Mary Elizabeth Betty Bernard (Hunter)

Mary Elizabeth Betty Bernard (Hunter)

April 12, 1931-May 31, 2017

For all who knew and loved this beautiful lady, we now must say goodbye to our mom, Nana, great-Nana, Auntie Betty, friend and mentor. Betty was born April 12, 1931 in Vancouver, BC and died May 31, 2017 in Campbell River, BC. She leaves us to join her husband, Jean Marie Bernard and her two beloved sons, Paul Allen Bernard and Daniel Lee Bernard. She was also predeceased by her parents, Dolly Vida Hardy and Thomas Forsyth Hunter; her sister, June Cameron and her brothers Gerald and Allen Hunter. She is survived by four children, Denise Comeau Darnell (Barry); Michelle Hume (Brian); Jean Bernard (Dianne); Guy Bernard (Dodi); 13 grandchildren, whom she loved very much and was extremely proud of -Elise Gregg (Simon); Marc Comeau (Jenn); Jason Hume (Lauriane); Meghan Brooks (Luke); Marcel and Michael Bernard; Alex Reedel; Colin, Aidan and Jocelyn Bernard and their mother, Gillian Rondeau; Brittany, Brett and Brandon Bernard; and 7 great grandchildren who brought her great joy in her later years-Kai and Anna Gregg; Samuel and Sawyer Hume; Aimee and Lily Comeau; and Riley Rose Brooks. She was Auntie Betty to many nieces and nephews.

Betty was a smart little girl growing up in Kitsilano. She could read before she went to school, and one of her earliest memories was sitting on her father’s knee as he typed a story for her on his typewriter. Betty also became a writer of short stories and children’s books. Musical talents were encouraged in her family, so she began piano lessons when she was young. Her mother’s piano was shipped to Betty’s home in Williams Lake where it remains to this day. Using that same piano, she composed and wrote many songs in her adult life. Betty excelled in school and after high school graduation, she went on to complete a year at Normal School to become a teacher.

Betty was adventurous and in 1955 she and her husband (with toddlers, Paul and Denise) moved to a one-room cabin with no insulation, electricity or running water in the Village of Williams Lake. Michelle, Jean, Guy and Dan were all born there. Eventually, Betty and Jean bought 9 acres of land on Dog Creek Road and built a house on that property. She was a farmer and rancher of sorts, and a caregiver to many, many cats, dogs, horses, (she loved “Charger”), and other exotic animals. Her last cherished little dog, Tilly, still lives at her home in Williams Lake. There were many stray cats found on Betty’s property because her reputation of caring for animals was well-known in the area. As she was a very kind and loving woman, she became a friend and mentor to many of her children’s friends. Betty worked in all the local schools from K-12 as a substitute teacher. She retired as a school secretary from Columneetza Secondary, where she also conducted the school choir. Betty’s declining health brought her to live closer to her children and grandchildren on Vancouver Island.

She was proud of her Scottish Highlands heritage (her father was born in Edinburgh), and her grandson, Marc, is carrying on in her memory as he competes in the Highland Games. Betty’s father was a theatre actor in Vancouver, and she was thrilled to have her grandson, Michael, become a professional actor. Betty also produced and directed a clip of herself that she wrote called, “Nana Loves Halloween,” and she was excited to see that she had over 324 views of it on YouTube!

Betty’s love for travel took her on a solo cross-Canada train trip; a six-week bus tour through Europe with a friend; an Alaskan cruise with her granddaughter, Meghan; New York and Boston with son, Paul; five trips to Hawaii with her family; and several long distance truck and camper trips with her sons and their friends to Disneyland, the Yukon, Alaska, and Saskatchewan. Betty loved books, ghost stories, movies, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Magnum PI, Halloween, Christmas, the Cariboo, summers at Chimney Lake, and hearing about her family’s adventures and lives. We will all miss her. As Winnie the Pooh says, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” We will always love you.

At Betty’s request, there will be no formal service. There will be a family gathering in the Spring of 2018 in Williams Lake to celebrate her life. Thank you to Sutton’s Campbell River Funeral Home for their guidance and compassion during this sad time.

Campbell River Mirror

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