Verna Vivian Newton

06/08/1943 - 10/01/2021

Obituary For Verna Vivian Newton

August 6, 1943 – January 10, 2021

Following a lengthy battle with cancer, Verna Vivian Newton of Spirit River passed away on Sunday, January 10, 2021 at the age of 77 years.

Verna was born in Beaverlodge and raised in Spirit River where she resided her whole life. She enjoyed the small town and rural feel of her community and appreciated all that it had to offer. As well as being self-employed and doing the books for their business, Verna spent the winter months running the cafeteria at the Spirit River Arena. She was known by the community as an avid hockey fan and was recognized for her ‘Ranger Special’ burger. It was the ideal role for her, not only did she love hockey and the kids, but her enjoyment of people and conversation were always fulfilled at the arena. During the summer months she was able to enjoy the outdoors; camping, boating, quadding, yard work, and tending to her greenhouse and flowers. She loved to visit and had perfected the art of conversation and she could strike up a conversation with anyone anywhere. Her outlook on life and her optimism were contagious, she could often be heard saying “It is what it is” and “It could be worse”.

Verna was predeceased by her husband Jim, her brother Arthur Pack, her nephew Brett Pack and her parents Vivian and Mildred Pack.

Verna will be missed by her daughter Sandy (Gerry) Douville, her granddaughters Jaden and Taryn Douville, her brothers and sisters Wayne (Olga) Pack, Jim (Marilyn) Pack, George (Lynn) Pack, and Roberta Pack and many nieces and nephews.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions there will be no Celebration of Life at this time.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to the Grande Prairie Cancer Clinic or to a charity of your choice.

Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780-830-7742

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Verna was a thread woven right through the fabric of Spirit River. She took the old adage 'it takes a village to raise a child' to heart and we are all a little better for it. I loved visiting with her, hearing her proudly tell her granddaughter's latest achievements. She carried so much pride in her family. Verna also showed so much compassion when we would often cross paths with her at the cancer centre in GP during my Mom's treatment. Her tenacity and spirit gave others hope as well. I am saddened, not only that she has passed, but that passed when we can't give her the send off she deserves. Much love to all of those grieving her loss.
- Stacy Packard
used to enjoy watching hockey but even more was catching up on Vernas take on life. Better than going to church ....R.I.P.
- phil leibel
Loved Verna, one of my favorite cousins......she just made you happy being with her❤️❤️❤️
- Pat Palmer
Sandy Donald (Anderson) light a candle for Verna. Rest in peace cousin.
- Sandy Donald
My thoughts and prayers Sandy Gerry and girls
- Doris Hunter
can't count the number of Ranger specials and fried egg, ham, and cheese's Verna made for me at the rink! Her burgers were by far the best arena burgers in the Peace Country! Even after moving away, I always went back to the rink when I could for a burger! It has been several years since we have visited but I will always cherish the memories at the rink and the farm down the road from Grandpa and Grandma! You shared the very last picture taken of Grandpa with me and it is still proudly displayed in my home! I will always be grateful to you and Jim for that!
- Ryan Howrish
Sandy , Gerald, Jaden , Taryn , Sorry to hear that your mom ,grandmother has passed away. May she rest in peace. Thinking of you. Love Elphie and Claudette
- Elphie Bouvier
The words describing your mom are so true. My deepest condolences
- Sandra
Our deepest condolences. Verna will always be in our hearts and remembered being at the rink. All our kids grew up with her as they played minor hockey over the years. We always craved a great Verna burger in the fall when hockey started. She was great to visit with and shoot the shit. So sad to hear she passed. She put up a long hard fight. Love from Warren and Goldie Ross. & Bailey, Taitt and Dayle
- Goldie Ross
So sorry for your loss! Xo. She will be missed!
- Leona Johnson

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a funeral?

A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person prior to burial or cremation. A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories and celebrate their life. A funeral is a vital first step to help the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.

What type of service should I have?

If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you.  Services are usually held at a funeral home, community hall, or a place of worship. There is a wealth of different services, ranging from a traditional religious or military service to something a little more non-traditional. Our funeral directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.

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Funeral directors are in charge of all the logistics following a death. They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for the transportation of the body, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of the body. Beyond the logistics, funeral directors are there to provide moral support and guidance for someone coping with death.

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We are here to help, we can arrange to have your loved one transported home from anywhere in the world. We will assume responsibility and make the proper arrangements to have them returned to the community. We use the same organization that brings our military home when needed.

What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body; it also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of the body damaged by traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing.

What do I do if I am not satisfied with the way a funeral was handled?

Funeral homes and funeral professionals in Alberta are licensed by the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board. If you are unhappy with the way a funeral was handled or the actions of a funeral home in Alberta, you may speak with or proceed with a complaint process to seek resolution of the matter. More information is found at  or by phone at (780) 452-6130 

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of the funeral varies depending on the wishes you have. The average cost of a funeral is between $5,000-$7,000, however, it varies greatly depending on the kind of service you desire. In general, cremation tends to cost less than burial. The costs include professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, and the purchase of a casket or urn.

Can I personalize a funeral?

Of course you can, in fact, more and more people are opting for a more non-traditional personalized service. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate somebody’s life. There are many unique ways to celebrate life, let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honour your wishes.

Do we need to have an obituary notice and what is included in one?

It is highly recommended to have an obituary notice that’s either placed in a local newspaper or placed online. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred, and gives them information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city, and date of birth and the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children or grandchildren. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you may include a little blurb on the life and legacy of the deceased. An online obituary or memorial website offers you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.

What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

We are here to help, funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Do I need to have an embalming

No, embalming is often an unnecessary expense, even if a viewing is desired. There are times when we would recommend embalming, especially if there is an extended gap between death and burial or cremation.

Why are funerals so expensive?

Funerals are labor intensive and require a lot of work from a lot of people. The cost of a funeral goes beyond merchandise such as caskets, it includes the services of a funeral director in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other people involved in the death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). Funeral directors work an average of 40 hours per funeral. The cost of operating a funeral home is factored into the cost as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.

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