It is with deep sorrow that the family of Della Gaskell announces her passing on Friday, March 13, 2015 in Cranbrook at 79 years of age.
Della was born on July 6, 1935 in Invermere, BC to Bessie (nee Nelson) and Percy Sims. They lived in various towns in the Kootenays before they settled in Cranbrook. Della was always very independent and went to work when she was 14 or 15 years old as a camp cook. Soon after Della was married and had five children who became her life’s greatest passion. While Della enjoyed her time with her children greatly, she also would have her younger sister and nephews stay with her for weeks at a time. Later in life when she married Roy, she embraced his three children and loved them as her own. As her grandchildren and great grandchildren were born she embraced them and encircled them with her deep love.
Along the way Della become a great bowler and won many trophies. Her needlework became a great passion as well, but fishing was her favorite pastime. She and Roy spent many happy hours in their boat at Premier, White Swan and Koocanusa Lakes. Della would often catch the biggest fish and loved to tease Roy about it. She loved to play cards too, and delighted in beating Roy at crib, which they played almost every day until her passing. Della loved to dance – especially to country and western tunes. She loved flowers and hummingbirds and Thomas Kincade’s artwork. She loved her home and kept it beautiful, always surrounding herself with pictures and treasures. Della was a wonderful cook and baker. There were always cookies in the cookie jar! So it would follow that Della’s career was in the restaurant business. She worked and managed Kentucky Fried Chicken, Orange Julius and Woolworth’s restaurant, always taking pride in the food she prepared as well as the cleanliness of the kitchen.
Left to mourn her passing are her loving husband of 45 years Roy Gaskell; her five children Susan (Terry) Conroy of Cranbrook, Ron (Carmen) Lancaster of Maple Ridge, Debbie (Bob) Graham of Creston, Sandra (Troy) Ross of Cranbrook and Randy (Lydia) Lancaster of Cranbrook; her three step-children Terry (Jan) Gaskell of Okotoks, Bill (Kathy) Gaskell of Airdrie and Darlene (Ron) Henkewich of Winnipeg. She is also survived by her brother Percy (Marion) Sims of Kimberley and sister Cindy (Rob) Stevely of Fort Steele; 22 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and special friends.
Della was predeceased by her mother Bessie Hughes (1993) and father Percy Sims (1940’s); sister Viola Bradshaw (2007) and brother-in-law Art (1998); brother George Sims and sister-in-law Betty (1977); brother Jim Sims (1989) and sister-in-law Inez (1974); brother Mervin Sims (1991) and sister-in-law Lisa (1992), and brother Pat Hughes (1966).
Della was a loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother and friend. Words cannot express how much she will be missed.
A memorial service for Della will be held at McPherson Funeral Home in Cranbrook on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 11:00 am. Donations in her honour can be made to the: The Salvation Army, 533 – Slater Road NW, Cranbrook, British Columbia, V1C 4Y5 or the: Heart & Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon, Okanagan/Kootenays Area Office, #4, 1551 – Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna, British Columbia, V1Y 9M9.