We Remember

AUTIO, Annaliis

Our beloved Annaliis Marie Autio, 32 years, of Kelowna, BC, passed away peacefully with family at her side on February 17, 2020. She is survived by her brother Stefan Autio and parents Will and Karen Autio, aunt Kathy (Pierre) Pelletier, uncle Max (Tara) Autio, uncle Alex (Marlene) Autio, and cousins Kellie (Chris) Wrigley, Krista Pelletier, Kory Pelletier, Austin Pelletier, Kelly (Cody) Penner, David Autio, and Liam, Haley, and Chase Wrigley.

Annaliis was born at Grace Hospital (now BC Women’s Hospital), in Vancouver, and immediately moved to BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH) next door. Her first couple of years were split between her home in Vancouver and BCCH. From age 2 to 9 she lived in Abbotsford, with the odd stay at BCCH. From age 9 until present she lived in Kelowna with a few stays at BCCH, from which she graduated at age 19.

After that she rarely had an overnight stay at a hospital. During her school years she was included in the local schools with the help of a Certified Educational Assistant (several of them through the years). Special mention must be made of her wonderful Physiotherapist–Occupational Therapist Karol Elliott. She worked with Annaliis many times over the years to ensure that her wheelchair fit and worked correctly, as well as other equipment. Karol introduced a TrailRider to the school district which made it possible for Annaliis to join in wilderness class activities. During middle school and high school, she benefited from excellent direction provided by Resource teacher Garth Vickers. Highlights were going with her Resource class to Operation Trackshoes in Victoria several times and having a work experience at Kid’s Corner Daycare. Annaliis attended four years of Adult Special Education courses at Okanagan College, proudly participating in two convocations, in 2009 and 2011.

During this time, she lived at home until she was 22, when with the help of Community Living BC she was able to move into a group home. She enjoyed some of the additional freedom that provided and especially the interaction with more people. Two years later she moved into a Home Share with a roommate and caregivers Dino and Delia da Costa and their dog Angel, all of whom she loved dearly. When the da Costas retired, Cameron and Myrne Koronko purchased their house and took over caring for the two young women who had been living with the da Costas. Annaliis quickly grew to love the Koronkos and the girls (their adult daughters) and the boys (their grandsons).

Annaliis had a weekly schedule of activities at Pathways and Sunshine Farm where she enjoyed the people, programs, and laughs (there are still seeds stuck in her wheelchair!). She loved attending church with her caregivers on Saturdays and with her family on Sundays where she delighted in serving as a greeter. Other things she enjoyed doing over the years were Special Olympics 5-pin Bowling, boccia, swimming, therapeutic riding, wheelchair basketball, adaptive skiing, riding a hand-propelled tricycle, and cheering at Rockets games. For several years she was involved in Cool Arts (art opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities), with her artwork included in an exhibition at the Kelowna Art Gallery. After participating in Girl Guides for many years, Annaliis was so proud of earning her Canada Cord. Oh, what crazy fun she had at summer camp at Easter Seals Camp Squamish when she lived in Abbotsford, and then at Camp Winfield after moving to Kelowna, and at Camp Freedom in Alberta. She enjoyed corresponding with her World Vision sponsor children Awa in Mali and Neema in Tanzania. Annaliis was the biggest promoter of her mother’s children’s books, making sure she never ran out of her bookmarks to give away.

If you asked Annaliis where she most wanted to travel, her first choice was to Nipigon, ON, to visit her young cousins whom she adored, and second choice was Disneyland, which she visited three times—with her family thanks to Sunshine Dreams for Kids and again on their one-day Dreamlift, and then with the Pathways Travel Club in 2018.

God created beauty in Annaliis—her generous, affectionate, laugh-at-the-drop-of-anything personality. It showed up in her desire to help, her joyous smile, her artistic ability and freedom in creating art, and her acceptance of everyone.

In December 2019, Annaliis experienced a brain stem injury which kept her in hospital for many, many weeks, working hard to recover. She remained true to her sweet, loving, helpful self throughout that incredibly hard journey. With her deep love for Jesus and faith in His promises, she felt peace knowing she would soon be running to give Him a hug.

Thank you for the exceptional care of Annaliis by her GP, Dr. Ronnald Schriemer, and at Kelowna General Hospital by all of the staff, including Respiratory Therapists, Radiology staff, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Pathologists, Housekeeping staff, doctors, especially intensivists Dr. Vic Chaubey and Dr. Ben Wierstra, and numerous nurses, in particular, Michelle, Vicki, and Karen, who made her last days in ICU as comfortable as possible.

A Celebration of Life for Annaliis Autio will be held on Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 2 p.m. at Mission Creek Alliance Church, Kelowna, with Pastor Keith Whitaker officiating. Her favourite colours were yellow and purple, so feel free to wear either or both.

