May 1, 1951 – October 4, 2019
Every once in a while someone special comes into our lives and for our family it was Ella Louise (Dunbar) Bratkowski. She was our North Star and we miss her.
Ella was born + raised in Nanaimo by Mary (Negrin) + Jack Dunbar. She was the middle child of three with Susan (Bill) Twidale, her older sister and her younger brother John Dunbar. She attended Pre School in Lantzville in the small Catholic Church, now home to the Legion. She then moved along to Mount Benson, Woodlands and NDSS schools where she made many lifelong friends. While at school she played competitive basketball with her best friend of 63 years, Laurie (Sawden) Hird. She enjoyed softball with the ladies group, bowling, curling, soccer, squash, badminton, Dragon Boat Racing, snowshoeing, camping and ballroom room dancing with her main squeeze, Joe.
Ella met her husband, Joe Bratkowski in 1971. They went dancing on Bathtub weekend and never looked back. They were married in 1975 and are blessed with two wonderful children, Christy + John and their amazing spouses, Kiyoshi and Michelle as well as two precious granddaughters – Emily Louise and the newest, Blake Ella born on Sept 17 2019. Ella was so proud of them.
While married, they lived in Vancouver and Calgary before returning to Nanaimo + Lantzville to raise their family. And family was very important to Ella. She always made you feel special and part of it. Ella worked in Dot’s Cafe, Simpson Sears, Sears, George DeLure of Independent Diesel, Purdys, Hallmark Cards, and Overwaitea/Save on Foods where she retired.
Please join us on Sunday, November 3 from 2-4 at the Nanaimo Golf Club to celebrate Ella, an incredible and loving wife, daughter, mother, sister, auntie, friend and ‘Grammie’. Donations could be made to the Children’s Hospital in lieu of flowers or to the charity of your choice in Ella’s name.
We are so blessed for our thoughtful and caring family and friends. Ella’s best friend, Laurie (Sawden) Hird, Barb Dysart, Darlene Wilde, Corry Hannah, Lindy and Shiela Dines, The Gabriola Girls in Craig Bay, various doctors – Stoessl, Schulson, Mark and Dalla Lana and the amazing third floor staff at the Qualicum Beach Gardens, her sister, Susan Twidale and her husband Bill, her brother John, her auntie Lorraine who made her favorite Dad’s cookies, cousin Bev Robertson and her husband Tim. There are so many more – Georgia, Jake, Megan, Ben, Teela, Craig, Iris, Deborah, Michael, Karilyn, Ken, Kathie, and Margaret.
‘Those we love never truly leave us.’
‘I love you every day. And now I will miss you every day”
Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near:
still loved, still missed and very dear.