merritt, BC., on Wednesday September 6 at Gillis House, a small graveside gathering was held on the morning September 14 at Pineridge Cemetery.
    She was predeceased by her husband Heinz Lange. She was a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She leaves behind her daughter Audrey, her son Michael, his husband David, her son Mark, his wife Beverly and her grandchildren Christopher and Jenifer and her children. Also many cousins in Merritt and the Nicola Valley, Austin Sterling, Tim Voght and many others in the Sterling and Voght families. We want to thank our cousin Rudy Heinrichs of New Westminster, Kathy and Grant Oakley of Kelowna. A very special thank you to Elizabeth Salomon de Friedberg who went above and beyond helping us through a difficult time. Thank you to Gloria and Ed Michaluk and others who were there when it counted. Mother was the great great niece of William Henry Voght the father of Merritt. She was a member of the Eastern Star, Beta Sigma Phi and regularly volunteered for various fund raising events in her community. Michael, David and Audrey want to gratefully thank all the staff at Gillis House over the years for the care, respect, dignity and kindness that was given to Lydia and that they continue to give to all those that reside in Gillis House. Notes of condolence for the family can be left at merrittfuneralchapel.ca Donations may be made to The Nicola Valley Museum & Archives, 1675 Tutill Ct, Merritt, BC V1K 1B8 • ph 1 (250) 378 4145 Ballie House, 2250 Voght Street, Merritt BC V1K 1B8 • ph 1 (250) 378 0349

  • Sarah Rebecca “Becky” MacDonald

    Saturday, 02 Sep 2017

    The family of Sarah Rebecca “Becky” MacDonald regretfully announce her passing on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 at the age of 83. Becky was predeceased by George, her husband of 56 years in 2011.
    She leaves to cherish fond memories; her son Bryon (Marj), daughter Rhonda Hyatt (Frank), sister Donna Palmer (Art), 5 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren, sisters-in-law Margaret McManus, Florence Hambley and numerous nieces and nephews.
    Special thanks to Gillis House and the Florentine for their wonderful care.
    A private family service will be held at a later date.