McCall Gardens

It is with heavy hearts that we, the daughters of Mildred, say our good-byes to our Mom.  She leaves her three daughters Bettie St. Dennis, Louise Potvin, Cindy Clarke; their families; nieces; nephews; cousins and many friends to mourn her passing.  At the age of 104, she had touched the lives of many. She was predeceased by many dear loved ones, family, and friends.

Mom; Grandma, Great and Great Great; Aunt Bill; Mildred, Millie but Billie was what Mom answered to until the latter part of her life. Her Dad wanted a son and he called her Billie.  She was an active, athletic, adventurous, curious girl.  This she carried with her in her entire life.  She began the first 11 years of her life on the Downie farm, known as Elkhorn Stock Ranch.  There she enjoyed the freedom of being with nature, exploring many areas with her horse and sharing space with prized cattle, sheep, and other farm animals.  This love of nature; animals; a curious mind and sense of adventure stayed with her throughout her entire life.

Mom graduated from Normal school in June 1933 and taught in rural schools in the areas around her home area of Carstairs until she married Ellis Clarke in 1942.  They left for northern BC where Dad worked on building the Alaska Highway.  Their first home was a tent and Mom often said it was the happiest time of her life.  They returned to Calgary where their first daughter, Bettie, was born in 1943.  After Dad had a stint in the Army, they returned to the Alaska Highway where they operated a stopping place at Mile 392, The Summit Lake Lodge, from 1946 -1953.  So many stories.  Her love of art, adventure, humour, the ability to just “get it done” helped her through many situations. She taught Bettie correspondence school along with her other duties of cooking; waiting counter; pumping gas; and all the duties of running a business.

In 1953, they left the highway for Calgary where their second daughter Louise was born.  The “call of the north” had them leave Calgary in 1956 and returned to Dawson Creek, BC where their third daughter Cindy was born.  Mom taught school in Dawson Creek, belonged to South Peace Art Society, Bridge Clubs, Gyms (at age 80) socialized with friends and enjoyed fishing, camping, adventures with Dad and friends. At age 78, she got a computer and joined the electronic age. She created many wonderful calendars; cards; family histories; wrote stories; took lessons on writing stories for children.  She loved to learn.  Her beloved husband died in 1967, leaving her with two younger daughters, Louise and Cindy to see to adulthood.  Mom lived in Dawson Creek until 2004 when she moved to Ashcroft, BC to be near her daughter Bettie.

Mom was a kind, loving, fair, gentle lady and “Mom” to so many of all her daughter’s friends.   She always had a quick saying, joke or pearl of wisdom to suit the occasion.  So loved by so many family and friends alike.

While living in Ashcroft, she found a new freedom with her scooter, giving her the mobility she had lost when she no longer had her car.  I can see her scooting down the hill, hat on; scarf flying and a huge smile; to visit me, Bettie, or heading down to the grocery store or meeting friends for coffee.  She always wanted someone to “juice this scooter up so it would go faster”, which we never did!  She taught art at the Adult Day program and shared her writing talents.

Later years found Mom adapting to many new situations with her wonderful sense of humour; adventure; and acceptance of “it is what it is and we must make the best of it” attitude. She moved to Victoria, BC in 2011 to be near her daughter Louise.  In Victoria, she moved into Assisted Living and a year later, into Extended Care. She made friends wherever she was.  While living in Extended Care presented many challenges, she adapted and accepted her new way of life.

My thoughts of our Mom are what a wonderful, talented and gracious lady she was.  We were all so blessed to have her in our lives.  Rest in Peace Dear Mildred Marguerite “Billie” Downie Clarke.  You are so loved by us all and will live in our hearts and memories forever.

“We, those that loved you so, bid you Adieu.”

There will be no Service at this time.  Later, during the summer, Mom will be laid to rest with Dad in the Dawson Creek Cemetery. At that time, we will have a small gathering to pass on our love.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens
www.mccallgardens.com

  • RoseMarie and family
    March 20, 2018

    Louise & Family,
    I am pleased that we were able to visit with your Mom at her birthday party in the park. I still have one of her paintings which I treasure. As long as we remember our loved ones they never die and the memories I have of your mom make me smile.

  • Rhonda and Paul O'Toole
    March 18, 2018

    Our very deepest condolences to Bettie, Louise, Cindy and families,
    As long as I can remember, Mom, (Lois) talked about and still talks about the wonderful times she had working for Billie and Ellis (Mom’s cousin) at The Summit Lake Lodge. At the time, Mom was in her late teens and she found Billie to be a great role model with her hard work ethic and enjoyment of life. Over the years we had the pleasure of also getting to know Billie, when she lived in Dawson Creek and more recently in Victoria. We’ll always remember Billie’s smile with her eyes shining.

  • Sonja Cole
    March 13, 2018

    Dear Bettie,Louise ,Cindy and your families
    My family and I send kindest thoughts to each of you at this time of loss of your Mom and Grandma and Great Grandma.I am happy to have known her during those times we were able to connect. I remember clearly her grace and her smile.
    Deeply feeling sorrow for the loss of her.Sending our Love to you as you grieve.

  • Rose Barrows
    March 13, 2018

    She looked so good for a 104 year old.

  • June & Bill Franks
    March 13, 2018

    Dear Bettie and all the Family,
    Please accept our sincere condolences of your Mom’s passing. Although we did not know her well and only met her as few times when you lived in Ft. St. John, she was such a interesting person to talk with and so “down to earth”. And through the years you have kept us up to date with all the things she enjoyed as well as her accomplishments, health, etc. And we Thank for that. Take Care, Dear Friend. Love as always, June & Bill.

