Photography

Pauline June (Foster) Bird

June 25, 1936 ~ March 18, 2022 (age 85)

Obituary

Pauline June Bird, neé Foster, passed away peacefully March 18 with her daughters by her side as Frank Sinatra played on. She was 85. 

Pauline was the granddaughter of Okanagan women pioneers, settlers from both Princeton and Oliver. 

She would often speak so proudly of her dad, Howard Foster, and how the church overflowed in 1951 when he passed at 42. Pauline was only 13 but so comforted seeing so many who loved him - his work mates at West Kootenay Power and his dear friends of the Penticton Indian Band community. Howard was one of the founders of the Keremeos Rodeo and kept a horse for young Pauline on the reserve with friends. Many weekends she’d hop on bare back, her dad handing her the mane for reins and away her horse, Babe, would go, galloping toward Edna Avenue to enjoy a weekend in the backyard with Pauline. The same backyard held a skating pond for all the neighbourhood to enjoy over the wintertime. Her dad made a horse-pulled cart to gather the kids for sleigh rides through the street. On the same street, she pounded her pot and spoon, cheering on the Vees as she heard on the radio of their win of the world championship. 

Throughout her life she was lovingly alongside Howard’s sons and her half brothers Dave and Johnny.

Pauline was in awe of her dad. Her mom Mildred made sure after he passed that her love for Pauline would overflow much like that church and keep the house full of love, laughter and friends gathering often around the piano.  She continued to have a home much the same for her family. 

Pauline was one of the Okanagan’s first female real estate agents after closing the family business, “Mildred’s Ladies Wear,” in the early 80s, located in Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops. 

Her simple joys were walking her dog, happy-hour “pop ins” with friends like Kit, Viv and Margaret V to true-blue coffee chats with her forever friend, Thelma, trips to Kona to visit Ron & Marg with Lorna & Van. In the earlier years it was summertime station wagon trips to Trail to visit Ray & Carol, epic Christmas Eve parties where a stable of pals always came, which became a tradition for decades to many over the years like Alec & Alice, Lisa & Jim, Sid & Flo, Dick & Cheryl, Janey & Bruce.

Her plans this spring were to be back on the golf course with her niece, Maureen (Mo), for 6 holes (6 is just enough, she’d say) then enjoy a lunch at the Barley Mill with our pal, Ali, greeting her like she’s famous. 

From Mom’s childhood on Edna Ave with Bubsey (Barbara) and Lloyd and so many others in the old neighbourhood, to living along Skaha Lake in a little cottage house with her England-born husband, Ron, before the girls were born. Then moving up to the West Bench following her mom, Mildred, and step-dad from the time she was 18 - war veteran Allan J Wilson.  The gentlest of all men Al was.  Pauline, Ron and the girls, Jackie & Barbie, and all the pups along the way, had a home filled with laughs, music, fantastic meals and fashion in every form. A simple Sunday spent suntanning on the deck with a hot dog and cold stubby Molson for lunch being one of her favourite ways to relax back in 70s & 80s. She loved the sun, the skiing at Apex, the holidays in Hawaii, buying trips for Mildred’s Ladies Wear to Vancouver that then became trips to visit the girls once they flew the coop. Pauline loved being in real estate, her yearly calendar deliveries brought her so much pleasure visiting clients new and old. She retired when she turned 75.  

She spent many years with her former partner, Dave.  They enjoyed camping and their dogs. She loved tending to her roses and relaxing, over-the-fence conversations with her warm and kind neighbours over the years. Cherishing her friendship with Roberta and her teas with Kathy where the “best pie she’s ever had” were always kindly gifted. 

In her retirement, Mom started each day with a drive to the channel to walk her dog, Annie, who she adored.  She told Barbie, “I always drive along the lake after our walk and mist up feeling so lucky that this is where I’ve lived my whole life.”

She was always grateful for the happy things in life.  When Pauline smiled, you felt it.

Pauline was part of a group in her teenage years known as “Teen Town.” Together they created the Penticton sign on the hillside echoing LA’s Hollywood sign.

When her grandson, Owen, was born 17 years ago, she was present for his first breath. One of her favourite rituals was being with her daughters and Owen RVing and enjoying watching his games at Oliver’s baseball camp.  Over the years, not a long weekend went by without visits from Jackie, Doug and Owen, Barbie and Patrick and their gaggle of pups.

Pauline loved pottery and being at the wheel in the late 60s/early 70s and was taught by Jay Cryderman in the old Shatford Building of Pen High. She was a proud founding member of the Penticton Pottery Guild. The past few years, collecting Mr. Cryderman’s work became a passionate pastime for Barbie & Pauline.  You may have seen them tootling around town in Barbie’s white convertible VW, often making a trip for a maple walnut ice cream. The flavour took them both back to the sweet memories of the Van Os family Tastee Freez.

When Pauline’s dementia created changes in her life, with it came freedom to live in the moment.  Continuing to live full of laughter and music and, as they say in Hawaii - talking story.  And what a story it has been. 

Pauline, aka Polly Wog, a nickname affectionately given to her by her son-in-law, Patrick, was a woman full of true Aloha spirit.  She’s left us for a garden island in the sky. Mahalo (thank you) for being such an amazing mom, grandma, daughter, aunt, wife and friend to so so many.   

We will miss our Mom so much, but we know how lucky we are to have lived life with her. When life got bumpy she’d sometimes remind us of her favourite quote from Elizabeth Taylor: “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.”

A very special thank you to her family at Village By the Station and the oh-so-special friendship and care in Cottage 2.  They treated our Mom with such respect, kindness and laughter. They are true angels to us. And to Dr. Dekock for his consistent care.

In lieu of flowers, donations would be greatly appreciated to the Alzheimer Society of BC and our local SPCA.

Announcement to follow in the later spring to raise a glass with us and celebrate her life.  She’d want it no other way than a party.

 

 

 

 

 


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