Local matriarch of five generations enjoys her family
Nell (Dafoe) Glass is the proud matriarch of five generations all of which live here in Prince George. Here is a glimpse of her 98 years on this Earth. Nell was born in 1920 in Hanna, Alberta in the middle of a snowstorm. Her grandmother had to deliver her because the doctor was not able to get to their farm to bring her into this world because of the storm.
Nell was always full of energy (and she still is) and throughout her life her father quite often commented and said, “Why not – she was born during a snowstorm.”
She was one of four children. Her mother passed away when she was seven years old and her older brother died of diphtheria at the age of six. When her father remarried, she gained three half-sisters.
Nell grew up on a farm and at the age of 16 she moved to Grenfell, Sask. and attended Bible school. Two years later, she moved to Port Coquitlam and finished Bible school.
She met Andrew Glass, an Air Force airman, in Lethbridge. She said that the chance meeting was a story by itself but to make a long story short she met him at a bowling alley and they got married in 1942. They were married for 15 years when sadly Andrew passed away as the result of the Asiatic Flu during the Asian Flu Pandemic of 1957.
The Asian flu outbreak caused an estimated two million deaths worldwide and is considered one of the three influenza pandemics of the 20th century.
They had three children, ages seven, nine and 12 when he passed away. As a military widow Nell first went to live with Andrews family in Vancouver. She bought a house in Point Grey and raised her children.
Nell said, “I worked at Woodward’s in downtown Vancouver for 15 years. I was diligent in all my work at Woodward’s and I loved the job and the people. I eventually moved to Port Coquitlam and bought into a laundromat and dry-cleaning business for the next 12 years.
“When the children were raised and happy in their lives I retired at the age of 60. I sold the big house and the business and bought a place in Phoenix, Arizona. I decided it was my turn and I went dancing every night except for Sunday and I was the head of the shuffleboard team.
“I knew everyone in the Palm Lakes community in Arizona and I wintered there for the next 26 years and spent the summers on a rotating basis with my children.”
Nell loved her winters in Arizona and enjoyed exploring nearby caves and many of the Arizona canyons. She enjoyed cruising to Hawaii, Alaska and the Panama Canal and eventually sold the property in Arizona and moved to Prince George.
Nell said, “I recently moved to the River Bend complex and decided this would be my permanent residence because of the congenial staff members and all the new and friendly people I have met here.
“I love playing cards and especially bridge. I enjoy singing and I appreciate all music. I am in basically good health except for the fact that I have old Mr. ‘Art-the-ritis’ living with me but we manage to get along. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the good doctors that installed my pacemaker three years ago. I also got a new hip a while back so I am a bionic woman.
“I will be 98 in a few short days and I am thankful to the Lord because I have so much energy. I have the ability to do active things and I am blessed with the feeling that I am full of physical power and life and that is a truly great feeling.
“I raised three wonderful children; Andrew, a business man and his wife Dianne live in Ontario and Norman (deceased) was an accomplished musician. My daughter Sharon works at UNBC and her husband Ron Kell worked for the railroad in Prince George for 30 years and now drives the Northern Health Connections bus.
“I am so proud to say that I also have four grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. They are all such darlings and they all have a piece of my heart. It is a wonderful feeling to have five generations of our family living here in Prince George and I love them all dearly.
“For many years I cooked all the big holiday dinners until my daughter Sharon took it over. Now, I just go and enjoy my family and the great meal. They don’t allow me to do anything and I love it. Actually, at this point, I would probably just be in the way.
“Many times, I think back to the devastating time of my life when my husband passed away. My father was always the man of the house and so was Andrew; he was strong and I relied on him. I lived with my in-laws for the first year after he passed away. It was a hard year for me and I thought that I was not going to be able to get past it or even live through it. I still thank the Lord for guiding me through all those difficult years. I survived it by learning to have a positive attitude and that made me strong.
“I have always been thankful that none of my children went astray and of course in my eyes they are all perfect. I don’t know how I would have survived without them.
“My family has been good to me and for some reason they all think they need to repay me. I want them to know that there is no such thing as repaying me. Regardless, they are always there for me when I need them.”
November birthdays that I know about: Nell Glass turns 98, Mary Kordyban, Shirley Bond, Eva Buchi, Noreen Rustad, Jim Rustad, Amelia Peterson, Ginny Jenkins, Lorraine Anderson, Ann O’Shea, Karen Loehndorf, Maurice Mingay, Victoria Nudds, Ken Royston, Bev Kelly, Darrell Rutledge, Jan Rivers, Carron Dunn, Robin Wright, Wendy Schmidt, Helen Eberherr, Maureen Keibel, Ed Parent, Gale Russell, Randy Sokolowski, Jean Staniland, Maureen Suter, Rita Svatos, Ken Dahl, Eva Switzer, Margaret Toyata, Andrea Palombo, Myrna Lemke, Barbara Fairservice, Pat Collicutt, Dolly Girard, Vi Forden, Bill Roper, Bill Smith, Agnes Lavale, Marlene Arndt, Christena Benwell, Sylvia Fetterly, Sharon Halvorson, Lindsay Hick, Lucien Prevost, Leno Ouellette, Maureen Braun, Jack Paul, Sharon Paul, Annette Kennedy, Neil Hunter, Edith White, Fred Schaefer, Clarence Mork, Bill Heather, Roy Ceal, Charles MacDonald and Violet Symon turned 98 in October.
November anniversaries that I know about: 66 years for Roy and Ivy Whitfield, 65 years for John and Iva Lovett, 58 years for Ted and Carol Haugland, 53 years for Walter and Betty Wessner, 52 years for Vern and Verna Wright, and 42 years for Larry and Kelly Flath.
Nell Glass is matriarch of five generations of her family, including from left standing, Sharon Kell, 67, Michelle Chapman, 47, and Crystal Chapman, 24. Seated is Nell Glass, 97, and Lily Mayhew-Chapman, 16 months.