Astrid Jeanine Blomquist (nee Kilberg)

Astrid was born on November 22, 1933 in a small home in Narcosil Creek near Alexandria, British Columbia. The family moved to Malakwa when she was 6 years old in 1939. Astrid, her sister Edie and the driver came down from Narcosil Creek in a moving truck. Brother Al with dad Bror, came down with the team of horses and farm equipment. This trip took them 13 days to move, along with the dog that walked the whole way.

They moved to their uncle Pete Kilberg’s home up on Sederberg Road, which later became Bror and Selma Kilberg’s family home. They aquired 80 acres of land from the government as part of the settler-homestead grants. One of the conditions for granting property was that they needed to clear the land.

Astrid’s dad Bror, farmed the land and was given government assistance during the Depression. In exchange he had to keep Sederberg Road cleared, maintain the ditches and culverts. He cut trees and sold them to Carnie Pole Company to make a little money as well as cleaned the toilets at the Malakwa School.

Walking back and forth to school from the top of Sederberg hill was hard as the hill was so steep, long and full of mosquitoes. When the weather was too cold they would have to stay home from school and then they were put to work on the farm.

The would take a shortcut to school through Otto Johnston’s property, passing by a creek where they would sometimes store milk and cream to keep it cool. Occasionally it would spill into the water and they would have no whipping cream that day!

Astrid attended Malakwa School for most of her schooling to grade 8 with the last couple of years grades 9/10 attending in Sicamous. She would have had to go to Revelstoke or Salmon Arm for grades 11/12 so did not continue due to the long distance required to travel as well she needed to start working to decrease the financial burden at home.

Astrid worked as a “flunky” or cook’s helper at McLean’s Sawmills. The mill was past where the Malakwa dump is located today. She would assist with the meal prep for the mill workers.

After finishing work at the mill, Astrid moved to Calgary to work at the Imperial Bank of Commerce where her sister Edie also worked. She lived in Edie and Dick’s basement along with her cousin Bonnie Rokosh.

When Bill Blomquist’s family returned from residing in Vancouver Astrid and Bill reconnected. Astrid then moved back to Malakwa and Bill and Astrid were married on May 5, 1956 at the Malakwa United Church. The same church that still stands today on Malakwa Road (Malakwa Community Church.) Bill was 29 and Astrid was 23 years old.

Bill and his brother Walt started Blomquist Bros. Logging. They built the white work shop (located at the east entrance to Malakwa Road) along with the help of Bert Northway.

Bill and his brother Walt also subdivided property in Malakwa known as the Blomquist Subdivision and the local fire hall and old community hall were part of that subdivision.

Bill and Astrid had 3 children. Bruce was born in 1957, Christine was born in 1960 and Kent in 1964. They built a new home in 1965 on Malakwa Road.

Astrid would get calls from Bill that they needed parts for the logging equipment and she would pile the 3 children into the station wagon and head for Salmon Arm in search of parts. In 1980’s Blomquist Bros Logging Company started to disband. Bill was having increasing difficulty getting around in the bush as his Multiple Sclerosis was making things difficult.

Once the children were grown it was time for Astrid and Bill to have holiday time. They so enjoyed their trips with sister Edie and brother-in-law Dick. They travelled to Sweden, United Kindom, Alaska, across the USA, over to the Atlantic provinces of Canada and a cruise through the Cariibean.

Realizing that the house in Malakwa was beginning to be too much to look after, they decided to move to Kelowna in 2005. They resided next door to their daughter Christine and her family. Bill passed away in 2017 and Astrid managed to stay in her home until the end of 2020 at which time she moved to a care facility where she passed on March 8, 2023. Astrid was buried at the Malakwa Cemetery on June 17, 2023.