Edith (Petersen) Kosheiff, of Danish descent, was born in 1932 in Fairview, Alta. She attended a one room school in nearby Bluesky. In fact, her school was nearly two miles away and she – and other students - rode horseback to and from school on a regular basis. There was a barn at the school site and the parents delivered hay to feed the horses.
After she completed Grade 9, she finished high school in Fairview and went to work at the Royal Bank.
Edith met Mitch Kosheiff through a friend and they married in 1954. They had a dream of becoming farmers and working the land. It was a particularly bad year for farmers when Mitch saw an advertisement in the Free Press Prairie Farmer in regards to jobs in Prince George. He applied and was hired the next day by Northern Magneto.
Mitch left Alberta headed for Prince George and Edith was going to follow just as soon as she could get a job transfer with the Royal Bank. It wasn’t long and Mitch phoned her and said just quit your job because I am coming to get you – I can’t stand this being apart any longer. With that, they completed their move to Prince George in 1956 with the intention of only staying here for one year.
Edith easily found work at the Bank of Montreal; she worked there for two years until the children started to arrive and then she became a stay-at-home mom.
Mitch bought into the Rambler car dealership known as Belcourt Motors along with Ed Belshum and Doug Courtice.
Later, he operated the Patricia 66 service station and Budget Rent-a-Car which was, at the time, located by the city hall. Mitch always had a competent bookkeeper because Edith, with all of her banking experience, did the books.
For the next 25 years they operated the Petro Canada bulk plant, which was known as Center City Petroleum’s 1974 Ltd.
Sadly, Mitch passed away in 1992 as the result of a brain tumour. Mitch and Edith had two sons – Ed, a retired superintendent of information systems at Teck Cominco in trail and his wife Colleen, who retired from FortisBC, and Brian, a pharmacist here in Prince George.
Edith said, “I now have four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
“All through our married life we did everything together. My friends and customers would ask me how we were able to work and play so well together. just explained that when I was at work, he was the boss.”
Edith and Mitch were always willing to give back to their community. Their philosophy was that you do what you can as long as you can. Other than raising their family, they were either working, volunteering or traveling all over Canada and abroad.
Mitch managed one of the little league teams at Freeman Park. He always made time for anything that their two boys were involved with.
He was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church and served as chairman elder, taught bible study, sang in the choir and served as their bookkeeper.
Edith learned to play the piano as she grew up on the farm. She gives thanks to her mother for that opportunity and has played ever since. She recently retired from playing the piano at the Zion Lutheran Church and voluntarily kept their books in order for a period of 10 years. She served as treasurer for the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League for many years and volunteered for the Cancer Society for five years.
Edith ended by saying, “We both enjoyed baseball, curling, hockey and golf. We worked hard together, volunteered together and always managed to do lots of traveling. We had a good life and we always found that there were a lot of good people in this world that were willing to help when help was needed.
“Now that I am older and I don’t move so quick, there is always someone there to help me just when I need it. I have a great family and many good friends. Life is good.”
February anniversaries that I know about: 65 years for Keith and Marg McLachlan, 57 years for John and Wilma Scott, 55 years for Ernie and Diana Myers, 55 years for Wayne and Jan Braaten, 55 years for Earl and Lorraine Turner, 42 years for Jim and Brenda Doucette, 26 years for Joe and Janice (Taylor) Anderson and 18 years for Lino and me.