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Kimberley Families

The Sortome Family


as told by daughter Mildred

Trondheim, Norway, was the birth place of Leonard Sortome. He left for Canada when only nineteen, and arrived in the Boundary Country to get work in the mines around Greenwood and Phoenix, as well as to do some prospecting.

Emma Hamberg, born in Bjasta, Sweden, came out to Greenwood in 1910 to do housework. She spent a year in Spokane where she worked for the Campbell Family. Their house is now the Campbell House Museum there. On her return to Greenwood, she met and married Leonard Sortome in 1915.

Three sons were born in Phoenix, Leonard Jr., Clarence and Gordon. Mildred was born in Greenwood, Reidar was born in Grand Forks and a second daughter, Eleanor, was also born in Greenwood.

Leonard worked for a time at the Yankee Girl Mine at Ymir, before coming to Kimberley in 1929. He stayed at the Townsite bunkhouses until the family moved here in 1930.

Mr. Sortome was a shift boss underground until his retirement in 1949. He liked fishing, hockey and baseball and loved to read. Mrs. Sortome kept busy with her family and garden and she was an active member in both the Eastern Star and Rebekah lodges.

Their son Leonard, is now in real estate in Kingston, Ontario. He is married to a Kingston girl and they have two daughters.

Clarence is an electrician at the Mine. He married a Creston girl, Lorna Witeman. They have a son John and a daughter Sherry. Gordon was killed in 1939. Mildred trained as a nurse in the Vancouver General Hospital and began working in the Kimberley Hospital when Miss Milburn was the Matron. She married Alf Ingebrigtson, a miner and timberman for the Company. They have two children; Eleanor married Ron Godlonton and they live in Horsefly near Williams Lake, and have two children. Their son, Gordon, took an apprenticeship in telecommunications and is at present in Terrace. Alf is now retired and confined to a wheelchair due to ill health.

Reidar studied to be a dentist. He married Frances Holland of Kimberley and they live in Vancouver with one daughter, Anita.

Eleanor studied to be a dietician in Toronto and also worked in the Royal Victoria Hospital, in Montreal. She is now Executive Director of the Canadian Diabetic Association in Toronto.

After Mr. Sortome's death in 1959, Mrs. Sortome went east to live with their daughter Eleanor. She spent seven years in Montreal and five in Toronto before returning to spend her remaining years in Kimberley. She did return to visit relatives in Sweden and Norway on three different occasions and has kept in touch with them. She spent her last few years in the Pines Special Care Home and passed away in November of 1978, at almost eighty-nine years of age .

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