Laura Dressel Obituary, Death – We regret to inform you that Laura Ann Dressel (née Farmer) died on Saturday, May 13, 2023, in Calgary, AB, at the age of 78. Laura Ann Dressel was born in Akron, Ohio parents Valburga Chudomelka and Frank Farmer, who met while working in a bomber plane factory during WWII.
When Frank died, Val, Laura, and Mike moved back to North Bend, Nebraska, where Val’s family lived. Val married Victor Pabian there, and they all lived on the family farm, where the family grew, giving Laura three sisters, Pat, Vicki, and Roz, as well as two more brothers, Don and Tom, to grow up with.
Laura began her education in a one-room schoolhouse near the farm, and she graduated from North Bend High School in 1963. She then attended St. Elizabeth’s Nursing School in Lincoln, and on June 9, 1969, she was certified as a Professional Registered Nurse by the State of Nebraska. Laura’s true calling was nursing, and it’s difficult to tally the number of lives she affected by caring for patients and educating infinite new generations of nurses. Laura’s life revolved around education, and she was always eager to encourage others’ learning while also learning something new every chance she got.
Laura began her new profession in Florida, where she enlisted in the United States Air Force. She was subsequently assigned to Hill Air Force Base in Utah, where she met Airman First Class Joseph Skierka. They married on February 17, 1968. In August 1971, the couple moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada with their oldest daughter Linda, and subsequently to the Skierka family property in Lundbreck, Alberta, where they had two additional daughters, Katherine and Jennifer. After relocating to Claresholm, Alberta, they relocated their family to Creston, British Columbia, where they remained until Joe’s death in 1980.
Laura worked for Creston Valley Hospital for a long time, which provided her plenty of opportunities to work in her favorite department, maternity, where she earned a reputation as a baby whisperer. Laura, who was always looking for ways to improve things, began a long union career as a steward with the RNABC, eventually rising to the position of Vice President. She cherished the opportunity for travel that this provided her, as well as the excellent nurses she met around the province of British Columbia.
Laura married Roderic Dressel on October 8, 1994, at the Redeemer Lutheran Church, after a long romance, and added two more daughters, Cathy and Deb, and three more sons, Doug, Darrin, and Rob to her family. Laura and Rod both enjoyed traveling and spent a lot of time in Canada and the United States visiting relatives and friends and experiencing new places. They were always ready for a challenge, and together they built houses, gardens, and airplanes.
They could always be counted on to paint walls, build fences, and update rooms for their family and friends, and they were never daunted by a renovation. Unfortunately, Rod died in 2005. Laura enjoyed being a grandmother to her new family and never tired of being Grandma, Nana, and Auntie to all of her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and then great-nieces and great-nephews.
Laura enjoyed gardening, movies, and going to the theater, particularly for musicals. She claimed she couldn’t sing, but someone had to be in the audience, and she spent hours watching all of her grandchildren in school plays, music concerts, and dance recitals. She studied the rules of sports she had never heard of before in order to applaud at BMX races, swim meets, soccer games, and horse shows. Growing up in Nebraska, she probably never imagined she’d be able to tell you the National Lacrosse League league standings or who won the Formula One Constructors Cup, but she never missed an opportunity to have fun with her grandchildren.
Laura was a fantastic fiber artist whose skills in embroidery, cross stitching, knitting, crocheting, and quilting were only equaled by her generosity in donating what she made as gifts to her family and friends. She kept countless newborns warm in her sweaters and baby blankets, and her generosity was only equaled by her enthusiasm for new initiatives.
Laura cherished spending time with her friends and family and belonged to a warm and welcoming social circle. She was always ready for a hot or cold cup of tea and enjoyed nothing more than cracking open a bottle of wine or having a martini with friends. Laura formed several families with the nurses she worked with, church members she volunteered with, neighbors she had drinks with, and her children’s friends, in addition to a large crew of direct, extended, and blended family.
Laura will be lovingly remembered by her daughter Linda (Jeff) Kirby, their children Muriel (Jean Luc) Plamondon, Patrick, and Laura, daughter Katherine Young (Brian deceased in 2018), her children Kenya, Jordan, and Sophia, daughter Jennifer (Todd) Readman, their son Joseph, stepdaughters Cathy (Tom) Sanborn and Deb (Jim) Marcil, stepsons Doug (Lynn) Dressel, Darrin (Kathy) Dressel, and Rob (Valarie) Dressel, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Pastor Harry Haberstock will officiate at the funeral service on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at the Redeemer Lutheran Church. The interment will be held at a later date in Pincher Creek, Alberta. Friends may send memorial contributions to the ALS Society of Alberta, 7874 10 Street NE, Calgary, AB, T2E 8W1, or the Veterans Association Food Bank, 820 28 Street NE, Calgary, AB, T2A 6K1.