Born in 1940, Luella came to Kitimat at the young age of 20. Never looking back, Luella married and raised six sons in our small town. Always being an advocate for volunteering, Luella has worn many hats for many fundraisers and continues to do so. (Photo Supplied)

Born in 1940, Luella came to Kitimat at the young age of 20. Never looking back, Luella married and raised six sons in our small town. Always being an advocate for volunteering, Luella has worn many hats for many fundraisers and continues to do so. (Photo Supplied)

In Our Valley: Luella Froess

Kitimat’s #1 church fundraiser and volunteer queen

Volunteer advocate Luella Froess knows a thing or two about being part of a community while fundraising for causes she believes in. 

Born in small-town Sicamous, Luella moved to Burnaby in 1957 and lived there for three years completing business school and working for CNR.

After living in Burnaby, Luella moved to Kitimat and married her childhood boyfriend from Sicamous at the young age of 20.

Raising six kids between the ages of 22-29, Luella was never afraid of motherhood and all the work that comes with it.

“I loved being a mom it was lots of fun,” Luella said.”We’d take our kids to the beach, we’d have picnics at Hirsch Creek; there was a lot of walking, I’m pretty sure I wore out two sets of buggy wheels.”

With support from her mother and sisters, Luella worked for many different companies throughout the summers while raising her six boys.

“My sisters were six and eight years younger than me so during their summer holidays they would come up for a couple of months and babysit for me.”

“The summers I wasn’t pregnant I would go back and work for [Alcan] just as summer relief for different offices,” Luella said. “Then in 1973 I worked part-time in the hospital and I stayed there working for our general surgeon and pediatrician.”

Luella’s grateful for the Kitimat community and the help they offered when she was raising her kids. She was very close with her neighbours who were also raising young children and going through the same steps of life.

“In those years I was lucky because I could stay at home and had so many friends who were all raising kids at the same time.”

Always been a people person, Luella got into volunteer work and community services for a number of reasons, but one of her main driving factors was to stay close to her kids.

“I was involved in figure skating because my sons were in it, we were also band parents, I was also involved in sea cadets because of my sons,” Luella said. “We tried to be involved in the things our kids were involved in because they needed fundraising, and if you didn’t have volunteers [the fundraising] didn’t happen.”

Partaking in all school and community fundraisers, Luella built strong relationships with other kind-hearted people like herself.

“I met dozens of people through volunteer groups because a lot of us were stay-at-home moms so we met through [girl guides], school functions, and other events, […] And that was the greatest part about [volunteering], all the beautiful people you’d meet in Kitimat,” Luella said. “There were so many great volunteers who did so much behind the scenes that people didn’t realize.”

However, building relationships and keeping strong connections with her family weren’t the only reasons for Luella’s volunteering history, she thought it was important to stand up for the things you believe in.

“We spent several years fighting our government to keep our orthopedic programs at Kitimat central. They very much wanted to move it to Terrace but we fought very hard to keep it here.”

As giving as Luella is, she says that she could not have been involved in the community as she was without the help of a very supportive family and friends.

“Because of the support I had from my husband and sons that I was able to be involved in the community and to work at jobs I loved – I have been very blessed to have such a wonderful family and friends in Kitimat over the past 60 years.”

Lector at many masses and parish council retiree, Luella is a woman with many stories and experiences who is still heavily involved with the churches.

Even with all the community, church, and school fundraisers she’s hosted, Luella still finds time to volunteer for the Catholic Women’s League and the Christmas Hamper Appeal.

Other community organizations Luella has worked for over the years are Girl Guides, Kitimat Community Help Agency, B.C. Heart Association, March of Dimes, Parents’ Advisory Committee of Whitesail Elementary and Mount Elizabeth Secondary School, Band Parents Association, Snow Valley Figure Skating Club/Precision Team, Christ the King Parish Council, Catholic Women’s League, Kenamo Completion Project, Secretary of Kitimat General Hospital Committee, Mountain View Lodge Family Council, Kitimat Hospital Advisory Group, Heritage Committee, and more.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The District of Kitimat has announced to continue their free transit fares for all students in kindergarten to Grade 12. The pilot project will continue to run until August 2023, and will be reviewed in 2023 to see if it will be renewed. (Black Press photo)
Free student transit fare pilot project continues in Kitimat

The project was launched in September 2020 and allowed students to board buses for free

Kitimat Search and Rescue was tasked by RCMP on Friday, April 21 2021, requesting help in finding three lost hikers north of the Smith Street hiking trail. Hikers were found and brought back into town at 8 pm. (Kitimat Search and Rescue logo)
Kitimat SAR find three lost hikers

Kitimat SAR issued a warning to locals using the trails

Gates will open at 8:30 p.m. with the first film starting around 9:15 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. (AFFNO file photo)
AFFNO hosts french film in the Kitimat-Stikine and Northcoast Region

AFFNO had to create different approaches this year to set up events

(Clare Rayment photo)
Column: Whether weather correlates to your mood

Nearly nine per cent of people fall into a ‘rain haters’ category

Adrian Tryssenaar performing as Elvis at the Gyro Park Bandshell in Penticton, 2004. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Adrian Tryssenaar

Kitimat’s king of rock

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old B.C. bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

Most Read