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Pleasant Valley Funeral Home

4303 Pleasant Valley Road, Vernon, BC

OBITUARY

Magda Kristine Kruse Gregersen

September 1, 1929July 27, 2019
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Magda Kristine Kruse Gregersen Eulogy

Madga was born on a family farm near a small town called Hejnsvig, Denmark, the 2nd of 4 children. She grew up learning the value of hard work and was taught a work ethic early on in life. When she was old enough to leave home, she began a career working with children in government run orphanage children’s homes. Her photo albums were full of photos of the children she had fallen in love with and whose lives she touched. Magda had a huge heart for children.

Another passion of hers, was playing handball, a popular sport in Denmark. During her teen years she played on a handball team coached by a handsome young gentleman by the name of Elgaard Gregersen. The two developed a friendship, but not long after that, Elgaard left for a 10 year adventure to Canada.

Magda poured her energies in the children’s home and the lives of those entrusted to her care. She had embraced the idea that she would never marry or have children of her own. Until one day, when Magda was 29, Elgaard returned from Canada and this time their friendship quickly blossomed into true love. Elgaard and Magda were married March 18th, 1961.

This was considered a ‘late in life’ marriage in those days. She was 30 and he was 43, so, the way she explained it, there wasn’t time left and they had to get busy before her biological clock ran out! They had 4 kids in 6 years: Bert was born in 62, Jens was born in 63, Tina was born in 65 and Leo was born in 67. Her last baby was born the year Magda turned 38, which, even though that is more common now, it was quite unconventional back then!

Elgaard and Magda bought a 100 year old farm in Denmark by the name of Lemtorp with a thatched roof, near a little town called Lemvig, that they worked hard to support their growing family. Then sadly, in 1968 there was a fire and they lost their farm and almost everything they owned. One of the sows knocked over a lamp meant to keep the newborn baby pigs warm and it somehow ignited the hay and the farm quickly was engulfed and destroyed. They were devastated and at a crossroads in their lives, to know what to do next. After much discussion, it was decided that they would immigrate with their 4 children to Canada. Elgaard had fallen in love with Canada and felt like it would be a fabulous place to raise their 4 children. What was left of their belongings was packed into a wooden crate and put on a ship to cross the ocean and the family flew to Canada. Leo was 1, Tina was 3, Jens was 5 and Bert was 7 years old. With only Elgaard knowing how to speak English, this was quite the adventure for Magda, moving to a new country to start a new life, at the age of 40, not even speaking the language! It must have taken a lot of bravery for her to embark on this adventure!

Once in Canada, they built a new home and a new life together. First in Taylor BC and then later moving to Vernon BC. When they moved into their new home out in Okanagan Landing, they became acquainted with their new neighbors, the Erdman family, with whom they formed life-long friendships. Donna Erdman is doing the honor of playing piano for us here today.

In 1978, Elgaard died of cancer, leaving Magda to raise their family on her own. She was an immigrant widow who barely spoke English, with 4 kids to raise. She went to work cleaning houses by day and offices by night. Money was tight but everyone worked together. Magda kept the household going and she kept her children fed and clothed. Her challenges were great, but her love for her family was greater.

All of her children learned to have a good work ethic and all have gone on to be entrepreneurs in their own lives.

And no one was ever more excited to become a grandmother than Magda was! She loved her grandchildren so much and her face lit up every time she saw one of them.

Magda never dated again. When asked why not, she said it simply would not be fair. She would compare everyone to Elgaard and no one could ever be him. She felt fortunate to have had one great love in her lifetime, she said, and that was enough for her. And so she focused on her family and her church. She was very involved in Peace Lutheran Church and later in Living Word Lutheran Church. She was a dedicated member and loved baking for church events. Everyone who knew Magda, loved her pastries! She loved to bake and feeding people gave her great joy and it brought great joy to those blessed enough to have enjoyed her baking!

Magda began to struggle with dementia, so Jens moved in with her to help take care of things. As the dementia progressed, her health deteriorated and she ended up in hospital. It became apparent that the family needed more support in providing for her care. In 2016 Magda moved into Polson Residential Care Home. Magda told us often how kind the nurses were to her and how nice everyone treated her there. It was evident how fond the staff became of her. Her humor and sweet spirit won over the hearts of everyone that met her. It was not uncommon for the nurses to pass on stories of something cute or funny that Magda had said or done.

Magda often would say, she was looking forward to the day when she could go to be with her beloved Elgaard once again. And finally, on July 27th, Magda fell asleep for the final time and slipped off into eternity to once again be reunited with the love of her life.

Madga’s lived a life of service, a life of adventure and a life of love. All who knew her were blessed to have had her in their lives.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.pleasantvalleyfh.com for the Gregersen family.

Services

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Magda Kristine Kruse Gregersen

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