Those who knew Iline (Eileen) have described her as a vibrant and vivacious free spirit who lived life with strength, courage, joy, and a healthy dose of spunk each day.
Iline was born June 10, 1949 in the small rural town of Smoky Lake, Alberta. She spent her early years on the family farm with her parents, Michael and Josephine (Gresko) Small, who met in Canada as post-war Ukrainian immigrants. Following her father’s passing during Iline’s teenage years, she and her mother moved to Westlock, and later Edmonton where she graduated high school. Iline attended the same high school as her husband, Don White, who she met at a community dance following graduation. They later married in August 1970.
Iline and Don spent their first years as a couple in Edmonton where their parents, Don’s sister and her family lived. Iline and Don had two children during this time, daughter Brandi (1973) while residing in nearby Fort Saskatchewan, and son Mick (1974) in Edmonton. Don was transferred with the Royal Bank to Medicine Hat where the family moved for a brief period, and then to Calgary for the following 12 years. Iline and her family returned to the Edmonton area, relocating to nearby St. Albert, where they resided for 22 years. In 2011 Iline found a new home in Nanoose Bay, on Vancouver Island, where she and Don moved with their 2 dogs, Max and Annie, closer to both of their children living there.
Iline attended the university of Calgary in the mid-80s where she took several courses in fine arts, enjoying expressing her creativity through drawing, painting, and photography. She also completed several courses in herbology and natural health modalities. Iline left her job with the Royal Bank in Edmonton and pursued further formal education in her late 40s. She completed the Holistic Health Practitioner Diploma at Grant Mac Ewan College, followed by training as a Registered Massage Therapist in Alberta. Iline loved this work and implemented her skills in a variety of capacities including employment at a health food store, chiropractor, and a local spa. She eventually operated her own busy home massage therapy practice for several years prior to retiring upon relocation to Vancouver Island.
Iline nurtured a variety of other interests throughout her life. She enjoyed travelling and took several trips with family and friends including California, Nevada, Oregon, Hawaii, Greece, Aruba, Mexico, New York City, France, Quebec, the west coast, the Maritimes, and a European River Boat Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. Iline was a passionate “foodie”, and cultivated a flare for cooking, art, and gardening. She had a natural gift of making a house into a home wherever she landed. Iline thoroughly enjoyed hosting countless gatherings and meals, where everyone she knew was welcome and left well nourished. She fostered many good friendships throughout the years, wherever she lived, and valued spending time with all of them. Iline and Don enjoyed socializing as a couple, and recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary together with family and good friends.
Iline spent her last years engaging her passion for cooking and gardening. She also pursued tai chi, joined the newcomers club and alumni with Don, attended a local book club, learned to make cheese, forage for wild mushrooms, and spoiled her dogs. She continued to enjoy spending time with friends, and her family who she considered her greatest joy and gift in life. During this time her son and daughter in-law, Mick and Jodi (Diesing), welcomed her first granddaughter, Mackenzie, in January 2017. Iline’s daughter Brandi married son in-law David Nielsen in 2015, welcomed grand dog Bentley in 2017, and a second granddaughter, Grace, in 2020.
Iline’s family also included her late beloved dogs Max, Annie, grand-dog Saje, Major, and Tasha. We have no doubt that her four-footed family members were eagerly waiting to greet her as she transitioned peacefully on April 5, 2021 from her home with family at her bedside.
As a family we are honored and grateful to have called a woman like Iline our cherished spouse, mother, grandmother, and friend. We will continue to recount the wonderful memories we’ve shared, and honor her life by attempting to love and live ours with the same passion and zest that Iline shared with so many.
Please feel free to share any memories or pictures in the link below. .
Special thanks to all of the caregivers that helped support Iline and her family.
Donations can be made to support research towards a cure for Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease in honor of Iline’s life to the following organization: The Canadian CJD Association. https://www.canadiancjdassociation.com/research
To send flowers to Eileen "Iline" Julia White's family, please visit our floral store.