March 8, 2019
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Elsie M. Johannesen of Williams Lake, BC on March 8, 2019 at the age of 89. We, the family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Deni House Palliative Care staff for their care and support.
Elsie was born in Rainy River, Ontario to Emanuel and Karen Haroldson on May 15, 1929. She is predeceased by her husband, Ove and her younger siblings, Stan and Carole. Elsie earned her Teaching Certificate at Victoria Normal School and was assigned to teach in rural Northern communities at the ripe age of 18. Her husband to be, Ove Johannesen, had just moved from his family’s farm in Archerwill, Saskatchewan to take advantage of the plentiful jobs in the wood industry. His brother Arnie, introduced Ove to the new schoolmarm working in Kersley at the time. After a couple of barn dances they knew they were made for each other. They married in Endako, BC in 1955.
They settled in Quesnel and had four children in five years. Their first house had no running water and an old oil heater, did I mention that they had four children, three of which were still in diapers. They soon built a new house and Elsie lived the word “family”. She loved being a mother taking pride in her children and their accomplishments. She had a garden in the backyard and loved to tend her flowers and enjoyed sewing and baking. Elsie loved books and was an avid reader. She still had time to be involved in the curling club, bowling league, C.A.R.S. and never turned down the opportunity to dance.
A promotion in Ove’s work brought them to Williams Lake where they lived for 43 years. Elsie got her energy from people and she gave that energy back. She loved to have a conversation with others and would find genuine satisfaction in sharing these stories of success or adventure. She nurtured her friendships while playing bridge or golf, attending Sons of Norway events, as well as volunteering for many organizations in the community. Elsie was so lucky to have a strong circle of friends that supported her throughout her entire life. While in the Deni House friends came to visit every day bringing cookies, muffins, or complete meals.
Elsie’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren were her heart and joy. Time spent at Grandma’s house was very special because she would spend hours planning activities for them to enjoy, especially during holidays. She was very supportive of her grandchildren; she never missed a game, event or recital if it was humanly possible. We are happy to say that she went peacefully in her sleep just short of her 90th birthday and now she and Ove will continue to dance together for another 63 years.
Elsie is survived by her children Bonnie, Daryl (Val), Larry (Sharon), Kim Tranq (Al), 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Elsie’s life will be held at 1 pm, on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at St. Andrew’s United Church basement, 1000 Huckvale Place, Williams Lake.
Donations may be made to the CNIB.