Amelia Jane BirdsSeptember 6, 2017
Amelia Jane Birds
July 8, 1912 – September 6, 2017
Amelia Jane Birds, at the remarkable age of 105, passed away on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at Heritage House, Stettler Continuing Care Centre. Amelia Jane, or Mikki as she preferred to be called, is survived by her 3 grandchildren; Kelly Johnson of Banff; Lorna (Pete) Prediger and their 2 children, Josh and Ben of Calgary; Darren (Joanne) Johnson of Lacombe, their 3 children, Caleb, Hannah and Oliver; half-sisters Christine Furness of Port Coquitlam and Winifred Kennedy of Vancouver, BC. Mikki is predeceased by her devoted daughter Diane and son-in-law L. Rae Johnson of Lacombe, her daughter Valerie Buchanan, her husband Stuart Birds, her parents Bertha (Saxon) and George Kenyon and her brothers Jack and Samuel Kenyon. Mikki is also predeceased by half siblings; George Kenyon, Noreen Moss, Leonard Saxon, Clifford Saxon and Noel Saxon.
Mikki was born in Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire England on July 8, 1912. She lost her beloved father George Kenyon when she was only four years old in the Battle of Somme in 1916. Her mother, Bertha moved Mikki with her two younger brothers to Blackpool England. Bertha remarried and at a young age, Mikki became her mother’s helper since she was the eldest of nine siblings. Mikki was passionate about ballroom dancing and was a performer and instructor at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool England. Mikki survived two World Wars while living in England and was married during these tumultuous times time to Harry Chapman. When her daughter Diane was a teenager, she immigrated to Alberta with her future husband, Stuart Birds. They found government jobs in Edmonton and then moved to St. Albert where they started their own business.
They moved their thriving contract cleaning business to the Okanogan where Mikki was excited to grow peaches. They built a beautiful home on an orchard that over looked Skaha Lake in Kaleden B.C. During this time she became one of the cofounders of the Penticton Yacht Club and enjoyed organizing their events and catering. Mikki truly enjoyed the many years they lived in the Okanogan with their dogs Peppy, Dandy and Marty and Ching-a-ling the cat. It was a beautiful place that her grandchildren loved to visit during the summer.
It was hard for Mikki to leave her life and friends at the Penticton Yacht Club but she was always up for a new adventure. In search of hot weather, Mikki and Stuart moved to Yuma Arizona where they started to build a new home. They were unable to complete their home because Stuart passed away suddenly. Mikki then decided to live in Yuma during the winter months and in Lacombe in the summer.
Mikki truly enjoyed the lifestyle of a snowbird which involved golfing, pool exercises, entertaining, riding bikes, taking dune buggies into the desert for picnics, shopping and travelling with the many friends she had made. Blessed with great health and with wonderful care by her daughter Diane, Mikki lived in Lacombe for the next 30 years. During the last year of her life, Mikki was cared for very well by the staff at Heritage House in Stettler.
Mikki was a memorable, fun-loving, hard-working, and much loved mother, grandmother, wife, sister, aunt and friend who lived a very long and healthy life. She will be missed dearly. A memorial service will be held at the Lacombe Memorial Centre 5214 50 St., Lacombe, Alberta. Date to be announced.