BETTY MARSH – NOVEMBER 26, 1916 – JANUARY 16, 2015
Betty Marsh passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of Friday, January 16 at a remarkable 98 years of age, gently assisted by the extraordinary care and affection of the staff of Three Links Manor in Kelowna, BC. Betty was much loved by her family and the vast array of friends whose lives she touched. She is survived by her sons Vic (Kelowna) and Ron (Edmonton), daughter-in-law Maureen (Wirth) and grandchildren, Christine and Greg (Edmonton), niece Barbara and Lanny (Lawrence KA), nephew David and Amy (Brea CA), cousin Julian and Liz (UK) and by many others who loved her and claimed her as their own. Her eldest son Peter , her husband, Tom predeceased Betty both in 1995 and her sister Joan passed away in 2000. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Betty met Tom Marsh at the local Anglican Young People’s Association; they married in 1939. Peter was born prior to Tom’s departure to serve in WWII, with the Winnipeg Grenadiers in Hong Kong and Vic was born shortly after his return. The family decided to join Tom’s recently retired parents in Kelowna when the Red River floods of 1951 forced the family to abandon their new home in Winnipeg. Ron arrived shortly after the family settled in Kelowna, and Betty’s parents joined them shortly after. Betty’s involvement with the Anglican Church continued throughout her life and she quickly found a home at The Cathedral Church of St. Michael & All Angels in downtown Kelowna. She was both a loyal parishioner and a dedicated member of the Altar Guild, as well as a long-standing member of The Order of the Eastern Star. Betty enjoyed a life-long association with the Girl Guides of Canada, joining as a youngster before becoming unit leader and then District Commissioner in Winnipeg. When her family moved to Kelowna, Betty resumed her Guiding involvement; she retired in 1960 as Commissioner for Girl Guides in the Okanagan, and continued to serve as a member of the Silver Tips Trefoil Guild. Through her parents, Elsie and Bert Horton, Betty discovered a family connection to Scotland, which perhaps explained her lifelong love of all things Scottish. Betty danced with Kelowna’s Scottish Country Dancers for many years and celebrated, with great enthusiasm and appropriate regalia, every Robbie Burns Day she could. Betty was also involved with Kelowna’s Multicultural Society. She could often be found selling oatcakes and tea during the Canada Day celebrations when she wasn’t on stage dancing with her good friends and fellow Scottish Country Dancers. Without hesitation, Betty would engage and chat with total strangers. She unabashedly loved dark chocolate, and became an honorary parent or grandparent to many. She was also an enthusiastic knitter and has left a much-treasured collection of Afghan blankets with various people who were important in her life. The warmth and array of vivid colours lovingly knitted into these precious mementos perfectly reflect Betty’s energy, enthusiasm and caring heart and serve as a lasting reminder of our time with her. Betty loved all animals, particularly her “fur persons”, no matter their shape or size, and dogs were some of Betty’s favourite friends. For many years she was actively involved with the Kelowna Branch of the SPCA. For all of us who loved Betty, her memory will continue to shine on as a bright star. If you look to the night sky, you will see a special gift from her grandchildren and daughter-in-law in 2004, the star HIP 36962, in the constellation of Gemini – Betty’s star. In consideration of family members and friends from various locations around the globe who will wish to come to Kelowna to celebrate Betty’s life, her memorial service and reception will take place at The Cathedral Church of St. Michael & All Angels at 2 pm, Saturday, April 18, 2015. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Betty’s memory to: The Kelowna Branch of BC SPCA, 3785 Casorso Road, Kelowna, BC V1W 4M7 or The Cathedral Church of St. Michael & All Angels Memorial Fund, (in memory of Betty Marsh), 608 Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna, BC V1Y 5X1. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.firstmemorialfuneralkelowna.com. Arrangements entrusted to First Memorial Funeral Services, Kelowna, BC 250-762-2299.