Our wonderful Mom passed away peacefully at Haven Hill Care Home in Penticton, BC on June 12, 2020. Mom led a full life and at 97 she has finally found the peace she deserves.
Lorna was born to Olga Baglo and Albert Johnson on April 4, 1923 in Buchanan, Sask., the oldest daughter of a family of 9. As the oldest daughter, she was her mother’s helper in caring for the large farm family, but it was a very happy home. They were of Norwegian descent and spoke only Norwegian at home. She often told the story how embarrassed she was when first in school and not able to speak English. She enlisted the help of a neighbour and was soon teaching English to her parents and siblings. Mom was a natural leader and teacher. She left the family farm when still a teenager to attend Beautician School in Regina. She continued her vocation for over six decades, owning several successful hair salons, the last in Red Gap, Nanoose Bay.
In November 1945, Lorna married Frank Dreveny in Margo, Sask. They moved to Vancouver Island where Frank worked in the logging industry. This was rough and ready living with little in the way of amenities but our Mom happily managed. Their first daughter Sylvia was born when they lived in Chamiss Bay in Kyuquot Sound. In those years travel was by boat and all shopping was done by telegraph to Woodward’s in Vancouver. Food and necessities were shipped up on the MV Uchuck, which I believe is still running. Mom often told the funny story of ordering 6 oranges from Woodward’s, which got somehow mistaken for 6 cases of oranges. Everyone in camp had a present from the Dreveny family of a few oranges.
By the early 1950's the little family moved to Cowichan Lake living on a tiny float house. Two more daughters were born while living on the float house, Joanne and Christine. Our strong, capable Dad became logging supervisor for BC Forest Products, so they moved into the logging camp called Camp 3 or Nitinat Camp. Mom would talk about how happy she was to move to a house on land and with a basement! The youngest daughter Susan was born at this time.
This was a happy time for Mom and Dad with camp life being very community oriented. In about 1957, Dad and Mom moved the family to Lake Cowichan so that we girls could continue school. Dad and a friend had formed their own contract logging company, so he could no longer live in camp. He had made a promise to Mom that when possible, he would move the family to Penticton, to be closer to her relatives. The decision was made to move the family to Penticton permanently in the early 1960’s. We temporarily lived in our small summer house on Bassett St. until they bought a newly built house on Bennett Ave.
Mom was again working as a hairdresser in Penticton and made great friends with the customers and fellow beauticians. I remember that at Christmas, Mom would get many gifts from her customers of wine and chocolates, which were much appreciated by the little girls as that was about the only time we ever got boxed chocolates.
By the late '60's, the oldest 3 daughters had graduated and gone off to UBC. In 1969 Lorna and Frank moved to their Nanoose Bay property with Susan, the only daughter still at home. Mom continued to work as a hairdresser and was a remarkably successful businesswoman. Dad passed away in 1992 and shortly thereafter, Mom moved to Kelowna where she lived until the necessity of full-time care was evident. She spent her last years at Haven Hill Care Center in Penticton.
Mom was a lover of music, a passion she passed on to her daughters. She continued to do crossword puzzles every day almost to the end and played contract bridge at the Rutland Senior Center for many years. She loved to cook and was known for her cinnamon buns and for her Norwegian lefse which was always the first plate emptied at family gatherings. We will miss her phone calls telling us ‘it’s wine time, come on over’…and it always was.
We would like to express our appreciation to the staff at Haven Hill particularly in Lower Cherry. You made our Mom comfortable and she was very content to live there. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Mom is pre-deceased by husband Frank Dreveny; son-in-law, Harry Baxter; sisters, Doris Nelson and Luella Larsen; Johnson brothers, Edgar, Carl, Albert, Russell, Gerald and Robert.
Lorna will be tremendously missed by her daughters, Sylvia (George Melville), Joanne (David Willis), Christine Fraser and Susan Dreveny; grandchildren, Lia, Jordan, Kris, Jared, Angela, Noelle, Dain, Evan, Morgan; 11 great grandchildren (and two more coming this summer); and many nieces and nephews.
We will be having a private grave-side service for her interment and plan to have a family gathering later in the summer.
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