Aug. 6, 1914 – Oct. 27, 2010
Ena Lilian Bird peacefully passed away at Eagle Park Lodge in Qualicum Beach, B.C. Ena was born August 6, 1914 at Aylesbury, England to parents Roderick and Lillian (Whiting) McDonald. Her mother returned to her parents home to give birth to Ena. Only three months later, Ena, her mother and only brother William returned to Calgary, Alberta to rejoin Ena’s father, as the First World War had started. William died at age six of a tragic accident. Ena moved with her parents to Banff, Alberta at an early age and received her high school diploma there. Ena loved swimming all her life up to the age of 95 years old. She worked as a life guard at the Cave and Basin and the Upper Hot Springs swimming pools in Banff. Ena did nurses training from 1392 to 1934 in Vancouver. In 1939 Ena fell in love with George Thurber, a cowboy who worked for Brewster’s in Banff. They moved to Nanton and Longview, Alberta where they raised three boys, Rod born June 1940 (deceased August 1996), Graham Born August 1941, who lives in Black Diamond, Alberta and Doug born in April 1943 (deceased December 1974).
In 1958 Ena went into Nurses Training at Weyburn, Saskatchewan and graduated as a psyche nurse in 1962. Ena worked at Ponoka and Banff Hospitals. In 1966 after Ena’s parents passed away, she moved to Greenwood, B.C. where she operated a service station with George Ainsworth. In 1982 Ena moved to Parksville, B.C. to be closer to her son Rod and family.
Ena was a very active member of the Legion # 49 Auxiliary and held several positions as well as organizing the poppy campaign. She belonged to the Pool League at the Legion. She was an active volunteer with the Stroke Recovery Group for many years. Ena was a gifted artist, painting in watercolors and oils.
Ena loved driving and for many years owned a camper van and travelled all over the country. She gave up her driver’s license in 2002. Ena travelled in Europe, across Canada, the USA and Hawaii.
February 6, 2002, Ena married Clay Bird. Ena was 87 and Clay 83 years of age. We remember the pastor when he was doing the marriage saying, “We have 170 years of experience here, what can I tell these two fine people?” they thoroughly enjoyed each other and could be found dancing at the Legion or Bradley Centre. Or you could find them at noon with their lunch sitting at the water on Qualicum Beach. For the last year Ena and Clay lived at Trillium Lodge and it was a sad day when Clay passed away on December 17, 2006.
Ena is survived by her son Graham, Daughters-in-law Jenny Anderson from Coombs, Connie Thurber from Powell River and Ann Murray from Raymond, Alberta. Ten grandchildren: Michael Thurber, Karen Jensen, Myst Heather DeVana (Johathan Lyster), Doug (Shauna) Schwartz, Laramie (Michelle), Milo (Hilary) and Orrlan (Diamond) Thurber, Christi (Merrill) Strong, Tara and Kali Thurber. Twenty two great grandchildren: Shanna and Jamie Jensen, Storm Jespersen, Rowan DeVana, Chase, Dakota and Logan Schwartz, Morgan, Doveena, Anais, Capri, Madison, Lillian, Gabriella, Vivien, Taylea, Jhevyn and Aveh Thurber. Spencer, Claire, Marissa and Arron Strong. Two great, great grandchildren: Doryen and Maddelyn Jensen. Ena is also survived by her step children Brad Bird and Karen Stewart, Bruce and Deona Bird.
Ena’s Memorial Service to be held at a later date and the scattering of Ena’s ashes will take place in July 2011 at the ocean.
In lieu of flowers the family wishes that donations in memory of Ena Bird be made to Eagle Park Auxiliary (Garden Project) at 777 Jones St., Qualicum Beach, B.C., V9K 2L1 or Oceanside Hospice Society at 210 Crescent Road West, Qualicum Beach, B.C., V9K 1J9