April 13, 1947 – October 29, 2019
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Brenda, after a long and very determined battle with cancer. She has left us join her beloved husband Roy who passed in June of 2018.
Brenda was born to Paul and Helen (nee Margraf ) Laible in Winnipegosis, Manitoba, and spent her early years on the Laible farm. School years were marked by several moves before her family settled in Aldergrove, B.C. There she would meet lifelong friends and her future husband Roy. They married October 1966 and welcomed their only child Anna-Marie in December 1967.
Brenda was hard worker all her life. She started part-time work at age 11. After graduating from high school she gained employment in banking and quickly became head teller.
Working at this job in downtown Vancouver encouraged her sense of style. Forever after, she was rarely without lipstick and almost always wore high heels. Brenda continued in banking after moving with the family to Flin Flon, Manitoba (1969) and later to Thompson, Manitoba (1974). She excelled; became an accountant, then a branch manager. This was in an era when it was extremely rare for women to hold these positions. Having conquered that, she gave up her banking career to embark on the new challenge of running her own business. She had knit her first sweater four years earlier; based on that and the confidence that she could “learn on her feet”, she opened a successful yarn & craft store in 1975.
In 1978 the travel bug bit. Brenda made the plans and everything in northern Manitoba was left behind to explore Europe for a year with Roy and Anna-Marie. What an adventure!
Upon return to Canada, Brenda and Roy were looking for new opportunities to work together as business owners. They purchased B&B Glass and the family settled in Kimberley, BC. There were many challenges but Brenda and Roy were a team that always persevered, they even added to the workload by running the Sears Catalogue outlet. They put in long hours but also made time for fun. Workdays brought many laughs with employees, suppliers, and customers, but the best part of the day was usually meeting friends for lunch. The majority of their free time was spent on anything to do with cars, especially working on race cars and road trips to race tracks. Many kilometers/miles were travelled and if Brenda was riding shot-gun you could be sure the stereo was blasting! Brenda had a deep appreciation for music, particularly live events (Metallica was her absolute favorite band-she saw them 3 times!). Unfortunately breast cancer barged into her life at age 54 and intruded again 13 years later.
She was a true warrior but never considered herself out of the ordinary. She just bought a wig, then carried on…working, travelling, caring for others, and usually looking fabulous while doing it. This was truly her nature.
When the time came to retire, Brenda and Roy were most generous in passing their business along with their knowledge down to Anna-Marie’s spouse Brian. Of course retirement did not slow Brenda down; she continued to keep her mind and hands busy. She was a tireless volunteer for the Kimberley Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store. But above all else Brenda loved spending time with her grand-daughter Josephine.
Brenda was an amazing, strong, inspiring, and generous soul who has touched many lives.
Her home was her heart and it was open to all who came…family, friends, fosters, and rescued pets. There was a special place in her life for international students. She thoroughly enjoyed being a “Host Mother” for 30 years and loved to hear from former students, with some even coming back for visits.
Brenda will be dearly missed. She leaves to mourn her daughter Anna-Marie (Brian Bova), grand-daughter Josephine, mother Helen Laible, sister Diane Burton, niece Amanda Webb (Mike and their daughter Dakota), nephew Duncan Burton (Kim Tamblyn), in-laws Starla and Vic Kowal and Colleen and Alyn Jensen, nephews Chet (Claire) Skolos and Grant Skolos along with many more good friends and relatives.
The family would like to express our gratitude for the care and support received from so many different people, departments and programs throughout Brenda’s journey. A special thank you goes to Dr Buddo, Home Support, and most notably the staff in the Oncology Department at East Kootenay Regional Hospital.
A Celebration of Life will be held for both Brenda and Roy in the summer of 2020 with date and details to be announced once decided.
For those who would like to donate in Brenda’s memory please do so through the East Kootenay Foundation for Health (1-877-489 6481 or www.ekfh.ca). Funds will be directed to the Oncology Department.
Condolences for the family may be offered at: www.mcphersonfh.com
McPherson Funeral Services
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