a poem by Treecat - April 2001
There's a world beyond our every day
Former City Clerk remembered
Wilna Wellenbrink passed away suddenly in her sleep last Wednesday, September 14th. She had retired a number of years ago after serving many years as deputy clerk for the Williams Lake City Hall. No stranger to politics, she’d also been an elected Councillor with the City of Prince George. A memorial service was held today, Wednesday, September 21st at 1:00 p.m. in the Cariboo Central Adventist Church. Family and friends gathered to mark the passing of this special woman and good friend to so many.
Letter to the Editor:
MLA Charlie Wyse remembers Wilna
I was deeply saddened to hear of the recent death of Wilna Wellenbrink. I knew Wilna for 25 years and worked with her when she was the Deputy Clerk for the City of Williams Lake. I have always had the utmost respect for Wilna and appreciated her professionalism and the support she extended to me in my role as Councillor for the City of Williams Lake. I extend my sincere condolences to Wilna's family and friends.
MLA, Cariboo South
Fantastic chatter logs off final time
Cariboo Advisor (Williams Lake), Quesnel Advisor, 100 Mile House Advisor
By Ernie Engemoen
Wilna Wellenbrink died suddenly last week without medical intervention and seemingly alone. However, she wasn’t friendless. She was a rabid chatter on the Internet, having her own Inter Relay Chat (IRC) channel and being a regular in several others. Wilna made this warm electronic nest her home. She was a chat line operator who stopped any smutty or bothersome crap from hitting the network.
Her very large community of Internet friends, some living halfway around the world, are mourning the passing of a true buddy! This is not to say they didn’t visit. Noel and Robin from Australia planned their vacation so they could visit Wilna in the Cariboo! My wife Cheryl and I were invited to the Laughing Loon to meet these world travellers and on-line chatters.
Wilna also travelled to America to visit another chatter. One of her buddies lives in Surrey and has been to Williams Lake to visit her and visa-versa.
I first met Wilna because of my newspaper work covering the City Hall beat. She was the Deputy Municipal Clerk. No matter what her title, it was obvious Wilna was the one to go to for straight answers! All this action around City Hall appeared very complicated and strange to me at first, but Wilna would explain the process and answer my questions. I also sat on the City’s Advisory Planning Committee and Wilna was the recording secretary.
Between our group of local friends, I was one of the first to purchase a computer and talked Wilna into doing the same. This was a long time ago, and the first method of electronic communication I learned was computer faxing. She soon learned about IRC lines and returned the favour by loading my computer with the necessary software so I could converse with her ever-expanding circle of friends.
It was these friends who became worried about her last week. She had taken a nasty fall earlier. Nothing broken, but she was bruised and sore. Her on-line chatting had diminished. She talked on the phone to one buddy approximately 10:00 Wednesday, and send an email about 2:00 that afternoon. She said she was feeling poorly and didn’t come on line that night.
This was very odd behaviour for Wilna and her friends became frantic, including Lyn of Surrey, Shirlee in New Orleans, Rick a police chief in Ohio, David from Virginia, and Chris in New Zealand. Her buddies knew I lived nearby. These chatters are listed by nicknames. However, Lyn in Surrey knew I was a writer and had sent articles to Andrew in San Francisco. She phoned him and got my full name, looked me up and called.
My brave wife Cheryl went to Wilna’s house to see if her vehicle was there it was! She tried the door. The outer door was unlocked, inner door standing open but no answer! She phoned me and I told her not to go inside. I knew this was not going to have a nice outcome and called the police.
Wilna was discovered sitting upright in bed, peacefully dead. She probably planned to read her book. Wilna was truly gone, but not as alone as it would first appear. She had a very large family of Internet chatters who loved her dearly and they’ve been expressing this grief in emails and phone calls even posting a memorial for her on line.