Annaliis requested that memorial donations be made to B.C. Children’s Hospital, www.bcchildrens.ca.

“Walk into the sunlight so bright
Illumination blocking out the night
She knows that the promises are airtight
There is no doubt you can see it in her eyes
You’ll hear her singing to heaven
Even without letting out a word to be heard
In every single situation, none too big, none too small
She looks up and the world looks on

She sings hallelujah
When all has become nothing
And her hope in the Savior has colored all she does
And taints the way she loves
She sings Hallelujah and falls to the ground again
With hands stretched up to the sky
She is waiting for the day, she’ll hear the Father say …

‘Well done, good and faithful one
Enter in, come on share with me
Welcome home, good and faithful one
It’s on and on to eternity’”

Excerpts from “Hallelujah” by Brett Rutledge and Phil Joel.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 2:00 pm

Mission Creek Alliance Church

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B.C. Children’s Hospital Link: www.bcchildrens.ca


Service Information

Service Details

The service for AUTIO, Annaliis is scheduled for Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 2:00 pm. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Mission Creek Alliance Church

2091 Springfield Rd Kelowna, BC


Special Requests:


Funeral Pointers:



  • Jaynee Way says:

    Karen and family. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what you are going through. But I also can’t imagine the Celebration Annalis is entering into in the presence of our Lord. May God’s sustaining grace envelop you today and in the days to come

  • Susan Noble says:

    I am saddened to hear the news of Annaliis’ passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time of loss.

  • Susan DeBeeson says:

    Karen and family, our hearts go out to you in your physical loss of Annaliis. Praying for the Lord’s comfort, knowing Annalise is with her Saviour.

  • MAxine Bland says:

    Love, thoughts and most of all prayers for you and your family in the loss of Your daughter. MAy the GOd of all comfort wrap you in His loving arms and carry you through this valley. He IS able.

  • Faye Henderson says:

    Annaliis you will be so missed! I so enjoyed knowing you!!


    Karen, your evocative images of Annaliis’s rich life are reflections of your beautiful writing skills and the love your family had for an exceptional young woman. Sincere condolences to you all for your deep loss. Donna Rubadeau (retired T-L, Rutland Elementary)

  • Leeann Zouras says:

    Dear Karen,
    I am so sorry to learn of your family’s sad news. What a joy your daughter was to you and to all who knew her. May she rest in peace.
    With deepest sympathy,

  • Muriel and Jeff Smith says:

    Thinking of you Karen and your family at this most difficult time. I know that your faith will carry you through.

  • Wendy Beaudoin says:

    My heart goes out to you during this difficult time. I will keep you in my prayers.

  • Kathleen Campbell says:

    Karen and Family,
    I was saddened to hear that your daughter passed away.
    Sending healing prayers and comforting hugs.

  • Thomas Burd says:

    Annaliis’ joy was infectious. She loved everyone. I worked for her at KDSCL( now Pathways) for several years. She loved life. She was generous to everyone. An example of this was a humorous time and memory that I’ve always treasured. We would go for walks in Kelowna often . One Friday, 4 of us went to the Grande hotel
    I encouraged her friend to take Annaliis into the ladies fashion store. They were in the store for 1/2 hour. When they emerged, Annaliis was pumped with joy. She was gleaming. So was her friend from Pathways. They both had very fashionable shopping bags in hand. I thought it was so nice that they were given such nice shopping bags. Her friend pulled out a ladies clutch purse and said Annaliis bought it for her and that she’d pay her the $2. Once we returned to Pathways. I realized that the purse probably cost $200. Annaliis bought a gift for herself. I ushered them back into the store and asked the owner how much the items were. The total was near $500. After near fainting I asked for a refund. Annaliis was so disappointed that the money was put back on the credit card. She begged me not to tell Dino. Her generous spirit always touched me, as it did all who knew her. She contacted me some months back and we had a few good chats together- even laughing about the shopping spree.. She will be missed by all. I’m so happy she touched my life. Now she is free.

  • Darlene Cathcart says:

    Beautiful tribute , beautiful life she lived and a beautiful soul she is ❤️

  • Christie Leppitsch (Dupuis) says:

    Karen, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Annaliis. What a beautiful soul she was. I am sending huge hugs of comfort to all of you. Much love. Christie x

  • Pam Watland says:

    Will, Karen, Stefan and extended family,
    I am so sorry to read the news of the loss of your vivacious daughter. May Jesus comfort you and fill your hearts with peace.

  • Stacy austin says:

    I know annalise from 5 pin bowling and pathways I will miss her very much she was great friend and I used to take handi dart with her too and she always smiling at people and had positive attitude all the time ❤ she was sweetie girl and rest in peace ☹☹☹☹☹☹☹

  • Tracy Padula (Ficocelli) says:

    Will, Karen and Stefan.
    I was shocked and extremely saddened to hear of Annaliis’s passing. She was such a sweet young lady full of joy! She was always smiling and laughing and loved to chat!! What a beautiful tribute to her. My heart breaks for you. I pray the Lord give you peace and comfort through this most difficult time.

