Neil Bardal Funeral Centre | Phone: 204-949-2200 3030 Notre Dame Avenue | Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B9 | info@nbardal.mb.ca
MacKenzie Funeral Chapel | Phone: 204-467-2525 433 Main Street | Stonewall, MB R0C 2Z0 info@mackenziefh.com
Neil Bardal Funeral Centre | Phone: 204-642-7124 | 82 5th Street, PO. Box 1889 | Gimli, MB R0C 1B0 | info@nbardal.mb.ca

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Holly Dreger

Holly Anne Dreger (Skaptason)

Wednesday, April 24th, 1946 - Tuesday, April 28th, 2020
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Obituary

HOLLY ANNE SKAPTASON DREGER
April 24, 1946-April 28, 2020

Surrounded by those who love her most, Holly passed away at the Grace Hospital on April 28, 2020, just after her 74th birthday, which she managed to spend at home, thanks to her “persistence”!

Holly is survived by her best friend and partner, Reg Eyemoto; her daughter, her “Elskan”, Marla (Joel) Jean Tran; her most amazing granddaughters, Johanna Jean Tran and Olivia Mei Tran; “The Family” in England, Holly’s niece, Hannah (Alex) Greenlees and children Ollie and Lottie; her nephew Tim (Claire) Skaptason and children Joe and Holly.

Along with many special cousins are three cherished friends; Pat, Yvonne, and Darryl.
Holly was predeceased by her father, Haraldur Marelius Skaptason in 1963; her brother, Harold Stephen Skaptason in 1991; her Mother, Johanna Zoega Johnson in 2016; and her former husband, James Dreger in 2017.

I will start off with some carefully chosen words which just begin to capture the essence of this exceptional human being- my Mom.

Intelligent, Witty, Resolute, Intuitive, Empath, Teacher, Leader, Logophile, Politico
My Mom was the younger of two children to Johanna and “Marl” Skaptason. Her brother, Stephen was everything to her. Mom was always close to family, as family was everything, along with fierce pride of her Icelandic heritage. Those attributes will continue to live on through us.

My Mom was a great student and attended Mulvey School and Gordon Bell High School, where she enjoyed Latin, writing, and music- always singing in the choir. She also had a few moments of stardom when she sang at Rainbow Stage and briefly in a band called the County Hall Singers!

In 1962, Stephen moved to England to design costumes for the Royal National Theatre. Mom visited Stephen, Jean, Hannah, and Tim (who were more like her kids than a niece and nephew) countless times, and as long as she was able. Wonderful memories were made in England!

My Mom tragically lost her Dad when she was just 17 years old. Without missing a beat, she worked, helped her Mom (and never stopped helping), and contributed to the household. She could easily have gone to university and earned multiple degrees with her intelligence and her gift with words but there were many other accomplishments to come.

Shortly after, my Mom met my Dad, James Dreger and they got married in 1969. On May 12, 1974, my Mom received the “best Mother’s Day present ever” (her words), which was me!
Mom stayed home for several years to ensure that I had the best possible start in life. If she hadn’t noticed me “rocking perfectly to the beat” of the Brady Bunch theme when I was 2, I may not have begun my career as a music educator. Mom took me to piano, theory, voice, and dance lessons and made all my dance costumes by hand.

When it was time to go back to work, my Mom noticed a void in the community- there were no childcare options. What would any other person do? They would probably just complain. What did Holly do? Along with a friend, she co-founded Lakewood Children’s Centre, which is still in existence today.

My Mom and Dad were not meant to stay together forever, so my Mom bought a lovely home in River Heights when they went their separate ways. Even though the house was “leaning”, she loved it, and when she was able, she had it lifted and completely renovated, with her bathroom design winning an award!

Speaking of love, my Mom happened to meet Reg at Gary’s deli in “the concourse” about 20 years ago and they never looked back. She was an excellent judge of character and she saw something special in Reg. He treated her like gold and was by her side until her last day. We are very lucky to have gained another member of our family.

Then there was my Mom’s career. She started in a secretary position at Great West Life, but by the time she left 25 years later, she was a respected mortgage administrator. Montrose Financial Group was so lucky (and they knew it) to snag my Mom as Senior Vice-President in 1990. It is not someone’s position that matters though- it is actions, and the treatment of others. My Mom was patient, took the time to share her vast knowledge, treated her colleagues with respect, and did business with integrity- that is great leadership. Thank you for that exceptional example.

My Mom only retired 4 years ago, at the age of 70. She should be golfing, tweeting witty tweets about politics, making Vinarterta, connecting with relatives or newfound friends from Iceland, and drinking her favourite coffee with Reg. She should be there to watch Johanna (Yoey) and Olivia walk to her house after school- she so loved that. She should be there to take my phone calls about important things like how to word something perfectly, or just to say how much I love her. The only solace is that my Mom does not have to worry about us worrying about her anymore and is no longer sick- not that she ever, ever complained.

We would like to thank Dr. Smith (ICU) and the two exceptional nurses who helped support our entire family on our darkest day.

Holly, Mom, aunt, sister, daughter, the Amma of all Ammas, the One and Only. You were the best ever and we will be our best because of you. All our love. XOXOXO

Cremation has taken place and a private family interment will soon follow. A celebration of life will take place when we can all gather together safely! Thank you to Neil Bardal Funeral Centre for their care and compassion.
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