Mrs. Denise Parsons of Saltcoats passed away January 27, 2018 at Yorkton Regional Health Centre at the age of 70 years. Denise Dawn Parsons was the fifth daughter born to Magnus and Jonina (Gunnarsson) Bjarnason on August 25, 1947. Denise was a late addition to a houseful of already grown up sisters, and she quickly became affectionately known as Denny. As a little girl, Denise's early years were immersed in the strong Icelandic culture found in the Churchbridge area where she learned to speak Icelandic and English so she could converse with everyone in her world. Strong coffee, Icelandic foods, but no skyr (Icelandic yogurt)as Denny couldn't stand it, the Churchbridge Post Office, where her father was postmaster, the Concordia Lutheran Church community, and greatly anticipated visits from her aunts Helga, Inga, Ebba and Kalla were part of her "little girl world." Denise, being so much younger than her 4 sisters, Thelma, Eika, Gogo and Beverly had a sister/mother bond with them. Denny became an auntie very young and she grew up with many of her sisters' children as more playmate than aunt. As a result, she felt a special connection with her nieces and nephews as they experienced much together. However, the sisters, the Bjarnason Five, were tightly knit and trips to meet were precious. Excursions to the British Columbia coast or to see Gogo in San Francisco were great adventures. They were treasured memories filled with laughter, stories of those they loved, but most importantly being together to share their sisterly moments. To Denny, family was the foundation of living, your support, caring, loyalty and love were the most precious gift. Denise's capacity for love was most evident in the lives of her 3 sons Glenn, Shaun and Carman. Denise raised the boys in a home that may not be filled with all the "things' wanted, but overflowing with all the things 3 rambunctious boys needed the most- acceptance, understanding and most importantly a devotion of being loved that never wavered no matter the circumstances. It was not easy staying on top of those 3 and many a sleepless night was spent to nurse someone under the weather, to watch for the car lights to drop them off and to make sure they crawled up those incredibly steep steps to their bedrooms or to worry when she had one of her "feelings" that something was up. Denise could have written a book on raising those 3 and it would have been called The Tale of the Missing Wooden Spoon as over the years many were shaken as a warning, broken as a reminder and hidden as a joke by the boys. Denise knew that a strong sense of family was important to instill into their lives and time out at Madge Lake where the Bjarnason clan could meet at the Scobie cottage, or trips to Amma's in Churchbridge or adventures to Grandma and Bop's or out to Len and Betty's farm to blow off a little steam was essential to their journey into adulthood. Denise was most proud of her boys and in return they are an amazing legacy of a life well lived as she gave them the wings to be successful, free and independent. Denise was fiercely independent and all that knew her and loved her knew this to be true. She was told to go on welfare after she bravely entered the work world in the mid '70s as a single mom. Her response to the Canada Employment agent was, "What type of example would I set for my boys?" That steeliness, that strength, and that independence was evident that she was a survivor. So they registered her for office training classes where she studied and she prepared herself to make a living for her family. For over 30 years, she was as dedicated to the City of Yorkton as she was devoted to her boys. Her years at the Agriplex were thoroughly satisfying. She loved working and helping all the different groups that used the facility and looked forward to a new season to arrive as faces she had not seen for months would start beating a path back to her door. The atmosphere at the Agriplex was a family of men and women she enjoyed working with and knowing. The work was stimulating and required a diplomacy, but also a strong will and Denise had her share of both. Later in her career, she moved to the Yorkton City Hall where she took on new tasks and met new colleagues. It was a challenge, but she was always up for a challenge. Denise was a lady who did not look to the trappings of life to keep her happy. She wanted a good book, a reliable car, the love of a long line of cats, a reason for family to meet to share old and new stories, a reason to make puffed wheat cake (God protect us if we didn't return her favourite cake pan), poppycock for Christmas and birthdays, and more recently perfecting her pickled egg recipe. A life truly well lived and one we could all learn by. Denise was predeceased by her parents; her sisters: Thelma Riglin, Eirika (Eika) Duncan, Vivian (Gogo) Sword. She leaves to mourn and celebrate her life her sons, Glenn (Terri); her son Shaun (Lana) their children, Jordan (Caitlyn & great-granddaughter Winnie), Cody, Jenna (Jon Dalton & great-granddaughter Bostyn), and Halle; son, Carman (Tricia). Also to mourn Denise's passing are: sister, Beverley Scobie (Lawrence); sister-in-law, Betty Tatton; numerous nephews and nieces, family and friends. A Celebration of Life Service was held on Monday, February 5, 2018 at Yorkton Memorial Gardens Family Centre with Crystal Bailey, Certified Celebrant officiating. The Family Tribute was shared by Tricia Parsons and the Scripture Reading was presented by Terri Parsons. Included in the service were musical selections, "The Rose", "Hallelejah" and "What a Wonderful World". The interment followed in the Garden of Memories at Yorkton Memorial Gardens with her grandchildren, Halle, Jenna & Cody serving as the urn bearers and Jordan serving as a honourary bearer. Condolences can be sent to the family at www.baileysfuneralhome.com. Memorials in memory of Denise may be made to the S.P.C.A. as gifts of remembrance.
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