Vernon’s Beryl Nerling (seated) helped lead a $60,000 fundraising campaign that led to the purchase of 10 new chairs for the Vernon Renal Centre, including the one Nerling, a dialysis patient, is sitting in. Nerling died Nov. 2 at the age of 95. (Morning Star - file photo)

Vernon’s Beryl Nerling (seated) helped lead a $60,000 fundraising campaign that led to the purchase of 10 new chairs for the Vernon Renal Centre, including the one Nerling, a dialysis patient, is sitting in. Nerling died Nov. 2 at the age of 95. (Morning Star - file photo)

Vernon kidney activist leaves legacy

Beryl Nerling raised more than $60K for new dialysis chairs at Vernon Renal Unit; she died Nov. 2

A noted letter writer to newspapers in Vernon and her native Lumby, Beryl Nerling’s motto was: “To remain silent indicates acceptance.”

Nerling’s pen and voice have, unfortunately, gone silent. She died Nov. 2 at the age of 95.

In 2011, Nerling penned a letter to the editor of the Morning Star, advocating the building of what would become Greater Vernon Athletic Park at Okanagan College, refuting an earlier letter written by a senior stating the facility was not needed.

“While we seniors don’t like to accept change and want to keep things as they are, we need to accept that we cannot stop progress, nor can we stop our city from growing and having the need to provide these facilities to provide a healthy lifestyle in our community,” wrote Nerling, who was also a driving force behind the referendum to build Kal Tire Place.

In her 90s, Nerling spearheaded a campaign for raising $60,000 for new dialysis chairs at the Vernon Renal Unit, where she was a fixture receiving dialysis treatment. The end result was more than $70,000 raised.

“I never thought it would go that good,” said Nerling, sitting in one of the new chairs at the centre in an Aug. 4, 2019, interview with the Morning Star. “I remember the day I was asked to head up a team to get money for the chairs.

“It took me about seven months to think about it. Then, once we started, it took three months to get the money. Thank you to everyone who contributed.”

Chandel Schmidt, director of annual programs for the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, which oversaw the dialysis chair campaign, said the new chairs included several enhanced features, functionality and comfort for both the patients and health care staff.

“Patients can spend up to 12 hours each week in these chairs and thanks to Beryl and her unwavering support, these new additions are well appreciated,” said Schmidt. “Beryl was a firecracker and will surely be missed by many.”

Nerling was a Christmas Eve baby, born in the living quarters behind the old Lumby Post Office on Dec. 24, 1924, the last survivor of five children born to Jim and Ada McAllister.

She left Lumby in the Second World War to join the Canadian Women’s Army Corp, stationed in Victoria, Suffield Air Base in Alberta, and Ottawa.

Upon her discharge, Nerling worked a variety of jobs, mostly in bookkeeping, or running her own businesses. She retired at age 88 but still did family and friends’ income tax returns.

Nerling loved playing sports, especially basketball. In her younger years, she belonged to the Lumby Lend-a-Had Club and taught swimming lessons in Lumby and Vernon.

READ MORE: Vernon dialysis chairs campaign complete

READ MORE: Donation kickstarts dialysis campaign



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

fundraiserObituary

Just Posted

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

North Westside residents can dispose of their unwanted bulky items between June 30 and July 14, 2021. (File photo)
North Westside residents can soon get rid of unwanted bulky items

Large household items can be disposed of at North Westside Transfer Station June 30 to July 14

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D area. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control to Electoral Area D; director calls for respectful discussion

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

The Pierre family, an Indigenous family, once lived in what is now downtown Summerland. Today, Pierre Drive is named in honour of the family. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Pierre family played role in Summerland’s history

Downtown Summerland was once Penticton Indian Reserve #3

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Gord with a mom and her young son outside Pathways which was defunded on May 31. (Facebook)
Gord Portman with a mom and her child outside of Pathways. The sign says it all about the difference Pathways has made in people’s lives. They were defunded by Interior Health on May 31.
Penticton man takes the plunge for the recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Most Read