We Remember

ENGBRECHT, Nettie Marie (née Warkentin)

ENGBRECHT, Nettie Marie (nee Warkentin), cherished mother, grandmother, aunt, sister and friend, passed peacefully away at Kelowna, BC, on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at the age of 83 following a courageous battle with cancer.  She is predeceased by her beloved husband, Wally, her parents Jacob and Anna and her brother Jake. She is survived by her sons Brad (Cindy) and Doug (Allison), grandsons Sam and Matthew, brother Henry Warkentin (Jane), sister Anita Brendle, nephew Jamie Warkentin, niece Kristi Caldwell (James) and grandnieces Olive and Charlotte Caldwell.

Nettie was born at home to Jacob Warkentin and Anna Klassen on December 17, 1938 on the family’s 10 acre farm at Pumptown, near Chilliwack, BC.  Her father worked as a carpenter and the family farmed dairy cows, raspberries and raised chickens.  While farm chores kept the kids busy, there was always time for laughter and mischief.  She often remarked she could drive a tractor long before she could drive a car, showing an early streak of independence that served her well throughout life.

She developed a keen work ethic on the farm and after graduating from Chilliwack High School she attended Canadian Mennonite Bible College in Winnipeg with her sister Anita.  She worked at Cherry Motors in Chilliwack where she met the love of her life, Wally, who worked as a mechanic. They married in 1964 and moved to Kamloops and later to Kelowna to raise Brad and Doug.  Always a team, Nettie and Wally started a lift truck business which became Interior Lift Truck Services which was sold in 1980.  They then operated Timberline Excavating.  When she wasn’t driving Doug and Brad around in her 1965 Ford Mustang, Nettie created a warm and welcoming home to family, friends and cherished neighbours, often hosting poolside parties with Wally at the barbeque, grilling salmon he had caught at Langara Fishing Lodge.

After Wally’s passing in 1993 Nettie continued to devote herself to family and friends and embarked upon a new chapter of volunteerism, philanthropy and travel.  She volunteered with Kelowna Hostesses for many years where she made dear lifelong friends.  She travelled much of Europe with her Fraser Connection group and counted Prague, Vienna and Paris among her favorite destinations.  She travelled across Canada to the “far east” on several occasions, visiting the Atlantic provinces and enjoying time with her family and many friends in Newfoundland.  She loved her frequent trips to Palm Springs and more recently Maui, where she celebrated her 80th birthday with family – a treasured memory for us.

Nettie was most passionate about giving back to the community which she loved and which she felt had given her so much.  She established a bursary at Okanagan Mission Secondary in Wally’s memory for graduates pursuing skilled trades and apprenticeship programs. She also was a generous supporter of the KGH Foundation and member of the Chair’s Circle.  The causes closest to her heart were cancer, cardiac, paediatric and perinatal care and JoeAnna’s House.

A lover of nature, Nettie tended to her beautiful rose gardens over the years and enjoyed the birds, especially hummingbirds and bald eagles, of the Okanagan.  Nettie was happiest sharing a glass of red wine with friends, mastering a jigsaw puzzle, going for walks, watching old movies, listening to classical music and spending time with her grandsons while preparing their favourite dish of “pasta and peas”.  In more recent months, she enjoyed reminiscing about her full life rich with love, cherished experiences and smiling faces.  She always had a ready smile and often said, “How lucky am I?!” She was easy to love and will be greatly missed.

The family is forever in debt to those who provided loving and compassionate care in her final days.  Heartfelt thanks to friend Shirley McCarthy, to Pam and Kristi at Lakeside Pharmacy, and to Home Instead – in particular, to Peg and Mandeep for the tender care provided. Many thanks as well to the staff at Kelowna Hospice House. We could not have done it without you.

Cremation has taken place at Springfield Funeral Home.  The family will be holding a private graveside service in the coming days and as requested by Nettie, a celebration of life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation in Nettie’s memory.

