Birdena Bingham, 87, of Atikokan Ont., passed away Sunday, Nov. 11, 2007 at her home with her family by her side.
Birdena was born in Kincaid, Sask. to Bill and Helen Anderson on Aug. 12, 1920. She was raised in Mankota, Sask., and loved the Prairies her whole life. Horses were her great passion growing up, and just driving past fields she could tell you exactly what kind were there.
She was the eldest of nine children during the Depression, and with her mother’s death at an early age, she quickly became the main caregiver and learned the value of a dollar.
She never lost that value, always sewing her own clothes, and knitting numerous sweaters, socks, hats, and mitts for all her gandchildren.
Food was always home made, and nobody ever went home hungry. Buying buns was never an option—even when cooking a banquet for 200 at the Legion.
This is why Birdena always will be known as having the “best buns in town.”
Avon was her chosen profession for 46 years, and earned her Presidents Club distinction for 40 years.
Birdena also was a member of the Legion Ladies Auxiliary Br. #145. She was the head banquet cook, and spent many years in the kitchen cooking the special banquets and the weekly Kiwanis meals.
She was very active in bowling. She served as president of the Atikokan Bowling Association for many years, and also coached youth bowling in previous years.
As well, she was a member of the United Church Women’s Auxiliary and the Women’s Institute. Birdena just liked to stay active, and liked to volunteer wherever she was needed.
She was honoured as Atikokan’s Citizen of the Year in 1998 for all her volunteer contributions to the community.
In her spare time, she still stayed busy in the garden, or doing one of her many bunka art for every person in her family.
Birdena met Milo Bingham in Saskatchewan and they were married Dec. 24, 1946. They moved to Upsala, Ont., where the started their family. Birdena worked in the camps as cook while there before they moved to Atikokan in 1961.
Above all else, Birdena’s most important aspect in life was her family. Her mind, ever so sharp, never forgot anything. She could spout off every single family members’ month and year of birth, including all her 40 some nieces and nephews.
She was always keen to detail, and could always tell when someone was wearing an Avon product.
Birdena is survived by her son, Wayne (Janice) Bingham of Atikokan, Ont.; daughter-in-law, Donna Bingham of Thunder Bay, Ont.; grandchildren, Mark (Nicole) Bingham of Atikokan, Ont., Bobbi-Jo (Leo) Arrigo of Fort Frances, Ont., Jaret (Angela) Bingham of Atikokan, Ont., and Ian Bingham of Calgary, Alta.; and great-grandchildren, Marni and Joel, and Dustyn, Alexander, and Kaylen.
She also is survived by sister, Norma Sieb of Saskatoon Sask.; and numerous nieces and nephews who were all just as important.
Birdena was predeceased by her husband, Milo; son, Leonard; and siblings, Dorothy Kryway, Irene Lucas, Amie Beattie, Lawrence Kirk, Cecil Anderson, and Joe Anderson.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007 at 1 p.m. at Riverview United Church in Atikokan, with Rev. Waldie officiating.
Internment at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Thunder Bay, Ont. on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007.
The pallbearers were Dan and Marlene Gagne, Al and Berniece Wensley, Ron Cenerini, and Lorraine Calder.
The honorary pallbearers were the Legion Ladies Auxiliary and members of the Royal Canadian Legion Br. #145.
In lieu of flowers, in memoriam donations may be made to Riverview United Church or the Atikokan General Hospital.