Former Terrace city administrator Ron Poole signs the book of condolences at Mamie Kerby’s funeral March 4. Her grandsons Doug and Ken are on the right. That's City of Terrace chief administrative officer Heather Avison on the far left and Tom Harris in the background.

City says goodbye to Mamie Kerby

Longtime resident and museum founder Mamie Kerby, 91, remembered as 'encourager' and with the 'unique ability to see life as perfect.'

Family and friends paid their last respects to Mamie Kerby at Knox United Church March 5.

Celebrating the Life of Mamie Eva Emily Kerby welcomed everyone with piano music in the sanctuary and a book of condolences for guests to sign.

Two of Mamie’s grandsons, Doug and Ken, greeted everyone and handed out the bulletin with a colour photo of Mamie on front and a black and white photo of her younger self sitting on a bridge railing with a motorcycle parked in front of her.

At the start of the service, Tom Harris asked everyone to stand as he led in the family members.

Daughter-in-law Wanda Kerby and grandson Adam Kerby opened the service with a song, followed by Tom Harris with a welcome and prayer.

Mamie’s son Eric gave the eulogy, telling several personal stories about her with tears in his eyes as he talked.

“My mother had a unique ability to see life as perfect,” said Eric. She thought her children were perfect and thought everything was perfect, he said.

She roamed everywhere and felt free, he added.

Mom loved her children so much and was such a good person, he said.

Harris told a story about his grandfather Knute who decided to go to the Haugland’s house one day.

Mamie was on the front porch and had a big dishpan in her hands and Knute came around the corner and got the full brunt of the dishpan in the face, which surely wasn’t done on purpose.

“Mamie was joyful and courageous,” he said. “I know we’ve lost a valued treasure so we’re waiting for another Mamie to come and step in, continue to lead us and encourage us. Another thing about Mamie for me personally: she was encouraging, a true encourager.”

Wanda and her sons Adam and Ben sang two songs written in the 1930s during the Depression: Keep on the Sunny Side and I’ll Fly Away.

Harris closed the service in prayer, then put on his guitar and sang another line of Keep on the Sunny Side before asking everyone to sing along with their best Minnie Pearl voice, referring to the comedienne who performed at the Grand Ole Opry in the U.S. for 50 years.

The family has started a scholarship for a Grade 12 student in the local school district who’s going on to study history after high school.

Donations to the scholarship in memory of Mamie Kerby can be dropped off or mailed  to: Northwest Education 88 Foundation, 3211 Kenney St., Terrace, B.C., V8G 3E9.