  • Inez St. Dennis
    March 12, 2018

    Dear Bettie, Cindy and Louise,

    I am sorry that Billie has passed, but also happy that she is free of the final stages of her illness. It is hard to let go, but also good to know that the suffering is over. Your mom lived a very long life and the majority of it was good. I will always remember the twinkle in her eyes when she made a humorous comment. She is proud of all that her daughters have accomplished, and took immense pride in her grandchildren and great-grandchild. May she rest in well-deserved peace.

    Sincere Condolences,
    Inez

  • Aunt Betty & Marg
    March 11, 2018

    Dear Bettie, Louise, Cindy & families:

    My heart is so sad for your, and our loss. She was indeed a very wonderful lady. I was out to see Mom today, took her a copy of the obituary, and we had a little cry. Mom said she often wondered how Aunt Billie did everything that she did with such grace. I am so happy for the times we spent together as we certainly did have fun, some great talks and shared wonderful memories. I hope you will find comfort in all of your wonderful memories and the deep bond of love that you all shared. Cheers Aunt Billie! We were all fortunate to have had you in our lives.

  • BRIDGET PHILLIPS
    March 11, 2018

    BETTIE AND FAMILIE
    MY DEEPEST CONDOLENCE. WAS MY PLEASURE TO KNOW SUCH A BEAUTIFUL LADY.
    ENJOYED THE TIMES WE SPENT AT TIMHORTENS, AND THE TREATS.
    GOD BLESS LOVE AND PRAYERS BIRDIE &FAMILY

  • BRIDGET PHILLIPS
    March 11, 2018

    BETTIE AND FAMLILE

    WAS MY PLEASURE TO KNOW SUCH A BEAUTIFUL LADY. SHE WAS A JUEL, LOVED THE TIMES WE SPENT AT TIMHORTENS AND THE TREATS.
    MY DEEPEST CONDOLENCE. LOVE AND PRAYERS. BIRDIR AND FAMIKY

  • LaVonda Herrell
    March 11, 2018

    My sincere condolences to the family and her entire body of friends. She sounds like it would have been wonderful to have known this exceptional Lady! I am sure she had a wealth of fascinating stories.

  • Dorothy Willett Nissen
    March 10, 2018

    Cindy, Your mother sounded like a wonderful and talented lady. I know you will miss her. It sounds like she all who knew her.

  • Janet Riddle Clare
    March 10, 2018

    Bettie, Louise, Cindy and your families,
    So sorry we lost touch as your Mom’s siblings and cousins were lost. They were all close and had great times. I remember visiting you in Dawson Creek when we lived in Grande Prairie. My Mom passed away in 2014 just short of being 102. Wallace Riddle, my uncle is still alive in Carstairs and is 95 now.
    Your mother’s artistic talents and writing skills are a wonderful legacy for you all and I’m sure these kept her going for so long. She had a wonderful whit as well.
    My best to you all. Thanks for letting us know. Would love to hear more about your family.

  • Jacquie (Riddle) Siemens
    March 10, 2018

    Our sympathies to you Bettie, Louise and Cindy and your families. So many wonderful memories! Your mom was more like a sister to my dad than a cousin as they were so close in age and grew up together. We got to know you better when we lived in Grande Prairie! What an awesome tribute to your mom who kept in touch for many years. Enjoyed her cards and got one of her paintings for our wedding 50 years ago. Bless you all as you as you remember a very special woman to many but especially her family!

  • John & Janet
    March 9, 2018

    Bettie, Louise & Cindy,

    The life that she lived and the way she touched hearts will always be remembered.
    Namaste Grandma Namaste

  • Dennis & Dawn Pedersen
    March 9, 2018

    Aunt Bettie and family, we are so sorry for your loss but we all know she is in a much better place. I remember how happy your Mother was at her 80th birthday party in Dawson Creek. How can you say that you are not enjoying a great life when you are in your 90s and you are asking for someone to “juice this scooter up so it would go faster”.
    Dennis & Dawn Pedersen

  • Carol and Ed Ventress
    March 9, 2018

    Bettie and your family,
    Although we never knew your Mother, we felt the love you had for her whenever you spoke of Mom.
    A Mother is a treasure for everyone. You have so many memories that will help you through this time.
    Our love to all,
    Carol and Ed Ventress

  • Dorothy Maksymiw
    March 9, 2018

    Wow, so many memories. Millie always had a smile & kind word – always loved the strawberry sundaes we brought from Cache Creek. I remember she was speeding up the hill in her scooter & a summer downpour started. I was driving by & stopped on hill to help her put on her raingear & she was raring to go again. Such a free spirit. Sarah must get her love of horses from her Grandma. Good friend Bettie must get her spirituality from her Mom. So glad we were able to know such a super lady.
    Dorothy & Orest

  • Bonnie O'Donnell
    March 9, 2018

    Would have like to have known her better. I still have a painting of hers I received as a wedding gift.
    Goodbye Billie

  • Doug Downie
    March 9, 2018

    Bettie, Louise, Cindy & Families

    We all share in your sorrow. Aunt Billie was such a WONDERFUL LADY! Those who shared any part of their lives with her were so blessed. You can’t imagine the number of times my dad (Maurice Downie) shared stories of Aunt Billie, and living in the old Downie Home in Carstairs. He had such a great love for his sister, and such great love for his first niece Bettie.

    Doug & Donna Downie and family.
    Winniepg, MB

  • Basil and Connie
    March 9, 2018

    Goodbye Billie, it was a treat knowing you. We’ll miss your birthday parties at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Our Condolences to the whole family, you lost a lovely member.

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