Ida E. Dekelver

In Loving Memory of

Ida E. Dekelver (Arnold) September 30, 1923 – March 7,2017 (93 years old)


After spending 4 1/2months in hospital, Ida passed away peacefully with a long time family friend and Hospice volunteer, Ella Greffard by her side in Forest View Place, Clearwater, BC. Ida was an inspirational, courageous role model for everyone who met her. She leaves a huge void in all our hearts. RIP, Ida.

Ida Dekelver is survived by her sons, Carl (Diane), Joseph (Diane) Richard (Cathy) all from Clearwater, and daughter, Tina (Laurie) Brewer from McLeese Lake, as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband, Joseph Emil Dekelver in 1996, daughter Diane Leighton, and her son, Justin Frye in 1989, son George Dekelver in 2008, granddaughter Courtney, and husband Sky Buck, and Baby Buck in 2012, and brothers Steve and Bud Arnold.

Ida and Emil were married on October 14, 1944 in Kuroki, Saskatchewan. Ida and Emil had 4 sons and 2 daughters. The family grew big vegetable gardens on the home property and provided vegetables for sale at Pratt’s General Store (near the old Thompson River Bridge) and Greenwood’s General Store (at the bottom of Stegg’s Hill). During the summer, Ida was a shepherd on the Trophy Mountain with their herd of sheep; in the winter she trapped, often with her son, George. In the 1960’s, Ida worked for Mac and Cecile McDiarmid at their Royalite/Gulf Service Station, where Jim’s Market is now, and in later years, became care-givers to her long-time friends. Ida and Mac enjoyed berry picking which Ida turned into wonderful preserves, as well as collecting wild mushrooms.

In 1967, Ida, and her two donkeys, Jack and Bill, followed the route of the Overlanders to her home town in Wadena, Saskatchewan. The trip took 40 days and covered 1,000 miles. She camped by the roadside, and in the evenings she would show home movies of the Clearwater area and the Trophy Mountains to interested visitors. This, perhaps, was the start of her serious interest in preserving the history of the North Thompson Valley, and her never ending quest to preserve nature for future generations.

Mrs. Dekelver volunteered countless hours in School District 26 classrooms, teaching the children about their local heritage. The children learned how the pioneers lived, from making soap, preserving hides, raising crops, picking wild berries, making bread, churning butter, building shelters, to how volcanoes shaped the landscape. She helped the children with their heritage displays. The children always loved when Mrs. D came to visit.

Ida often had displays at the local library, She worked hard to preserve the history of the local First Nations Heritage by documenting local sites through the BC Archaeology Society, and she and Mac found, documented and photographed one undiscovered site on Adams Lake.

Ida tirelessly campaigned to have the Trophy Mountain included in Wells Gray Park to preserve and protect it. She also protested the damming of the Clearwater River for hydro electricity. For many years Ida was a step-on tour guide on buses for different tour companies. The tourists always enjoyed and appreciated her knowledge of the area.

For many years Ida had a museum on her property. It drew 100’s of visitors each year. It was filled with old pictures, maps, equipment, traps, and articles of interest, She and daughter, Diane, spent countless hours on back roads, locating historical places such as the Japanese Tea House near Blue River.

Ida was quite small in stature, but big and strong in character!, whether logging, farming, shepherding, being alone on the trap line, taking snow measurements or, in one case, delivering her own baby, by herself (while her other babies were sleeping! Her biggest fear was them waking up!). In September, 1961, she gave birth to her youngest daughter, Tina without a phone, hydro, or vehicle and while her husband was away!

She was also artistic! She created charming pictures from nature – cones, birch bark, moss, pebbles etc.

She also had a poet’s ear for words, and her cards and notes would often have a poetic line. Ida was a very busy lady with all her interests. In between times, she was a member of the Women’s Institute, Chamber of Commerce, BC Naturalists, BC Archeology Society, Friends of Wells Grey and many more. She also took courses on Museums in Victoria too.

Celebration of Life will be held on:

April 15, 2017 at Clearwater Ski-hill, 566 Dunn Lake Road, Clearwater, BC. @ 1:00 PM

Refreshments will be available but potluck finger food is also appreciated.

Get your thinking caps on and maybe get up and share some of your special memories.

In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to

Dr Helmcken Memorial Hospital Auxiliary 

640 Park Drive, Clearwater, BC V0E 1N1

In Memory of Ida Dekelver for a portable suction machine for Forest View Place.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to Drake Cremation and Funeral Services – Clearwater. BC.