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

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Kelowna General Hospital Foundation Link: kghfoundation.com




  • linda anderson says:

    To Doug and Allison, Sam and Mathew. Brad and Cindy.
    I am so so sorry on the passing of your mom/ grandmother. I had the utmost pleasure and joy of working for Nettie over the past number of years coming every week to two weeks to clean. We shared lots of laughs together. Showing pics of our families and stories and tears when found out she was ill. We enjoyed a cup of coffee together and joked about having it with Baileys. Nettie always talked about her family and her late husband. We truly had some special moments. She was so good to me and always had some boxes with treasures in them for me to take to thrift store. May she RIP. I will miss her dearly. Netties smile, wisdom and just zest for life will always be remembered. She was truly loved. If have a chance, would appreciate someone reaching out to me thru email. lindasdothair@gmail.com. My thoughts are with you all. Linda Anderson

  • Lorne and Marg Thompson says:

    Doug, Brad and family, we offer our sincere condolences to you all. We go a we go a long way back with Wally and Nettie and we have enjoyed Nettie’s fun loving spirit and sense of humour over the past years and will miss her a lot, as will us all. She will be warmly remembered by us all. Hugs from us to you all!

  • Carla Norheim & John Mikoliunas says:

    We are so sad to learn of the passing of your dear mother and grandmother. Nettie was our neighbour and John’s mom, Diana’s neighbour before us. She was the best neighbour we’ve ever had and Diana, was so excited when Nettie moved in next door as she had been wanting a new good friend, which she found. We shared a flower garden together and Nettie was so helpful in planning, building, tending and caring for it with her expertise from spring till fall. We looked forward to each spring’s discussions of new plans, current affairs and collaborations in making our blossoms better or just enjoying the outdoors. Last year we resigned ourselves to letting the hungry deer enjoy our blooms for their well being. Nettie was always present when we needed her support for Diana and when we moved in we enjoyed her friendship, visits, stories, glasses of wine and caring enquires about our family. Nettie’s wisdom, compassion and guidance will greatly be missed at Erinmore and we are honoured to have had her as our friend. Our thoughts are with you all during this sad time.
    John, Carla and Cara

  • Lara Nestman says:

    Hi Doug and Allison and family, We are so sorry to hear of Nettie’s death. We remember meeting and visiting with your mom when we lived in Kelowna. Such a lovely kind personality! Our thoughts and prayers are with you both. xoxo Lara and Peter

  • Heather O’Neill says:

    My condolences to you all. I worked for Bill Thiessen for many years. It was always a pleasure to see your mother. She had a wonderful sense of humour and was a lovely lady. We shared many laughs over the years. I know she will be dearly missed by anyone who knew her. May all your memories sustain you during this difficult time.

  • Steve & Gill Petersen says:

    Our loving thoughts are with you Brad and your family st this time Such beautiful words for us to take in the depth of life this great lady had. She has truly passed on so many great characteristics to you. May you enjoy the many happy memories she has given you
    Our loving thoughts
    Steve & Gill Petersen – New Zealand

  • Ryan Brunn says:

    Condolences to the family had the opportunity to chat with her on numerous occasions when she would pick Sam up from work, it sounds as though she lived a full and happy life and she’s left behind an amazing legacy to follow in her footsteps! Sending all our thoughts and prayers.

    Ryan, Amanda and family.

  • Dr.Robert and Josephine Lawton says:

    Dear D,oug and Allison,,Brad and Cindy, Sam and Mathew
    We are very saddened to hear of the passing of yout Mother and Gravdmoyher Nettie.. She was such a pleasant person and we enjoyed her company immensely when we visited Kelowna over the years..She will be missed .Please accept our sincere condolences.
    Grandpa and Grandma Robert and Joseohine Lawton, ,St. John’s, NL

  • Gerd Richter says:

    Raise a glass (or two) to you Nettie, a wonderful neighbour. We’ll miss you at Happy Hour but remember you fondly.

  • Carole and Miles Dalrymple says:

    Our sincerest condolences to you Brad and Doug and your families. Aunt Net was a wonderful woman with whom I always enjoyed my visits with her. A lunch, a glass of wine, a visit to a winery and just a good old chat. My memories will always be cherished in my heart as will yours. Take care, she will be missed

  • Bev Fraser says:

    To Nettie’s Family:
    I was so sad to see Nettie’s obit. In the Chilliwack newspaper! My husband (Andy) & I were fortunate to have her company on many of our tours for years and years. We both loved her as did many of her fellow travellers. She was classy, fun, laid back and all round good company. She adored all of her family & I know you all adored her.
    She was extremely special and will be extremely missed.

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