December 10, 1934 – August 20, 2019
It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the parting of our beloved mother, grandmother and great grandma Audrey Grace Johnson.
Audrey was born on a chilly day to William and Clara Dawes, December 10th, 1934 in Winnipeg Manitoba.
Mom was raised in Winnipeg until she was 12. Then the family moved to Sandridge, Manitoba to a farm where she chopped wood, hauled water from the well and scrubbed clothes on a wash board. They remained there until the fall of 1955. Her husband and 2 oldest children (Deb & Dan) then moved to Keewatin, Ontario. Don was born in Keewatin and when he was 6 the family relocated to Maple Ridge B.C. where Dee and Dianne where born. Mom continued to raise the 5 of us on her own. She worked many jobs to support us, all the while dreaming of having her own restaurant.
Life continued and led the family to Parksville on Vancouver Island.
Her dream of owning her own restaurant came true when she purchased The Whispering Pines Restaurant in Falkland in November of 1986. Coming from Vancouver Island in a snow storm that the average person would have turned back in, mom continued her journey to the rustic old building nestled in the pines to start living her dream. She was known to many truckers as Ma. Through moms 16 years at The Pines she made many lifelong friends as well as memories that we all hold dear to our hearts. In the fall of 1995, The Whispering Pines was named Canada’s #1 Truck Stop.
After the sale of the Pines in 2002, mom volunteered for a short time at the VJH gift shop and worked at Walmart and for a few years. She was an avid volunteer at the O’Keefe Ranch for 16 years and was presented a certificate of appreciation for her dedication and years of volunteering.
Mom has shown strength courage and dignity in everything she has done, her passing was no different. She is the strongest person we know.
We all have our memories and stories of time spent with mom. Please, when you think of her, just smile and say “she was my friend”. In moms time at the hospital and hospice she has spoken dearly of all the people she has met and all memories that have been made in her 84 years.
Moms never ending energy allowed her to build a 16×30 deck at the age of 82 and paint the exterior of her house at the age of 83.
Mom is survived by her 5 children, 10 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren, Debra (Al), Angie (Pierce), Ashley, Matthew, Stacy, Micheal, Daniel (Trudy), Candace (Jason), Levi, Sherri (Paul), Tyson, Danica, Donald (Katrina), Kim (Sheridon), Kaiden, Dee (Phil), Jordan (Heather), Sarah (Axel), Addison, Dianne (Bruce), Ami (Dylan), great grandbaby on the way. As well as 2 Ex daughters-in-law Bev and Colleen (still family).
Always remembered and never forgotten by her Best fur friend, Buddy, her family and many, many friends.
Predeceased by her parents, 3 sisters, 1 brother as well as 2 grandchildren.
No service by request. In lieu of flowers please feel free to make a donation in mom’s memory to the Vernon Jubilee hospital, Vernon Hospice, B.C. cancer agency, Vernon SPCA or the O’Keefe Ranch.
A very special Thank you goes out to Dr. Jeffery Kwantes and Dr. Lindsay Kwantes for the compassion and care given to mom in her final weeks. The Nursing staff on the 7th floor of Polson tower is, bar none, The BEST. You all are amazing, thank you to each and every one of you. You truly made a difference by showing your caring and love. You will not be forgotten. The staff at hospice, though moms stay was short, thank you for your kindness and compassion.
MISS ME – BUT LET ME GO
When I come to the end of the road,
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in the gloom filled room,
Why cry for a soul set free:
Miss Me A Little – But Not Too Long,
And not with your head bowed low,
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss Me – But Let Me Go.
For this is a journey we all must take,
And each must go along.
It’s all part of the Master’s plan,
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows
In doing good deeds
Miss Me – But let me go