Thelma Irene Sjodin

Thelma Irene Sjodin

Long-time resident of Canoe, BC, Thelma Sjodin (nee Lund) passed away on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 in the Shuswap Lake General Hospital.

Thelma was predeceased by her husband, Walter Sjodin Sr., her son Walter Sjodin Jr., her grandson Lance Nicolaisen, her step-grandson Trevis August-Sjodin and her step-granddaughter Tracy August-Sjodin.

Thelma will be so greatly missed by her son John (Margaret) Sjodin of Chase, BC and her daughter Kristina Nicolaisen of Grand Prairie, AB, as well as many grandchildren, great grandchildren and Thelma lived even to see great, great grandchildren.

Known for her love of people and her ready smile, Thelma will be sadly missed by all who knew her, including her many extended family members and friends.

Born in the first Salmon Arm hospital in 1916, Thelma grew up the eldest of 10 jolly and musical children born to John and Theodora (Dolly) Lund, and of them is now survived only by her youngest brother, Lawrence, of Smithers, BC.

Being as her grandfather, Johan Haakan Lund was a first citizen of Canoe, Thelma loved her family heritage and was always eager to share photos and stories of the pioneer days.

To Our Family, Friends, and Acquaintances in the Okanagan,

It was with great sadness we learned of Thelma’s passing, and even though miles have separated us over the years, there has always been a special bond between us. Thelma’s almost weekly calls to Lawrence kept him apprised of the goings on, life and activity in Canoe and surrounding area. But more than an update, the calls were probably made to check up on her little brother to make sure he was OK. That’s what big sisters do.

As we, the northerners in the family look back to the rich history of our roots in Canoe and the role Thelma has played in our lives, we see Thelma as the epitome of a true pioneer woman. She was a beloved mother, sister and not just any “aunt”. She, of course, was “Aunty Thelma” to many cousins, second cousins and even many friends. We know her passing leaves a big hole in all of our lives, even those of us who have lived far away and not been able to enjoy her company in person as often as we would have liked. Nevertheless, we hold her dear to our hearts and have enjoyed the times we were able to visit on holidays or connect via phone over the years.

The passing of a loved one is usually a sober (and sometimes not so sober) time of reflection. A time, when upon realization that life is all too short, we do an account of the things that really matter and the things that do not in the big scheme of things.

So, usually, it’s in the light of the life of the person we have just said final goodbyes to, our busy lifestyles, our drive to succeed, and relationships, past and present, all seem to move to the forefront of our thoughts of what really matters.

On this occasion, we can evaluate our lives, values, relationships, accomplishments, failures and everything else life throws our way in the light of Thelma’s life. To sum up and describe Thelma and her approach to life in a single word is difficult and we are sure we all have varied perspectives. However, in our memories, one world that could be used is the simple word “twinkle”.

On the surface, that may seem to be a trivial word and a rather cursory summation of a life long lived, but I think we can all agree, while reflecting on our own lives, that “twinkle” seems to describe the very essence of Thelma’s life. She was in her own way a rock for many of us to escape to in times of trouble, a person who never turned away anyone in need. Always, and often in spite of her own pain at times, willing to give, to help and encourage. A cup of tea perhaps, a little cash for gas, a home-cooked meal, perhaps a jar of homemade jam or piece of pie, a funny story, a mischievous joke or prank and the ever important lending of an ear. We can remember the twinkle in her eye and smile when she was light-heartedly joking or kidding around. Kind of a mischievous but a well-meaning twinkle reserved for those she loved.

We also remember her home as a peaceful place, graced with reminders of what was truly most important to her, her family. There were shelves of memorabilia, pictures of Uncle Walter, of grandchildren, pictures by grandchildren and other valuable crafts and photos of sons, daughters. Tea was always at the ready, cookies and treats in the wings, all given with the “twinkle” in her eye. There were other vivid memories as well, like multiple cuckoo clocks, milking cows with Uncle Walter, separating cream from the milk with Auntie Thelma and so many others but they all pale in comparison to the memory of who she was, a gentle, peaceful and comforting spirit with a “twinkling” personality.

So as you celebrate Thelma’s life in Canoe and we, in Smithers, let us all reflect on what she meant to us as a mother, sister, aunt and good friend and upon what made her such a special person. Let’s honour her memory by being true to the values she held close, hard work, perseverance, friendship, honesty, compassion, humility, hospitality and last, but not least, family.

We all wish we could be present at this tea today to grieve Thelma’s passing and celebrate her life with our family and friends. We will all miss her dearly and miss all of you as well.

Looking forward to seeing you all again someday soon.

All our best,

Lawrence, Betty and family

The family hosted a Memorial tea was held in the Canoe Community Hall on Sunday afternoon, May 26, 2013 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

On line condolences may be sent to Thelma’s obituary at

Arrangements were in the care of Bowers Funeral Home and Crematorium, Salmon Arm.

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