February 28, 1938 – July 12, 2020
Tina Leona Sharkey was born on February 28th, 1938 in Herbert, Saskatchewan. She entered Jesus’ arms peacefully at 6:15 AM on Sunday, July 12th, 2020 with her loving husband of 61 years and 9 months by her side. She was 82 years old.
She was predeceased by her father and mother, William and Anna Hildebrandt. She is lovingly survived by her husband, Stan Sharkey, her eldest son, Stanley Sharkey Jr. (Sharon), her daughter Monica Thate (Brian), and her youngest son, Stephen Sharkey (Donna), her brothers Albert Hildebrandt, Bill Hildebrandt, sister Ann King and numerous nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her grandchildren Nathan Sharkey (Julia), Natasha Young (Aaron), Brandon Sharkey (Jo), Amanda Street (Jonathan), Brook Thate, Stephen Thate, Sarah Thate and her great-grandchildren Taylor, Tyson, Xana, Morgana, Kaleb, Makenya, Emmerson, Everlee, Jaden, Orion, Paisley and Haven, whom she loved so dearly.
Leona was a pastor’s wife for 50 years, a ministry she loved. She also enjoyed many other places of employment as well: crayon factory worker, Chinese restaurant waitress (Calgary and Whitehorse, Yukon), Canadian Airforce Base mess-hall waitress (Whitehorse, Yukon), room-and-board operator (Fort St. John, Golden and Ladner), foster mom to eight children (Fort St. John and Ladner), hospital admitting clerk (Fort Nelson and Dawson Creek), government agent office clerk (Dawson Creek), RCMP clerk – affectionately known as “Staff Sergeant Sharkey” (Abbotsford), hair dresser (Abbotsford), caregiver to people with special needs (Ladner and Grand Forks), caregiver to people with dementia (Grand Forks) and head camp cook in the oil and gas industry (Fort Nelson) and Bible camp head cook (Kootenay Pentecostal Camp and Yukon Pentecostal Camp), gas jockey at Super Save Gas (Grand Forks). Even in her last year of life, she was still talking about looking for another job.
She was an avid singer, guitar player, (she would sing and play by the hour and performed at the Calgary Stampede as a teen), reader, writer, painter, cook and baker. She was famous for her crepes, Thanksgiving dinners, cinnamon buns, spudnut donuts, yodelling and her exuberant “HOWDEEEY!” – a country girl at heart. She was very artistic.
A friend to everyone, she had a heart for the less fortunate and regularly opened her home to people going through difficult times. Her house was a welcoming place of warm hospitality and delicious food. She truly had a heart of gold. People wouldn’t be in the door long before she’d ask, “Are you hungry?” “Can I get you a cup of coffee?” “What would you like to eat?” (She would make it immediately!)
Leona loved God’s Word. Every morning, after breakfast, she would place the Bible on the table for her and Dad to read together, then have prayer before their day began. We don’t remember a time when she prayed, that she didn’t cry, talking to her Heavenly Father.
Although she gave of her time and energy to so many people, her family remained her top priority and were her favourite people on earth. She loved traveling with her family members to Israel, Mexico, DisneyLand, DisneyWorld, Dominican Republic, Daytona Beach, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Alaska, St. Thomas, Bahamas, St. Maartens, Barbados, and more.
She orchestrated and performed in semi-annual Country Gospel Jamborees (Saskatoon, Ladner and Grand Forks). Each Jamboree’s admission was by donation and all proceeds raised support for local food banks, youth skate board park and single moms groups.
Leona’s childhood was an incredibly difficult one but she is an example of rising above, with the help of Jesus, who she accepted as her Lord and Saviour at the age of 21. She chose to live for Jesus by laying down her life for those in need which, in turn, gave her a rich, rewarding time here on earth.
She was always surrounded by her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids who loved her endlessly. She was often called her family’s “favourite person”, and for Dad, she was his loving help-mate, best friend and life-long love. She will be sorely missed until the end of time.
Leona’s last wish was for all her friends and family to give their lives to Jesus, the One who created them, the One who loves them and can forgive them. She wanted us all to be reunited with her in Heaven one day, so the circle won’t be broken…
A Funeral Service was held July 17, 2020 at Gospel Chapel Grand Forks with Burial to follow in Evergreen Cemetery Grand Forks BC
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pines Bible Camp, Grand Forks, BC.
Funeral Arrangements entrusted to The Baker Family of Grand Forks Funeral Home.
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