BUNNEY – Elsie Bunney


    Bunney –

    Elsie Bunney of Brooks passed away in Brooks on Monday, November 15th, 2021, with her family by her side, at the age of 90 years. Elsie was born in Liebenthal, Saskatchewan on April 30th, 1931 to Dennis and Frances Frolich, the youngest of 6 children. She left the farm in 1948 and moved to Medicine Hat, where she stayed with her sister Josie and her husband Frank. Elsie’s first job was at Medalta Pottery where she was paid $0.55 an hour and she would send money out of each paycheque home to help her parents. In 1951 she moved to Ralston, Alberta where she managed the Army Base Canteen and she was charged $6 a month to rent a sleeping room. Elsie moved to Brooks in 1955 and worked for Cy Campbell at the Phoenix Restaurant (now Studio Elle) until Cy sold the business to a Chinese family. At this time Brooks had a population of 2500 people and 3rd street east was the end of town. She worked with Martha Jackson and Ruth Doble at the Newell Hotel restaurant from 1956 – 1967, which at the time was owned by the Calgary Brewery and managed by a man named Streak, who leased the restaurant and was always dress in white from head to toe. Elsie trained many of the teenagers in Brooks how to waitress and her main rule was “Don’t show up with any part of your uniform wrinkled or you will be sent home to iron it.” Elsie went to work for Mas and Joan Nakamura at Dinny’s, aka the Shell station on the #1 highway, who also owned the local Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. It was the busiest place she had ever worked at, it was truly nonstop work.  Elsie worked with Bud Betz, Grandma Kozma, Agnes Laux and many Rosemary girls. She stayed at Dinny’s until the business was sold to Gus the Greek and Elsie moved on when the business started to slow down. She worked for Liz Nemeth at the Country Kitchen until 1972, when the new Legion was built. At the time, the Legion was the finest dining in Brooks and she worked with Adeline Doble, Bertha Scott, Lee Pi, Marie Elsbett, Stella Pozzo and Betty Anderson, her favourite girls being May, Patty, Della and Diane. There was definitely some fun times and great friendships started there. In approximately 1980, Elsie and Adeline Doble decided to go to work for Tom Nevison at the new Gulf restaurant on the #1 Highway. This was a 24 hour restaurant and unlike anything they were used to. Can you imagine how horrifying it was for Elsie once she found out they were serving instant potatoes and fake gravy! In 1981 the Brooks Curling Club was looking for a manager and Elsie took on this new adventure, serving both food and booze. This was a seasonal job which freed up her summer months. Elsie was approached by George Koza in 1992 about taking over the Kitchen at Bow Slope Shipping, working both jobs until eventually giving up the Curling Club. Family says that Bow Slope was Elsie’s dream job and may have something to do with the scenery, she always loved a man who wore Wranglers. Her #1 girls at Bow Slope were Bernice McKenzie, Gwen Sinclari and Patty Hale. She stayed at Bow Slope until it was bought out by Charlton’s in 2000. Elsie was now officially retired! That lasted about 4 minutes because she began volunteering at Tuck, the shop in the Brooks Hospital, as well as unofficially taking on the role of funeral coordinator at the Legion, as well as other volunteering that eventually led to a paid position helping at the Legion Canteen. She worked there until the youthful age of 81 years. Elsie loved playing crib and darts. The Legion became a second home for Elsie, where she would gather with all of her best friends. She was predeceased by her husband Reg in 1975, son Garth in 2019 and siblings Josephine, Margaret, Marian, Kay and Lloyd. Elsie is survived by her daughter Penny Thompson and her husband Tim; grandchildren, Tanya and Richard Renard and Dustin and Lorelei Thompson; great grandchildren, Ryder Moorhead and Rein, Brooks and Hayes Thompson; lifelong friend Lorraine Elishen and many special nieces and nephews. “I hope the dining room is open when she arrives so she can visit with all her family, friends and customers over a glass of beer and clam. Enjoy your rest Mom, it’s now your turn to be served…” A Family Graveside service will be held at Brooks Cemetery. In memory of Elsie, if friends desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to either the Royal Canadian Legion Auxiliary, 235 – 3rd Street West, Brooks, Alberta   T1R 0S3 or Brooks Animal Protection Society, Box 86, Brooks, Alberta   T1R 1B2.

    Cremation is entrusted to and conducted by

    Smith Funeral Home Ltd. and Crematorium, Brooks

    Funeral arrangements entrusted to:



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