The mother of four – Chris, Jason, Kim, and Robbie – is remembered a woman passionate both about her family and her work. She was involved with the Fort St. John and District Chamber of Commerce for nine years since March 2004, starting as an assistant and moving up to manager.
“She helped to rebuild the chamber,” says 1st Vice President Russ Beerling. “She was very instrumental in doing a lot of policy stuff. I don’t think we’d ever put policy before the B.C. Chamber before and she was battling 90 per cent that were being accepted by the B.C. Chamber and moved before the provincial government.”
Beerling says Oak’s passion for her work was clear, noting that she even asked about the Chamber in her last week, and told her husband John she hoped the last policy she worked on gets passed.
Past President Brent Hodson says Oak was the “driving force” of the Chamber, working with businesses in the area and listening to their ideas and concerns.
“I will miss Annette’s energy and determination she had for both the Chamber and her family,” he says. “Annette played a very significant role in the many accomplishments and growth of the Chamber which lead to many achievements for the City of Fort St. John.”
Oak grew up in Stoughton, Saskatchewan, and along with her job, Oak’s other dedication was to her loving family. Beerling remembers one day in hospital when she was upset about missing her son-in-law’s drag race, and he suggested watching it through a video call to the track.
“It wasn’t all about seeing the race. It was about being there for him,” he explains. “Her passion for her family was amazing… truly amazing.”
Condolences can be sent through Hamre’s Funeral Chapel & Cremation Center. In lieu of flowers, her family has asked donations to the Child Development Centre be made in her name.
The Celebration of Life will begin at 1 p.m.