Esther Madelaine Patricia Riffel (nee Hanson)

1934 – 2013

With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Esther Madelaine Patricia Riffel (nee Hanson), at Pleasant Valley Manor, on December 28, 2013 at the age of 79 years. Esther will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by her children: Kirkland (Barb) Cockerill of Armstrong, Faith (Charlie) McGowan of Port Stanley, ON, Jewel Bryant of Armstrong and Crystal (Mark) Loewen of Sylvan Lake, AB and seven grandchildren: Jamie, Melissa, Jason, Sterling, Keelaina, Alieda and Tristan. She is also survived by her sisters Rosella Nofield of Langley, BC and Norma (Ken) Buchy of Virden, MB and numerous great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother Norman Hanson.

Esther was born on May 18, 1934 in Bield, MB and was raised in Roblin, MB, where she married and had 3 children, Kirkland, Faith and Jewel Cockerill. After graduating from a secretarial program in Dauphin, MB the family moved to Atikokan, ON, where she worked as a secretary, executive secretary and office manager for several businesses. Esther remarried while in Atikokan and gave birth to her fourth child, Crystal Riffel.

The family relocated to Fernie, BC where Esther was always involved in community organizations. Esther served on the boards of the Red Cross Society, Elk Valley United Way, Fernie Handicapped Society, Hospice Society, Snow Valley Wranglers Association, City of Fernie Planning Commission and the Recreation Commission. She was instrumental in the development of and fundraising for the Fernie Community Center and the Palliative Care suite at the Fernie Hospital. Esther began her working career in Fernie as a secretary for the Recreation Department prior to being offered a teaching position as the Office Administration instructor at the East Kootenay Community College. Esther remained in this position until her retirement to Armstrong, BC. She frequently gave of her time and talents to others in her church, family and community; writing news releases, family historical accounts, making meals and caring for others in numerous ways.

Esther was secure in the knowledge that she would enter into the presence of the Lord Jesus upon her death because she had accepted the Lord as her Saviour. We look forward to the day that we will be reunited with her in the Kingdom of God.

A celebration of Esther’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 4, 2014 at Alternatives Chapel (2980 Smith Drive, Armstrong), with Pastor Ray Bale and Pastor Greg Schmidt officiating. Reception to follow.

Friends wishing to do so may make donations in Esther’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Society (300-828 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1E2 ) or the charity of your choice. Expressions of sympathy may be forwarded to the family at

Cremation arrangements entrusted to


Armstrong 250-546-7237 & Vernon 250-558-0866

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