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Violet Fernie Nance of Rimbey, Alberta died peacefully at the Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre on Thursday, June 6, 2024, at the age of 103 years.


Born on April 20, 1921 in Bentley, Alberta, Violet was the second youngest of five daughters born to Jacob and Pauline (née Baumbach) Heinz.  In 1923 the family moved to Rimbey, and the Heinz girls grew up in the house immediately north of the present Legion.  In 1938, Violet married Bruce Fernie of Gull Lake and they had one son Kenneth.  At the outbreak of WWII, Bruce joined the RCAF and in 1941 he was on a RCAF flight that went missing.  All aboard perished, and the wreckage was not found for seven years.  Violet left Rimbey for a new start in Vancouver, British Columbia; and in her long life she also lived in Penticton, British Columbia, San Francisco in California, Las Vegas in Nevada, and in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  She was married to Alan “Slim” Bella of Penticton for four years, and later on she was married to Milton Nance of Albuquerque for 25 years. 


Violet worked in the beauty and cosmetics industry, as she loved fashion, make-up, natural health, and healing.  She took a deep interest in family genealogy, and enjoyed storytelling about early pioneer life. Violet enjoyed Bible studies and church activities, and was also an avid sports fan who loved watching baseball.  She lovingly shared so many of her passions, interests, and stories with her family members.  In 2006, Violet returned home to Rimbey and lived independently in her own home until shortly before her death.  A highlight of her return to Rimbey was the lively 90th birthday party she threw in 2011, which was attended by neighbours, friends and family – and even Elvis!


Left to mourn Violet is her only child Kenneth Fernie, and his wife Isabel, of Calgary; her two granddaughters Anne Simpson, and her ex-husband Craig, of Fort McMurray; and Patty Bass, and her husband James, of London, England.  She is also survived by four beloved great-grandchildren Cooper Simpson, Cleo Simpson, Betty Bass, and Sam Bass; as well as many nieces, nephews, and dear friends.  Violet was predeceased by her parents; her three husbands; in addition to her four sisters Irene, Elizabeth, Clara, and Mabel.


Violet was laid to rest in the Bentley Cemetery on Monday, June 17, 2024, at 11:00 a.m.  A Memorial Service in Celebration of Violet’s Life was held later that afternoon, at 2:00 p.m., at the Rimbey Church of the Nazarene with the Reverend Dale Fallon officiating.  A time of fellowship and refreshments followed. 

To view the pre-recorded video of Violet's burial and celebration of life, please click on the following link:

If desired, memorial donations in Violet’s memory may be made directly to the Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre, c/o the Rimbey Hospital Legacy Committee, Box 440, Rimbey, Alberta. T0C 2J0 (  Thoughts and messages to the family may be shared through the condolence area located at the bottom of this page.


Service and Burial Arrangements for the Late Violet Fernie Nance entrusted to the care of


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