Nellie Laurena Craig

With great sadness, the family of Nellie Laurena Craig announce her passing at Gateby on November 18, 2007. A descendent of early Bruce County, Upper Canada pioneers, Nellie’s immediate family also pioneered in the Wood River District of Saskatchewan where Nellie was born July 20, 1914, on the family homestead in Lafleche. In 1920, when her parents, Charles and Laura Passmore Young, became disenchanted with farming, they moved their family to Vernon, where Charlie began long-term employment with the City. With her older sisters, Nellie attended the fairly new Central School (Beairsto) and the brick schoolhouse in Polson Park. She left school early to work in Vancouver, Wallachin and at the National Café before marrying Alex Craig, a Kelowna baker in 1935. The family lived in Kelowna until Alex was called to duty upon the declaration of war in 1939, and was sent overseas. Nellie returned with their children to Vernon. In 1942, she began working at Stedman’s 5-$1.00 Store and when that building was sold in 1950, she stayed on to work with the new owner, Florence McDonald in the F&M Ladies’ Wear Shop. She remained working there, under various owners until her retirement in 1984, when the store was owned by the Wilson family. Nellie was a founding member and 1956 Chieftain of the Kildonan Camp #166, Sons of Scotland and the Vernon Credit Union; a long time member of the Vernon Legion Auxiliary and Friends of History. Always a social person, she spent her retirement traveling to visit friends throughout Canada, Britain, Europe and to family in the USA. Nellie will be forever remembered by her daughter Lorna (John Bonner) of Sammamish, WA and their children: Barbara, Dan, John (Melinda) Bonner, Susan (Joseph) Bennett and Maureen (Gerald) Petz, plus 8 great grandchildren; daughter Janet (Henry) Arens of Vernon and grandchildren Suzanne Craig (mother Carol Craig) and PJ Craig plus five step-granddaughters, children of the late John (Jack) Craig. Also remembering Nellie are her niece and nephew Joan (Harrison) Layton and Charles (Rosemary) Sheppard, as well as many wonderful friends, including Betty Russell and Joan Foster Sawyer, the daughters of Nellie’s two longtime friends. Nellie was predeceased by her husband in 1994, son Jack in 1982 and sisters Ethel Thompson, 1999 and Mattie Sheppard, 2002. A memorial service will be held on Friday, November 23 at 2:00 p.m. at the Schubert Centre. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Greater Vernon Museum & Archives, 3009 – 32 Avenue, Vernon, BC V1T 2L8. Nellie entered Gateby Intermediate Care Centre in 2005, and grateful thanks are given to the caring staff on 3W and to the friends who made time to visit Nellie in her new home.

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