ARCHER, “Birdie” Bertha Louise (nee Branan) 

May 11, 1931 (Winnipeg) – February 8, 2023 (Calgary)

Birdie was a sunny spirit with an infectious smile and a “can do”, positive attitude. She brightened every room she walked into and lit up the many communities in which she lived and served. She passed away gently on the morning of Feb 8, 2023. Birdie is lovingly remembered by her sons Doug (Cheryl) and Glenn (Andrea), daughter Judy (Jacob); grandchildren Ian (Miranda), Jana (Julian) and Stephanie; and 5 great grandchildren. She is predeceased by her beloved husband Frank (2019), and granddaughter Kaylee (Matt) in 2021 . 

Birdie’s passion and joy was people and throughout her life, she was a committed volunteer and organiser.  If she chose to be part of a community or organisation, she would be heavily engaged and involved. She would be all in. Birdie had a knack for getting people involved and feeling happy to do it.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Birdie served in the peacetime Air Force from 1951-54 and was posted to Calgary where she met Frank, her husband of 65 years. In her 40’s, Birdie studied to become a Recreation Therapist. Her salaried work included Executive Director of the Golden Age Club and recruiting and training volunteers for the Volunteer Centre. She also offered her sparkling personality and her very capable skills through the generosity of her volunteer work. In 1987, she was honoured with the Louise Dean Award as Calgary’s Volunteer of the Year  In 1990, Birdie received the Canada Volunteer Award certificate of merit  Birdie loved her 25 years as a volunteer with the Children’s Hospital teddy bear program. She held a variety of roles in many organisations, including leadership roles, ranging from the Red Cross, Boy Scouts, Canadian Mental Health Association, Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured (ARBI), Handicapped and Elderly Transportation Committee, Cerebral Palsy Association, and the 1988 Calgary Olympics to name just a few.  

Birdie and Frank were members of Woodcliff United Church where they enjoyed and served their church community for over 65 years. Birdie held just about every volunteer role possible including organising and teaching Sunday School and CGIT, program director for Kasota summer camp, serving on committees such as the Minister and Personnel committee, fundraising, serving at funerals, and running the powerpoint or greeting on Sunday mornings. She did it all capably, cheerfully and with a big smile. Birdie and Frank also led backpacking trips for youth in the church when their own kids were young teens.  

After Frank retired, Birdie and Frank enjoyed leading bus and RV tours throughout Mexico and the US, including Alaska. Birdie loved the pre-trip research, the guiding and making everything fun while Frank took care of booking and arrangements. They were always a great team. They also enjoyed salmon fishing at Campbell River every summer. When in Calgary, Birdie continued with her many volunteer activities.  

In her later years, when Frank was living in the Colonel Belcher with dementia, Birdie, went nearly every day to support Frank. Never one to stop giving, she also volunteered at the Belcher portering residents, serving coffee, or whatever she could do to help! After Frank’s passing, Birdie, proactive as always, took the initiative to choose and move to Cambridge Manor seniors residence where she was actively involved and made many new friends among residents and staff with her great energy and positive attitude.  

It is said  that the happiest people are those who have found some way to meaningfully give back, and that was certainly true of Birdie. Her passion for people, and her joy, shone through her entire life.  Her beautiful spirit, her generous heart, and her radiant smile will be dearly missed.  

Special thanks to the wonderful staff and communities of Cambridge Manor and Dulcina Hospice where Birdie spent her final years and days.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Woodcliff United Church (5010 Spruce Drive SW, Calgary) on Saturday, March 4, at 1 PM.  In lieu of flowers, please donate in Birdie’s memory to the charity of your choice, and/or volunteer! 

Arrangements entrusted to

Cochrane Country Funeral Home – 403-932-1039

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  1. On 13/02/2023 at 12:12 pm Cyndie Kulak Said:

    Birdie …. What can I say because really there are not enough words to explain how positive and inspirational this lady has been in so many lives, including mine. I will always remember how she so naturally lit up any room she walked into and her presence being so inviting. And even though I am only one generation behind her, I can honestly say most of our visits ended with a tight hug and my telling her “when I grow up, I want to be just like you!“ Hugs and condolences to all the family 🙂

  2. On 13/02/2023 at 1:41 pm Coral Nickerson Said:

    Your spirit is still remembered here with the people you were friends with. You will be held dearly in the hearts off all who knew you. You will be missed.

  3. On 13/02/2023 at 2:23 pm Christine Broadhead Said:

    My sincere condolences to Judy and the family. She will be remembered and missed.

