March 22, 1922 – December 15, 2019
Irma was born to Ogaretta nee Cromwell and Harry Cecil Warder in St. Vital, Manitoba. She was the eldest of three siblings, and was predeceased by her brother Frank Warder (Nanaimo, BC) in 2012 and sister Evelyn Harrower MacFarlane (Winnipeg, Manitoba) in 2010. Her family was noted to be descendants of Sir Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, and Charles Cromwell, who crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope in 1874.
Irma grew up in St. Vital and attended Elmwood School until grade eight. She went to work as a waitress at the Marlborough Hotel in downtown Winnipeg. During World War II, many servicemen from the Commonwealth and USA were billeted at the Marlborough and one of her co-workers introduced her to John (Jack) Ivan Derij, then Stoker 2nd Class with the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve. They married in 1942.
After the war, Irma and Jack bought a house in Fort Rouge on Garwood Ave. It was close by to schools, church, and the CNR rail shops where Jack could walk to work. Here they raised their four children and lived until 1976, when Jack retired early and they relocated to their cherished lake front cottage in the Whiteshell, a provincial park in eastern Manitoba.
In 1981 they moved to Courtenay, BC, on Vancouver Island where they built a house in Mountain View Estates. Here they enjoyed a long retirement, worked in their huge vegetable garden, and hosted family and friends from back East. In 2000 Jack suddenly passed away, but Irma continued to live on in her own home until July of this year.
Irma is predeceased by her son Mark Derry (Cheryl) of Winnipeg. She is survived by her daughter Carol Schoenborn (Karl) of Winnipeg, Manitoba, son Vern Derry (Mary) of Miramichi, New Brunswick, and son James Derry (Lewis) of Courtenay, BC. She is also survived by her five grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, and five great, great grandchildren.
The family would like to express their thanks to the medical team at North Vancouver Island Hospital (Comox Valley) and the caring staff at Oceanview, The Views at St Joseph’s in Comox.
A private family service will be held in the spring of 2020 in Winnipeg. Irma was 97 years old.
Toneff Funeral Services
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