In Memory Of


Marcella Maria Bertagnolli

Aug 2, 1926 - Mar 5, 2021


  Due to COVID a celebration of Marcella’s life will be announced at a later date.


Marcella Maria Bertagnolli


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Marcella Bertagnolli on March 5, 2021 at the age of 94 years.

Marcella was born in the Province of Treviso Northern Italy. In 1929, at the age of 3 with her family, the Della-Costa’s emigrated to Canada, to the Drumheller Valley where her dad worked at the coal mine in the Hamlet of Wayne. This is where Marcella received her education. After she graduated, she was employed by McGavin’s bakery. Marcella loved Drumheller, climbing the hills for hours looking for the first blooms of the Crocuses in the spring. She became Drumheller’s carnival Queen, looking at her pictures of this event were unreal. At that time, the long robe that was placed on her, was as beautiful as Royalty would of wore. Marcella made a lot of friends growing up there, to this day her girlfriend Ella Hansen still keeps in touch.

After the Della-Costa family saved enough money they heard of a homestead in the Chedderville area that they purchased. This is where Marcella began teaching school in a one room schoolhouse, grades 1 to 12. She would have to walk 2 ½ miles there and 2 ½ miles back home each day. Some days were so cold and lots of snow, that her hands and feet were frozen but as she got closer, she could see the smoke coming out of the chimney and that the snow had been shoveled. This was the doings of the older boys from her class. Two of her students had to do government departmental exams and both received honors. She was so proud of her students; they were such hard workers and very polite. That is how people where when they had next to nothing.

After that the Della-Costa’s purchased and moved to another quarter of land in the Dovercourt area. This land was closer to the Bertagnolli’s homestead. When a couple of those Bertagnolli boys heard about that good looking schoolteacher who had moved in, the courting began, and Alex won her heart. When Granny Bertagnolli heard of this she told Alex, “don’t be marrying this girl, did you see the fancy shoes she’s wearing? She’ll never make a good farm wife cause she’s a city girl.” Alex didn’t listen to his mom and in 1949 he married Marcella and they began farming, working hard and diligently together. They cleared four quarters of land that was solid bush, a lot of root picking. To make ends meet Alex went to work out at the sawmills and Marcella stayed home to do the farming, feeding cows, chickens, etc. and raising the family; Laurie (Lowie) born in 1950, Garry in 1952 and Beverley in 1955.

Times were very tough, but they persevered through it all, together. They raised a well-known registered breed of horned Hereford cattle, they sold the bulls to neighbors, friends, at Coles Auction, Innisfail, Rimbey, Calgary, etc., one of their Champion bulls even went over to Brazil.

In 1967 a Centennial Project took place, Barney was born, this was the completion of their family. At first Marcella and Alex’s entertainment were one day outings; out to Swan Lake to the lumber camp, a community picnic, or fishing in a nearby river but later on they started to travel. They went to Vegas and Marcella took a trip with Bev and the grandchildren to California and on to Tijuana, Mexico. In California Marcella got to pick oranges at a roadside Orchid and couldn’t believe how much better they tasted then those that she bought here at home. Marcella and Alex traveled to Shirley and Garry’s in White Rock BC, where they got toured all around the area by them. They visited the Douglas Lake Ranch in BC, through the Agriculture Society, which they both really enjoyed except when they got separated on to two different buses. But Marcella’s biggest enjoyment came from her trips back to Drumheller, where she grew up, to visit her old friends and to see all the changes that took place over the years.

Marcella was a very hard worker, growing a huge garden each year. The best meal was cooked on the old wood stove in the summer by grabbing a chicken cutting it’s head off, plucking it and frying it with the new potatoes right from the garden. Then Marcella would head to the field to stack hay bales by hand. She loved to cook and whoever came over had to eat, no one went away hungry. Up until Marcella’s passing, she was still making bread and her Italian Cookies, that were a big hit with everyone who had them. She also loved her flowers and in her later years she would water all her plants while on her scooter; she operated that thing just like Evil Knievel! Marcella was still trimming her own trees around her house last summer. Marcella lived on her farm in her own home right up until her passing.


Anyone who knew Marcella knew she had a heart of gold, she would never say a bad word about anyone and always looked for the best in people. She always put others needs before her own.

Towards the end Marcella said to her daughter, “Goodbye, going to heaven now.”

Life won’t be the same for all of us anymore without her in it down here.

Rest in Peace Mother Dear!

Marcella will be lovingly remembered by her children: son Laurie “Lowie” Bertagnolli of Rocky Mountain House, his children Kelti and Terryl; son Garry (Shirley) Bertagnolli of White Rocky, BC; daughter Beverly (Stan) Cech of Stauffer, her children: Kerrie and Kelly (Rena); son Barney of Rocky Mountain House; great grandchildren: Kallen and Kole Prodaniuk, Brody and Brant Bolton, Taylor and Bret Dobia; brothers: Secondo and Elieo Della-Costa; plus numerous relatives, neighbors and friends.

Marcella was predeceased by the love of her life, her husband Alex Bertagnolli in 1996, her granddaughters husbands: Bret Prodaniuk and Eric Boudreau in 2020, her brother Primo Della-Costa, and her parents Maria and Albino, plus numerous other relatives.

Due to COVID a celebration of Marcella’s life will be announced at a later date.

Cremation entrusted to Rocky Mountain Crematorium, Rocky Mountain House, AB

Rocky and Sylvan Lake Funeral Homes and Crematorium, your Golden Rule Funeral Homes, entrusted with the arrangements, 403 845 2626


Italo Pedrazzini:

My condolence to the Bertagnolli and Della Costa families.

Sandy Wing & family:

Laurie, Garry, Beverly, Barney & families,
We are so sorry for the loss of your mom. I have very fond memories of our visits to your farm. Aunt Marcella was always so warm and welcoming to us. I do remember those special chicken and fresh potato lunches.

We hope your memories of your wonderful mom ease your loss.

Brad Horth:

My condolences to the Bertagnolli family, so sorry about the loss of your wonderful Mom. I’ll always remember how genuinely welcoming she was to us young ‘uns despite our being the source of tremendous racket on the farm while rehearsing with Barney.
My thoughts are with you.

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