Whitehorse Daily Star

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Birdie Staley

1929 - 2021

Birdetta (Birdie) May STALEY; Wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and sister passed away peacefully on June 8, 2021 at age 91 in Whitehorse.

Birdie leaves behind those who loved her most: husband John Staley, son Rick (Karmen) Staley, daughter Leslie (Mike) Harper, son Peter (Trena) Staley, daughter Cheryl (Kerry) Horoscoe; 9 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren; her sisters Lorna, Dorothy, Ruby and brother Dennis. She was predeceased by her parents, and sister Rosella.

Birdie was born September 25, 1929 in Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan. Her father taught school and farmed a bit and then moved the family (5 girls/1 boy) to Vancouver where they ran a small grocery store. After high school Birdie enrolled in the Nursing program at Royal Columbian Hospital. After graduating in 1950, Birdie felt the calling of the North, and took an RN Nursing position at the hospital in Whitehorse. It was there that she met a handsome fellow (John Staley) who was working on the Yukon Telegraph Line between Carmacks and Dawson City. The romance blossomed with long walks along Miles Canyon and in the Fish Lake area and the two soon became inseparable. John quit the Telegraph Line and got a job working at the Airforce grocery store in Whitehorse. They were married in 1953 and bought a small house in Whiskey Flats (where the SS Klondike now sits) and started a family. Birdie's skill as a nurse was known and many a person from Whiskey Flats would come to her house for medical help when needed. After the family became too big for the little house in Whiskey Flats they purchased a lot on Lowe Street and together, in 1965, built the family home. Birdie had quit her nursing job and spent her time lovingly, patiently, and caringly raising her 4 children and helping out with the family businesses. (Staley Agencies, Portabode Sales, and Lo-Bird Mobile Home Park (she is the “Bird” in the Lo-Bird). In 1980 Birdie moved with her husband and youngest daughter to Canoe, BC where they lived and operated a small campground near Shuswap Lake. A few years later the call of the North lured them back to their home on Lowe St. where she lived until recently with husband John. Birdie loved her husband, her children, her grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and they all loved her quiet, patient, and fun-loving ways (“Gramma Bird” as she was so affectionately known). Her family brought her the greatest joys in life!

Birdie loved to walk. Her hike of the Chilkoot Trail when she was 60 was one of her favourite trips. She was often seen power-walking in her pink coat and pink hat on the Millennium Trail. In more recent years, Birdie needed some extra help so she moved into the Thomson Centre where she resided for the last few years.

Birdie loved looking up at Golden Horn Mountain. She had viewed it from her Nurses residence window, her Whiskey Flats house, her Lowe St. home, and for the last years from her Thomson Centre room. Her wishes were to have the family gather on Golden Horn Mountain and, together, make that her last resting place.

I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121.1

The family wishes to thank the wonderful Thomson Centre staff and also Reagan for the loving care and support of our “Gramma Bird”.

Comments (1)

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Ruby Felty on Aug 18, 2021 at 9:01 am

I remember my sister as beautiful, kind, and especially loving. I have so many happy and fun memories of our years growing up. Birdie was so much fun to hang out with. God's perfect example of what an older sister should be. I will hold her
memory forever in my heart.

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