Velma Anne Conrad
Velma Anne Conrad was the first Canadian-born child of
Mathew and Ivka Iskra, immigrants from Yugoslavia who
settled in Kimberley with a son and daughter. Velma followed soon after on January 23, 1931. She died at the Cranbrook Regional Hospital on August 10, 2017.
She was predeceased by her husband of 52 years, F.H. “Bud”
Conrad, a machinist and manager at the Cominco concentrator. She was also predeceased by her older siblings, Rudy Iskra and Zory Caldwell. She is mourned by her son Mark Conrad (Patricia) and daughter Cindy Stewart (Charles) as well as grandchildren Megan, Andrea (Craig) and Mathew (Nichole) and four great-grandchildren.
Tall, talented, athletic and beautiful, Velma lived a fulfilling
and happy life running a busy household and contributing
to social and sporting life in Kimberley. She briefly worked
at a dress shop and as a skilled seamstress with sharp style,
she made the majority of her family’s clothes for more than
two decades — through the swinging ’60s no less. She used
her expertise and creativity to design matching outfits for
the town’s celebrated costume parties and parades. Together, Velma and Bud were lively dancers who loved two-stepping in their signature way; the family camped extensively throughout Kootenays and road-tripped across Western Canada and the U.S. There was no life as enjoyable as a mid-century Kimberley home-maker, Velma often said. Her fortunate and content life upheld this truth.
Before it was commonplace for young women to play sports,
she was a high-achieving basketball and soft ball player as
a student at McKim and Selkirk schools. As an adult, she
continued to heat up the score sheet as a golfer, bowler and
curler. A perennial champion, she represented B.C. in bowling at the Canadian nationals and was a consistent winner on the regional golf circuit. Velma also had a lasting lucky streak at the bridge and bingo tables, one more blessing in her fulfilling life.
Over the decades, Velma and Bud demonstrated their belief
in community service through their volunteer commitments,
both at the ready to contribute their time, skill and
leadership. Velma remained an active part of the community
at Garden View Village and, until the end, she found immense value in participating in Kimberley social and charitable life.
She will be dearly missed.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the charities
Velma and Bud supported, including the Cominco Gardens,
the Spark Society for Youth, and the Selkirk Secondary