In Memory of




Obituary for S. Borga Jakobson

Sigrun Borga (Sigurdson) Jakobson

Our beloved mom, Borga Jakobson, passed peacefully away at the age of 94 on Nov 19, 2022. She is survived by her children, Kristine (Bill Perlmutter), Thora (Pascal Delaquis), Irene (Jim Marks), Karl (Darlene Fridfinnsson), Glen (Yumi Kobayashi), Alma (Mark McCaffrey) and Lorna Jakobson; her daughter-in-law Lynne Erickson (Otto Christensen); 23 grandchildren (David, Sara and Signy; Kristinn, Helga, Nikolas and Ari; Bernadette, Erik, Paul and Genevieve; Thomas; Arni, Elle and Will; Eirika and Andra; Chad, Kieran, Dillon and Tristin; Kári and Benedikt) and 11 great-grandchildren (Elliott and Oliver; Oliver; Soren, Signy and Kamryn; and Kellan, Quinn, Olsen, Jakob and Magnus; her sister Vigdis (Joe Bauernhuber) and nephew Bruce; her sister-in-law Frances Sigurdson and her family, and her nephews and nieces Lisa Laforce, Harvey, Ray, and Bud Olsson, Alda Foster, Sylvia Partridge and Don Sigvaldason. Borga was predeceased by her parents Kristjon and Indiana Sigurdson; her beloved husband Bodvar Bjarki; her son Gestur; son-in-law Gunnar Valdimarsson; daughter-in-law Tracy (Arnason) Jakobson; her brothers, Oli (Gudrun) and Sveinn Sigurdson; and nephews and niece, Philip and Ingrid Bauernhuber and Marvin Sigvaldason.

Borga was born on Jan 14, 1928. She received a BA in Philosophy from the University of Manitoba in 1948. When she married Bjarki in 1950, she began her life’s work as wife, mother, Amma and Langamma. She celebrated every success, gave unconditional love to every new addition to the family and was beloved in return. Borga & Bjarki had deep ties to Arborg, Winnipeg, Moosomin, Whitewood and Neepawa and she was a constant and loyal friend to many. A friend said, “Your mother was so loving, giving, humble, intelligent, humorous, and such a steadfast friend.” She boarded several Korean and Chinese students, who became part of her family and called her Amma, too.

Borga was active in the community, promoting the arts and education, helping to start the Neepawa Fine Arts Festival, and the Holiday Festival of the Arts, acting as the president of the Associated Manitoba Arts Festivals, and as a school trustee. After Bjarki’s death in 1982, she lived in Winnipeg, sharing “Two Harbours” with Kris & Bill’s family for 28 years, before moving into her cottage, close to Alma, Karl and Irene.

Borga maintained strong connections with her family in Iceland, was proud of her heritage and spoke fluent Icelandic. She skilfully translated into English and published books, stories, poetry and articles, and was active in the Icelandic community. At the Islendingadagurinn, she was honoured to represent Canada in 1947 and Iceland in 1974, as Fjallkona.

Borga lived her principles, firmly and graciously and contributed to many groups - Lestrafelag, INL, ITC, the University Women’s Club, Rotary’s Inner Wheel, Amnesty International, and Council of Canadians to name a few. She believed in inclusivity, human rights and peace. On her refrigerator, along with pictures of her babies, was a copy of the UN Bill of Rights.

We all worked together to ensure that Mom could be at home until her death. Alma was our main carer for Mom and we thank her for her loving attention to Mom’s every need. We especially appreciate the help and long friendship of Dr Michelle Evans, and the support of Home Care’s Self and Family Managed Care program.

Always hospitable and gracious, Borga had an aura of serenity that surprised a lot of people who knew her gregarious husband and boisterous children. She was the still centre that held our family together, teaching us to care for and help each other, and to pull together when times were tough. We are never ready to let go.

We have had a private interment and there will be a Celebration of Life at a later date. We welcome your stories and memories of Borga, and thank you for sharing them.

Elegantly Flowing Mother 母 流 雅 Bo Ru Ga by Glen Jakobson

My mother's like a placid stream that glitters in the sun
Its surface calm and tranquil while beneath strong currents run
She's constantly in motion though she seems serenely still
as if drawn on in accordance with some greater power's will
Thinking not about herself but how to help some other
That's the essence of our elegantly flowing mother

Because she flows so calmly without crashing wave or tide
she reflects a peaceful image to those standing by her side
And she calmed the storms around her, lightening the atmosphere
and she wanted art for all to see and music they could hear
Though around her was a clamour, crying children fighting too
still unperturbed she flowed on knowing always what to do

With a subtle simple power that has kindness at its source
she would change the undercurrent such to bring us back on course
And then she'd take us by the hand and pat us on the head
and hear our prayers before she tucked us gently into bed
while tending to the troubles of a sister or a brother
That's how days were spent by elegantly flowing mother

And as we grew we learned that if we followed where she flowed
we could avoid the rocks and risky rapids as we rowed
So now that we've grown older and have children of our own
We want to guide them gently in the manner we were shown
And we want them to experience her patient caring ways
by flowing calmly as she did back in the golden days

When they in turn have babies Mom one wish we hope comes true
that your children's children's children will be wise and kind as you
so they’ll treat with understanding and compassion and with care
all those they come to know and all the children that they bear
Then when we're old and chance upon some memory or other
we'll pause to thank and bless you elegantly flowing mother

Four score and ten the years you've seen green summers turn to fall
Now winter brings your day of birth white snowflakes blanket all
So now you've circled slowly ninety times around the sun
to every life there comes a time when all is said and done
But should you live a century and even then another
we'd gladly gather 'round you elegantly flowing mother

Then when the time has come for you to leave this world of ours
you'll stream into the universe disperse among the stars
just as a sparkling river that meanders through the trees
becomes the boundless ocean as it spreads among the seas
But till we've shed this earthly form and taken on another
just don't forget we love you, elegantly flowing mother

Remember that we love you, elegantly flowing mother