  • Penny Limer says:

    Karen, my dear friend, and Will and Stefan; My heart is full of emotion. I know that no matter how much you thought you were prepared, you are never really willing to give up Annaliis’ presence on earth. I remember how she used to be my helper at Junior Church, and how she used to giggle (love that giggle) at the “Nine Gals” group. We can rest assured she is in heaven now…

  • Linda and Bob Churchley says:

    Our deepest condolences Karen. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Love and many hugs from the Churchleys

  • Eso Home (neighour) says:

    May the joy of the Lord be your strength in the times ahead, as she will be missed.

  • Jan and Dave Sutherland says:

    We will never forget Annaliis and in all those things that made her special, especially her sense of humour and fun and her kindness and genuine interest in people. Our Hearts are heavy for Karen, Will and Stefan but rejoice with you in knowing she singing with the angels. Much love, Jan and Dave

  • Jenica McKenzie says:

    Hi Karen and family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Your whole family is in my prayers regularly. Analiis blessed me as a newcomer at MCA when I did not know many people. She was always a joy to talk to and was very willing to help with a lovely lady I did respite for who I brought to church. I will never forget the joy and fervour I saw in Analiis when she raised her hands to worship and sing at the top of her lungs during worship. Jesus is holding her so tightly and she is whole and healed and breathing with ease!

  • Helen says:

    Karen and Will, I remember the phone call you gave us when Annalis was born! And so special is the memory of the time your whole family visited us at our “wilderness ” home in Big Lake, B C. Although we did not see you often, your whole family has always had a special place in our hearts. How you have given and received from your experiences with Annalis have been an inspiration, and I can hardly get my mind around how you will deal with this tragedy. But I know you–that you will rely on the Lord’s strength and comfort. Love, Helen (for Ron and Tanya (whom we are visiting right now), too! ❤

  • Helen Blower says:

    We were so sorry to hear of your loss. Annaliis will be missed. Over the many years we were neighbors, Al and I so often enjoyed a visit from Annaliis while we worked in the front yard. She loved to come over and chat with us. She had excellent social skills.

  • Dee Wheatley (prev Kerluke) says:

    Dear Karen and family. I’m so very sorry to hear about Annaliis. I remember her, very fondly, from our day’s in Girl Guides. It was always a pleasure working with Annaliis. She made me smile often. Annaliis was, and will always be, a very special spirit. My heart and thoughts are with you. ❤️

  • Birthe and Werner von Dewitz says:

    Dear Karen and family, we share your heart pains and feel deeply with you about the loss of Annaliis. She was such a special person. We remember Annaliis’ warm, friendly and positiv personality. She impressed us all. We keep her in our hearts and minds and never will forget her. May the Lord give you the strength to go through this hard times and keep you in His hands. We are sure that He has welcomed Annaliis with open arms. Over the thousands of miles which are between us we are with you with our hearts and our minds. God bless you all and your precious daughter.

  • Denise swabey says:

    Gary, Kirbey and I will miss the lovely smiles she gave us weekly as we brought Kirbey to Pathways. Our hearts are sad for you but rejoice in the knowledge she is with Jesus.

  • Jordan Finney says:

    Sorry for your loss. I wish I was able to attend the service. Annaliis had a great sense of humour. I enjoyed seeing her out in the community at Pathways, Trinity and the Rocket games. We used to sit together in the Rocket games and in the Handydart bus where we would predict the scores of the games.
    -Jordan Finney

  • Colette and Richard Erbacker says:

    Dear Karen, Will and family : our most sincere condolences at this time of loss. We never met Annaliis, but have certainly heard about her enthusiasm for life and love for Jesus. Although knowing she is happy and at peace in Jesus’ arms, we know it’s hard for those left behind who loved her and cared for her. I pray that God will give you the strength and comfort you need in these at this time and coming days. Sincerely, Richard and Colette Erbacker.

  • Sarah Murdoch Black says:

    Karen and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I did not know Annaliis, but from the beautiful obituary, it is clear that she touched and enriched the lives of those who knew her. Wishing your hearts peace and keeping you in my thoughts,

  • Judy Muchowski says:

    Karen, I only saw the news on facebook today. My deepest condolences to you and your family. Sadly I didn’t know your Annaliis. She sounds like she was a wonderful loving person who dealt bravely with her lot in life.

  • Brenda Noble says:

    Karen, Will, and Stefan, so sorry to hear Annaliis is no longer with you! Yet so glad to know she is with the Lord. She lived to the fullest while here, now she knows more freedom than we do!

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