Gertrude May Birkeland

Gertrude May Birkeland

Mrs. Gertrude (Tonnie) Birkeland passed away at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops in the early morning of March 30, 2015. She died peacefully of old age in her sleep at the age of 92 years.

In the days prior to passing, she was visited, surrounded and supported by friends and by her sons’ families which gave her great pleasure.

Tonnie was predeceased by her husband, Odd Arnold Birkeland, in November, 2000. She is survived by her sister Ann (Massachusetts), sons, Arne (North Vancouver, Whistler, Tofino, BC) and Eric (Loyalton, California), their wives and granddaughters Emilie, Tara and Jessica, great grandsons, nephews and numerous grandnephews and grandnieces, and her puppy “Laddie”.

Tonnie was borne in North Bennington, Vermont, on March 3, 1926 to her parents, Walter and Nellie Harrington. Following High School in Vermont, she received her Nursing Certification, then worked as a Registered Nurse at various locations for approximately 30 years.

She met her husband, Odd Arnold Birkeland, while living in Vermont. They were married in 1943 and resided in Vermont and New York State until 1952 when the family immigrated to Kimberley, BC. Tonnie and Odd moved to Chase in 1977 and retired in Chase in 1981.

Tonnie was loved and respected by many in the Chase community. She volunteered with the choir and as organist at St. Andres All Saints Church for many years. She donated property to Sunshore Golf Course when residing on Pine Street. She was actively involved in the duplicate bridge club, the golf club, and participated in many seniors’ events in Chase over the years. She lived on her own on Arbutus Street until January, 2015.

A Memorial Service and Reception is scheduled for 11:00 AM on Sunday, April 12, at the Chase Community Center. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Schoening’s Funeral Services in Kamloops. She will be cremated and buried with her husband in the family plots at the Chase Cemetery.

Condolences may be sent to Schoening’s obituary at In lieu of flowers, donations to a charity of choice or to the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation are greatly appreciated.

Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.