Visiting ancestors’ graves, and flying home to the Yukon

On the way home to the Yukon from a family event on Vancouver Island, I took an extra day so I could visit a couple of cemeteries in the Fraser Valley where grandparents and a great-grandmother are buried.

Though neither of us are interested in “gambling” (a.k.a. “donating money to some large corporation” 🙂 ), the location of the River Rock Casino Resort made it a good choice for our one-night stay.

River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, BC
As I mentioned in the last post, our room at the River Rock was great for plane-watching – traffic for runway 26R passed right over us, and with Flight24Radar I could see the aircraft approaching and get the aircraft identification.

Watching Flight24Radar

Delta Connection Embraer inbound to YVR

Cathy and I had a lazy morning, then checked out and started driving to Coquitlam just after 10:00. The first cemetery I wanted to re-visit was the Robinson Memorial Park Cemetery, where Dad’s maternal grandmother, Maria Wahlberg, was one of the first 25 burials. The cemetery is very nice.

Robinson Memorial Park Cemetery in Coquitlam, BC
I particularly liked the memorial wall. We need such a structure in Whitehorse, and I keep an eye out for designs I like.

Memorial wall at the Robinson Memorial Park Cemetery in Coquitlam, BC
Dad and I had visited his grandmother’s grave in 2013 – his first visit since she died, and my first visit ever. At that time, the grave had no marker but Dad had ordered one. Dad had huge respect for her, crediting her with pretty much raising him while his parents both worked.

Grave of Maria Wahlberg (1859-1938) at the Robinson Memorial Park Cemetery in Coquitlam, BC
Maria’s plot is one of the nicest in the cemetery, backing onto a thick natural forest, and with a bench. With the photos I shot this day, I was able to enhance Maria’s memorial page at Find A Grave.

Grave of Maria Wahlberg (1859-1938) at the Robinson Memorial Park Cemetery in Coquitlam, BC
From there we drove out to the Newton district of Surrey, where my paternal grandparents are buried at Valley View Memorial Gardens. I had visited the cemetery last September but was unable to find their graves. Following that, I had been in contact with the cemetery office, and a nice young man drove us in a golf cart out to the right area. With a bit of searching, we were able to find their graves, which are in the lower left of the next photo.

Graves of Erik and Jentina Lundberg at Valley View Memorial Gardens in Surrey, BC
I had never visited their graves before, nor had any of my siblings. I wasn’t even sure that their graves had markers, as I remember the conflict between Mom and Dad over the cost of them. It was a great relief to find that they did, partly because I was going to order markers if there weren’t. Memories of my grandparents came flooding back – for most of the time I was growing up, they lived just a few doors away so I saw them often. When we moved from Coquitlam to Surrey in 1956, so did they.

Murray Lundberg visiting the graves of his paternal grandparents, Erik and Jentina Lundberg, at Valley View Memorial Gardens in Surrey, BC
After going back to the car, I wasn’t completely happy with the way the visit had gone, so I returned to the office, got a paper cup for water, and returned to clean their markers and get better photos. When I returned home, I was able to create memorial pages at Find A Grave for both Jentina Charlotte Wahlberg Lundberg and Erik Mauritz Lundberg. Neither of them had even been listed there before.

Grave of Jentina Charlotte Wahlberg Lundberg at Valley View Memorial Gardens in Surrey, BC

Grave of Erik Mauritz Lundberg at Valley View Memorial Gardens in Surrey, BC

My flight back to Whitehorse wasn’t until 8:15 pm, so from cemeteries,Cathy and I continued visiting sites from my past. The next stop was White Rock, where I spent a lot of time because my family owned a kayak rental on the beach in the early ’60s. While a lot has changed, of course, the basic look has changed little.

White Rock, BC
From there we continued on to Crescent Beach, which is a much quieter place now that when I was in my teens and 20s. Other than the lovely park out at the spit which used to be party central, the community has changed very little. We spent a long time there, just sitting on a bench watching the world go by.

Crescent Beach, BC
Returning to the Vancouver airport at about 5 pm, Cathy took the Canada Line downtown for her conference, and I killed time by watching airplanes and looking at some of the wonderful art that YVR has so much of.

Native art at Vancouver airport
I was flying Air North (of course!) but had checked in online so didn’t need to go to their counter.

Air North counter at YVR
I’ve always loved “The Flying Traveller”, a cast fiberglass piece created especially for YVR by Patrick Amiot and Brigitte Laurent in 1996. I rarely get stressed by travel, but I occasionally see people who look rather like that as they’re rushing for their gate 🙂


Ten minutes after takeoff, over the aptly-named Sunshine Coast. It might be worth noting that no filters or special gimmicks of any kind were used to get this photo – that’s what we saw. Ahhhhhh….

Ten minutes after takeoff, over BC's aptly-named Sunshine Coast.
Flying north feels even better to me than flying south does. Same incredible mountains and always headed for more adventures, but different.

Flying from Vancouver to Whitehorse
I shot the next photo just before 9:00 pm – shortly after, the peaks got hidden by clouds and I went to sleep.

Flying from Vancouver to Whitehorse
Getting ready to land in Whitehorse at 10:40 pm.

Final approach to landing at Whitehorse, Yukon, at 10:40 pm

Our wonderful house-sitter had stayed until I was home. As always, the fur-kids were happy and the house was spotless. It had been a perfect few days, but now there were plenty of things to do closer to home.



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