Gloria Mia Merkley
Gloria Mia Merkley passed away peacefully on October 18, 2012 in Smithers at the age of 82 years. Gloria was born in Smithers, B.C., on December 22, 1929 to Ermildo and Rose Bellicini. She spent her early childhood in a log cabin they built with the help of other earlier settlers on what later became the Hamblin Farm. Gloria inherited the spirit and the strength of those early pioneers and was known for her resourcefulness, veracity and love for family.
It was in 1946 that Gloria’s future husband, William Merkley, set out from Williamsburg, Ontario, riding the rails westward, by stowing away in empty box cars, a common mode of transportation in those years just after the second world war. He worked his way through to the Pleasant Valley where he soon met Gloria and it appeared he could not forget her, because, although he traveled back to Williamsburg, Ontario that winter, he returned to the Pleasant Valley the next summer and they were married. In the ensuing years four sons were born, Daniel and William, who were twins, then Donald Keith, and finally Robert.
Gloria enjoyed growing beautiful flowers and cooking; she enjoyed trying various dishes from different countries. She was very resourceful and could fashion a savoury meal from whatever was available. Memories of her Italian dishes of Polenta, Pizza and Spaghetti; and her wonderful Minestrone, with all the family around her at the table, will never be forgotten.
She will be dearly missed by her sons: Dan, Bill, Keith and Bob; Her grandchildren: Jennifer Trew (Will); Bill Merkley, Shawn Merkley, Davona Harlow (Mike), Naomi Merkley, (Aaron), Sarah Schaefer (Chris), Aryn Sheriff (Guy); Her great grandchildren: Elyjah, Aynsly, Ethan, Brynn, Claire, Leonie, Helene, Odin, Oakley, Zoe; And various nieces, nephews and friends.
Gloria was predeceased by husband William Harold Merkley; Parents: Rose Bellicini and Emil Bellicini; Brother: Morice Bellicini; Sisters: Yolanda McQuatt and Edith Hollenweger.
A Memorial Service was held for Gloria on Monday, November 5th in St. Anthony’s Parish in Houston, BC. In lieu of flowers donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation can be made in Gloria’s name and sent to 1480 7th Ave., Prince George, BC V2L 3P2.