It is with great love and sadness that we announce the passing of Minnie (Halverson) Heal at age 89. She passed peacefully, with courage and dignity, at the Vernon Hospice House on December 10th, 2013.
She is lovingly remembered by her two daughters, Lynn Stewart and Susie (Jim) Catt; two sons, Garry (Julie) Heal and Larry Heal; stepchildren: Rose (Cliff) Schmidt, Leo (Lorraine) Heal, and Geraline Heal; and numerous nieces and nephews. She loved, and was so proud, of her nine grandchildren and will be missed by: Justin, James, Chelsea, Bradley, Danielle, Laurel, Jeffrey, Violet, and Brandon. She also will be missed by great grandchildren: Taisha, Shamus, and Geffrey. Minnie was predeceased by husband, John Heal; infant son, Bradley Heal; son-in-law, Greg Stewart; stepchildren: Ron Heal, Josephine Anderson, and Tom Heal; her five brothers: Henry Halverson, Auther Halverson, Micheal Halverson, Glen Halverson, and Selmer Halverson; and four sisters: Elenor Reitlo, Lily Highmoor, Hannah Gunderson, and Julia Mansell.
Minnie was born on November 6th, 1924 on a farm at Ketchen, Saskatchewan. She graduated from high school and joined the Canadian Air Force where she served her country for four years by training bomber pilots. After the war, she moved to Vancouver and worked for the Hudson Bay Company for three years. She met John Heal and they were married and moved to Vernon with some of his children. They bought a service station and turned it into the North End Café. Her three sons were born in Vernon. Sadly, Bradley passed away and John, Minnie, Larry, and Garry moved to a small cabin on a placer lease on Cherry Creek to mine for gold when gold was $35.00 an ounce. While raising her young family without electricity or running water, she found time to mine and found a one half ounce nugget. Gold fever was to be a part of her for the rest of her life. John and Minnie purchased 35 acres of raw land and built the Gold Pan Campground and Café. Here her daughters Susie and Lynn were born to complete the family. Minnie worked long hard hours on the sawmill, logging, mining, cooking at the Gold Pan Café, chopping wood to keep the fire burning (which she did last year) and all the other chores of raising a family with satisfaction and never a complaint. In her spare time., she loved fishing (caught Dolly Varden using a bleach bottle for a reel as there was no money to buy a real one), hunting grouse with a double barrel shotgun, panning for gold at her claims on Holding Creek where she would stay by herself and also her children and grandchildren in an old miner’s cabin. She loved to rock for gold by Holding Creek and many happy memories were made on her claims. Minnie bought a house in Lumby and had time to spend her later years enjoying gardening, camping, mushroom and huckleberry picking and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She lived her life with dignity and grace and instilled in her family a sense of honesty and hard work.
The family would like to thank Dr. Wheeldon and Vernon Hospice House for their excellent care during Minnie’s final days. The family will have a celebration of her life in the Spring.
In lieu of flowers, those friends wishing to make memorial contributions in memory of Minnie may do so to the North Okanagan Hospice Society, 3506-27th Avenue, Vernon, B. C. V1T 1S4.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Pleasant Valley Funeral Home, Phone: 250 542 4333.
Condolences may be offered at www.pleasantvalleyfh.com