Nelson, Barbara Anne

Septemeber 1, 1935 – January 16, 2021
at the age of 85 years

It is with profound sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our dear Mother, Barbara Anne Nelson on January 16, 2021 at the age of 85. She is survived by her three children, Debbie (Steve) Pakka, Corinne (Gary) Gray, Michael Nelson, five grandchildren, four great grandchildren and youngest brother, Bill Cousins. She was predeceased by her daughter Wendy, grandson Jared, her parents and three siblings Nora, Mike and Richard (Dick).

She was recently predeceased by her husband Mike after 62 years of marriage.

Mom was a gentle soul, kind and compassionate, with just the right amount of spunk and feistiness. She enjoyed a good laugh and made the best of every situation. Life wasn’t always easy for her but she accepted her “lot in life” graciously. Mom’s interest in other people’s accomplishments was always evident. She was sincerely “in awe” of other people’s talents and if you received her praise it was genuine and from the heart! Mom was naturally humble about her own abilities and even though she was very talented at gardening and landscaping, she preferred to acknowledge the skills of others instead.

Mom was strong and resilient in trying times and could always find “the silver lining” in any situation. She was an extraordinary Mother who left an incredible legacy.

She grew up as a child on an acreage in Kelowna. She had a very happy childhood roaming free on the Orchard, enjoying the “good life” of yesteryear.

She was never one to shy away from hard work, spending many days helping her Dad pick apples, then later extending her tireless work ethic to the nursing profession, a career that spanned over 40 years as a Registered Nurse. She was perfect for the vocation as it allowed her sweet disposition and caring nature to shine through.

She married our Dad, Mike Nelson, in 1957 and had four children in quick succession, one of whom predeceased her at the tender age of 24. This was hard on our family and understandably left a hole in Mom’s heart forever.

 Mom always did her best to “be there for us” even in those crazy years of working full time at the hospital while simultaneously running a Motel with her husband! How she juggled it all we will never know but we do know it’s a testament to her perseverance, dedication and sheer will power to do a job (sometimes two!) and do them well! In her retirement years she had more time for hobbies and of course, true to her nature, she chose to “give back”.  She volunteered at the Red Cross, the Second Harvest Food Bank and the Salmon Arm Thrift store. Her church family at the Cornerstone Christian Reformed Church was very important to her and she made many friends there. Mom loved communicating with relatives and friends, and to her delight, her phone rang often!

We want to deeply thank those wonderful souls who rushed to Mom’s aid before the ambulance arrived. We appreciate you immensely! We gratefully acknowledge the paramedics, doctors and nursing staff at Shuswap Lake General Hospital. Your medical expertise and caring concern were invaluable to us. And last, but certainly not least, we would like to thank everyone at the Shuswap Lodge where Mom resided. To Mom, you weren’t just “residents and staff,” you were extended family!  Each and every one of you! In Mom’s honour and in lieu of flowers a donation to the Shuswap Lodge in Mom’s name would be greatly appreciated.

                                                                               “To the World you may be one person, but to one person you may be the World”


  1. Debbie, We were very saddened by the sudden passing of your dear mother!
    I knew her well, through church and Bible study, and enjoyed having both of you at many of our Ladies events.
    Anne was such a sweet lady, always upbeat and positive whenever we spoke by phone. Our hearts go out to you and your family in your loss. But we also rejoice with you, Debbie in that your parents are reunited, in the presence of their Saviour!

  2. So sad to hear of Anne’s passing. I had the wonderful pleasure of knowing her and some of the family for many years. She was on our dragon boat team for several years and she shared a few stories of her and the family’s adventures. I used to drive her on the days we paddled and we had many laughs. She was one of the kindest and most caring person I have met. She was a special person. My condolences to the family.

  3. Sorry to hear of your mother’s passing Deb . Thinking of you in this difficult time.

  4. We are grateful that we met your Mom, and appreciated her hospitality. She was so sociable and no doubt was uplifting your family always with her kindness, effort, good expectations and patience. We understood she was determined in coping with health issues and glad for her successes – a life-long health “warrior” as a nurse, and senior. This sudden loss due to the accident is heartbreaking. Our deepest sympathies to all of the family.

  5. Dear Debbie Corrine Michael and Family

    We were heartbroken to hear about your Mom’s tragic accident. We pray you can take comfort in knowing your Mom is at peace and was loved and respected by so many people.
    What a beautiful tribute and obituary. Your Mom was a special person. One in a million !
    She will be greatly missed !
    May sweet memories bring you comfort and peace over time.
    Thinking of you all with Heartfelt Sympathy.

    Susan and Darrell Jarvie

  6. Although I only knew your Mom for a short time, I know she was a remarkable lady and I’m very glad to have been a (small) part of her life. It is very evident that her wonderful demeaner has passed down to all of her children and grandchildren. I will continue to know her through all of you and will love to hear more family stories and memories in the near future. <3

  7. So sorry to hear about your Mom. Please know that we are thinking about you and your family at this difficult time.

  8. So very sorry to read this Debbie. Our condolences to you and your family, and may your memories give you comfort as you recover.

  9. Sorry to hear about your loss. Your Mother, will be remembered by all that knew her. She was such a wonderful woman, I got to know her through work. Loved and adorn her. Such an amazing Lady.
    She will always be there for all of u.

  10. I was so sorry to hear of the tragic accident. My condolences to you Debbie and all of your family. I will missing seeing your Mom at Shuswap Lodge. A beautiful lady.

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