  4. On 13/02/2023 at 3:07 pm Ian Archer Said:

    I love you Gram. I’m so thankful for so many memories over the years. To have you in my life until my mid thirties was truly a blessing. You’ve given me so much to be thankful for, and I’ll always remember that radiant smile.
    I miss you. I always will.

  5. On 13/02/2023 at 3:26 pm Bev Anderson Said:

    My Deepest Sympathy to Everyone in Birdie’s Family Birdie was a very Special Lady and I was honored to get to know her and consider her & Frank as friends.
    May your Many Wonderful Memories bring Comfort!

  6. On 14/02/2023 at 6:18 pm Western White Hatters Camping Club Said:

    The Western White Hatters Camping Club are sending their Deepest Sympathy to the Entire Family on the loss of such a Special Lady! Birdie was a valued member of the club as was Frank – Their presence at all the events – i.e. Campouts & Lunches brought delight to all present. They are both sorely missed. May your Many Wonderful Memories Bring Comfort!

  7. On 15/02/2023 at 2:53 pm Calgary Fire Dept. Pensioners Association Said:

    Birdie was a great Lady, always cheerful and ready to help on any task and always the lively one at any Pensioners gathering.Our sincere condolences to the Archer Families and we’re sure she is already organizing Frank up there.

  8. On 15/02/2023 at 3:12 pm Pat Guillemaud Said:

    Doug & Cheryl

    My sincere condolences on the passing of Birdie, she was a force to be reconned with. I first met Birdie in the 70’s at a Westgate Pot Luck dinner, she was dancing around and talking to everyone, I wondered who is this lady? Would see her at many Westgate Women’s Auxiliary events, organizing and talking to everyone. After Birdie & Frank moved would see her at Co-Op, she always seemed to loose Frank somewhere in the store, or not know where the car was!! You have wonderful memories of a truly one of a kind lady, hold close all the treasured fun times and memories.

  9. On 15/02/2023 at 5:17 pm Brian and Donna Wright Said:

    Our sincere condolences to all family members and friends. She was a legend to all that knew her, and will always be remembered.

  10. On 16/02/2023 at 9:10 am Fran Eby Said:

    Our sincere condolences to all the families. I have no doubt that she is in heaven already organising everyone! Birdie was always there for help and I learned more from her than my Travel Courses at Mount Royal but mostly learned that no matter what be there to help whenever you are able.
    Sincerely Fran & Orville

  11. On 16/02/2023 at 10:07 am Jack Henderson Said:

    I fondly remember Square Dancing with Birdie & Frank, if there is no Square Dance Club in Heavan I am shore Birdie has organized one bye now. Fondly Jack & Anne

  12. On 18/02/2023 at 11:35 am Lorene Schingler Said:

    We are so sad to hear of the passing of Auntie Birdie. Our condolences to all of the family. May all the wonderful memories sustain us at this very sad time. Love you Auntie. Lorene and Todd

  13. On 19/02/2023 at 2:55 pm Linda Townend Said:

    My sincere condolences on behalf of the Holmes family. I fondly remember the many BBQs
    in Norm’s back yard and Birdie’s infectious laugh.
    Sincerely Linda and Jim

  14. On 20/02/2023 at 11:35 am Kathrine Weltzin Said:

    Our hearts are sad to hear of Birdies passing. Birdie was such a great lady, I will always remember her wisdom, humor, strength and dignity. I had a wonderful time getting to know Birdie through volunteering with her for the Calgary Fire Fighters Hearts and Hands Ladies Association. We shared many laughs, stories of her and her children’s great adventures and sometimes tears, but she always left us with heart full of laughter.
    May you rest in Peace Birdie
    Kathy & Clair Weltzin & Family

  15. On 01/03/2023 at 1:47 pm Paul Varro Said:

    I grew up across the street from the Archer family on Winchester Crescent and always remember Mrs. Archer as a generous lady watching out for us kids as we got into an assortment of trouble.

    On behalf of the Varro family, I wish to pass along condolences to the Archer family.

    Denise and Paul Varro.

  16. On 01/03/2023 at 2:03 pm Linda Varro Said:

    The Archer family was across the street from our family in Westgate. Everyone on the block knew the Archers and I well remember Birdie’s energy, enthusiasm and love of volunteering. She was so positive, and upbeat. I also had contact with her through the Calgary Fire Fighters Hearts and Hands Ladies Association when I was married to a firefighter. She was so proud of her family and a devoted wife to Frank. A born leader and organizer in a era where few women worked outside of the home, she chose to give through her volunteer work and never stopped doing so. An inspiring example to others,

    Sincere condolences,

    Linda Varro

  17. On 03/03/2023 at 4:07 pm Cheryl Horrey Said:

    I remember working with Birdie when Woodcliff hosted homeless people from Inn From the Cold.

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