In loving memory of
myrtle “Myrt” Amanda Mortensen
July 22, 1911 – Dec. 24, 2002
Myrtle was born in Minot, North Dakota, the second child of Pete and Annie Berg. She moved with her family to Smithers in 1914. When she was twelve years old, Myrt’s mother died, and she took over running the household for her father. With six siblings, including one older and five younger (Ethel aged 11 months), Myrt became a mother at a very tender age.
In 1936, when she was twenty-five, Myrtle married Carl Oluf Mortensen. They raised seven children and farmed in the valley until 1970. Together they faced the many hardships of the time with no electricity and many mouths to feed – both children and animals. Her kids share many memories of those years growing up, including dancing in the “frontroom” and singing around the piano, accompanied by Myrt’s beautful playing. The old war songs and Christmas carols were favourites no matter what the season.
Myrt was a wonderful cook and also baked fresh bread and treats daily on the old wood stove. She enjoyed reading, crosswords puzzles, embroi-dery and crocheting – creating many beautiful pieces of fancy work.
As the older kids grew up and moved into town the decision to change from a cow/calf operation to raising feeder calves made it possible to manage with less help. More of the outside work, giving Carl a hand, also fell on Myrt’s shoulders. By 1970 life had come full circle with work being shared between the two of them – partners for life. With the last kids graduated and moved into town, it was time for them also to move on.
In 1970 Myrt and Carl sold the farm and moved to the Lower Viewmont where they enjoyed several years together taking up bowling, making bus trips with other seniors, and enjoying a more leisurely lifestyle. They then decided it would be wise to move into town and lived together in the hill section of Smithers until Carl passed away in 1980. Myrt continued to live there until 1992 when she moved into the Bulkley Lodge, which was to be her home until her passing. For her family, the Lodge became like a second home. Many hours were spent playing crib, putting puzzles together, relishing coffee and treats, enjoying the companionship of the staff, touring the hallways with Myrt in her chair, and just generally sharing in her life. We were welcomed there and know how blessed we are to have had that time together.
Myrtle was predeceased by her mother Annie; her father Pete; her brothers Johnnie, Harold and Art; her sisters Mabel and Ethel; her stepmother Mary; and her husband Carl.
Myrtle is lovingly remembered by her brother Percy Berg; her stepsister Hope Laughlin; her brother-in-law Chuck Morris; her sons Art (Myrna), John (Marion), Jim (Mary Lou Bevier); her daughters Karen Dueck (Ray), Louise Flint (Bill), Sheila Howard (Les), and Jean O’Sullivan (Tim). Myrtle is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and a large extended family.
Sincere thanks to Dr. Susan Miles who cared for Myrt in past years, and to Dr. Andrew Kotaska for stepping in and providing great care and support when we needed you. Dr. Karin Blouw thank you for taking Myrt on as your patient. Your calm, quiet presence and advice, when tough decisions needed to be made, was much appreciated. It was a great comfort knowing you were there. To all Myrt’s caregivers over the last many years – thank you for the love and comfort that you provided.
From Myrtle’s family to all friends and relatives for cards, flowers, food, wishes and prayers received – thank you. Our thanks also for donations made to the Bulkley Lodge and donations made to the Turtle Garden Animal Shelter, in Myrtle’s name.
If there is truth to Victor Hugo’s quotation “The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.” Myrtle left this world supremely happy.