June 5, 1929 – February 7, 2020
Elizabeth (Betty) Mary Lawson nee Smith born June 5th, 1929 passed away on February 7th after a long illness, aged 90.
Betty was pre-deceased by her husband Richard (Dick) Lawson and her brother Thomas (Tommy) Smith. She is survived by her sister Josephine (Bob) in San Jose, California, her sister-in-law Joanne of Courtenay, her brother-in-law Bruce (Carol) of Vancouver, her daughter Maureen (Barry), grandsons Kevin and Aidan of Delta, her son Graeme of Port Alberni and many nieces and nephews.
Betty was born in Victoria and grew up on the family farm in Courtenay BC. At the age of 18, she headed off to Normal School and was teaching in the classroom by 19. She gained her first position in Roseland. She then went on to teach in Campbell River to be closer to her family. After the death of her mother, Betty began teaching in Port Alberni, living at Dana Lodge where she met many life long friends and her future husband Dick. Those were years filled with much fun and laughter.
Betty taught grade one for many years at Gill Elementary, but later began her true calling teaching art at A.W Neill Secondary School. In 1965, female teachers had to give up their professions when they had children. Times changed and Betty returned to teaching 12 years later where she taught mostly grade four at Calgary Elementary, Beaver Creek Elementary and Sproat Elementary Schools. All the while creating an outstanding art program for her young students. When Betty returned to teaching after her hiatus, she also retuned to university, earning her B.Ed. at UBC in 1992 with a concentration in Art Education.
Dick and Betty raised their family at their home they built in 1961 on the shore of Sproat Lake. After their retirement, Betty and Dick spent a great deal of time on the house and garden. They loved going to antique shops and garden centres, spending time with friends and family and designing and creating a beautiful garden and home to entertain in. She loved to cook and especially enjoyed making desserts and beautifully decorated cakes. Beauty and art were of utmost importance to Betty. She enjoyed travelling, going to art museums – always learning about artists and the art world.
Many thanks to Nita, Rose and Port Alberni Home Health for the care they gave Betty during her last years.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 a planned memorial was unable to take place. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or the Canadian Lung Association can be made in her name.
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