On Wednesday, July 31st, 2019, Betty passed away peacefully at the James Bay Care Centre in Victoria, B.C. Betty was born on April 14th, 1928 in London, England. The youngest of 6 children, Betty developed resounding strength and resiliency from a young age as she and her siblings grew up during the Great Depression and survived the World War II Blitz bombing campaign of England in the early 1940s. She lived her entire life with tenacity.
She married Harold John Kellie, the love of her life, on February 1st, 1947; and with their daughters (Diane and Christine), they immigrated to Canada in 1956 and settled in Toronto, Ontario. Shortly thereafter, they laid roots in Canada’s first satellite city – Bramalea, Ontario. Together, Betty and Harold worked hard and travelled around the globe to locations such as Cuba, Singapore, and Australia. Together, they dreamed of retiring on the west coast of Canada and in 1989, purchased a home in Victoria, B.C. Unfortunately, Harold passed away unexpectedly mere weeks after retiring; and with their house already packed and a new home waiting for her, Betty forged on and moved to Victoria alone. Within a few short years – and over time – she was followed by her daughters and most of their families as well.
Betty remained devoted to her husband for nearly 30 years, with his picture at her bedside and a wallet size sized photo – which was the last (and only) thing present and needed in her wallet at the age of 91. Over those 30 years, Betty continued to travel all over the world with countless trips back to England and other notable adventures to Spain, China, and Burma (to name a few). The space in between was filled with volunteer work at Christ Church Cathedral, card games with friends and hobbies.
Betty loved to sew. However, as her very close friend Jean Dean (Toronto) remembered, she had many frustrations in that department. It was never a surprise to see her make and remake her projects until it was just right. After moving to Victoria, Betty took up quilting. She made quilts for her daughters, grandchildren and especially enjoyed making baby quilts for her great grandchildren.
Betty was an accepting and generous soul whose resilience and strength will be missed by all.
Betty is predeceased by her 5 siblings (Edie, Jesse, Reenie, Dolly, and George) and husband, Harold. She is survived by her loving daughters, Diane (Reg) and Christine (Stan); grandchildren, Tony (Nancy), Jeremy, Olivia (Cam), Colin (Alicia), Derek (Alix) and Brian (Karen); and great grandchildren, Emily, Max, Maisie, Travis and Allyson.
A Graveside Service will be held for family and close friends at the Royal Oak Burial Park in Victoria on Friday, August 9th at 10:55 a.m. with a Celebration of Life to follow each and every day thereafter.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice.
Whether she was your Mum or your Nannie, she had a penchant to help whenever you needed it, in whatever way she could. She is sadly missed and fondly remembered by all.
Betty’s family would sincerely like to extend thanks to all of the staff on the 5th floor at the James Bay Care Centre.
Condolences may be offered to the family below.
Kath Meech, Ron and Caol Worthington, Sue Hunt