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Betty Hazen

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BETTY HELEN CAMPBELL HAZEN

(née OFFICER)

April 21, 1932 – November 30, 2023

It is with sadness, gratitude and love that we announce the peaceful passing of our mother, Betty Helen Campbell Hazen, née Officer on Thursday November 30, 2023.

 

Betty is survived by her children Lynn (Jose), Ian, Leigh (Richard), Grant (Janet) and Marcie (Ed). She is also survived by her brothers Alex (Judy) and John (Leslie), her grandchildren and. great-grandchildren, numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

 

Betty was predeceased by her husband and father of her children, Mar Campbell, then later in life her loving partner Hans Bauer. She was also predeceased by her parents Eben and Bea, her sister Phyllis and husband Jack, and her daughter in law Nancy.

 

Betty was born, raised and except a brief stint in Edmonton, in Winnipeg. The majority of memories built around the communities of Elmwood and North Kildonan. Like many of her generation, Gimli and Grand Beach played important parts in her early years either at the family cottage or dancing in the large halls of the time.

 

Outdoor activity was an important part of Betty’s life first in the aforementioned family cottage and then in married life. Betty and her husband Mar were avid campers, a shared passion they passed on to their kids. As a family, they traveled to various lakes and campgrounds in Manitoba and North Dakota in nothing fancier than a large tent and cooking on a Coleman stove. After Mar passed away, Betty would rent or borrow a cottage to continue the outdoor experience for the family as due to circumstances it was all she could afford. Her children have continued their appreciation of this tradition and Betty enjoyed going with them to their trailers and cabins.

 

Among the most special things about Betty was her goofy, funny side. Whether it was getting on her hands and knees to play with her children and later her grandchildren’s level, teaching us funny songs and learning the latest dances (the jive, the hustle, YMCA and the macarena) to making comb and saran wrap kazoos. She never outgrew her inner child; if the grandkids were swinging on zip lines, she was waiting for her turn. Always the life of the party, wherever or whatever the party was.

 

 Betty was a lover of the Arts.  She loved music, dance and theatre, even aspired to be a music teacher earlier in life. She sang in choirs at church and school, an accomplished dancer with McConnell Irish dancers, in musical theatre productions at school. Later while doing household chores singing and dancing with her children and grandchildren. She listened to and loved many varieties of music. Singing was a joy she passed down to all her children. She loved the theatre and became a regular volunteer at PTE and never missed a Rainbow Stage production, an annual event of KFC for dinner at Kildonan Park and tickets to the show with whoever was available to attend with her.

 

Community involvement and social interaction were paramount with Betty. With an unmatched skill of baking (learned at the Transcona bakery of her old Aunts) Betty donated more cakes, loaves and cookies to school and church teas and bake sales than she made for home. It was always, “Don’t touch the baking – it’s for so-and-so” She was President of the Springfield Heights Elementary Home and School Association, volunteered at North Kildonan Community Club and held many positions in the UCW at North Kildonan United Church. Throughout her life, no matter where she lived, she’d join in a group or committee making new friends and contributing to her community.

 

Betty was a dedicated and tireless employee, no matter where she landed. Bar none, her strongest suit was her love of people. She loved her retail work because it provided so many opportunities to interact with both customers and coworkers. Betty held a variety of jobs throughout her life, the common thread being customer service, but her longest stretch was at Sears – Kildonan Place.

 

To say Betty was active would be an understatement, when not working, baking, bowling or golfing, she could be found taking a little time to herself working on a jigsaw puzzle, completing the Winnipeg Free Press crosswords, knitting, a little gardening, reading or watching game shows – dreaming of the day when she’d hug Bob Barker or buy a vowel from Pat Sajak. She derived much joy playing cards and board games with her family and friends – a regular Saturday night would be hours of laughter over a cribbage board or a game of Scrabble with any of her siblings, in-laws or neighbours. There isn’t one of her children or grandchildren who could forget the day they finally beat Mom/ Grandma at Crib, Uno or Dominoes.

 

Life circumstances prevented Betty from exploring her dream of traveling until her middle years. When she met Hans Bauer – her senior stage love of her life, they were able to see Hawaii, Germany and do some snowbird vacations to Texas and California, and more. As her children or grandchildren left Winnipeg, she had the opportunity to visit then and explore a bit more of Canada in the mountains, Calgary area or to Ottawa. Her children also took the opportunity to take trips with her after Hans passed away.

 

Family and friendship were foremost in Betty’s life. She had a happy childhood and adolescence remaining close to her parents and siblings – to find a closer family network would be almost impossible. Friendships made in Grade one for Betty were made for life, as she got together or spoke with the same “girls club” regularly up until the last four years – only a pandemic kept them apart.

 

She met and Mar Campbell, her first great love and they married in 1953 and immediately started a family. Betty and Mar were on a steady path to a middle-class lifestyle – they bought a house, a car and started their adventures with their children. By 1967, they had established themselves in community life and introduced 5 kids to the world. Then Betty’s world turned upside down and inside out, her husband Mar died suddenly at the age of 33. Betty was left all the responsibility of raising her children and to cover the financial burden of it all.

 

It was in this time that all the ties Betty had made to family, friends, and neighbours came to provide much needed support and go hand in hand with Betty’s immense inner strength and personal faith. This continued throughout her years with friends and family always at her side.

 

 Betty lived 91 plus years, a devoted and loving daughter, wife, sister, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and friend. Many years of her life were filled with struggle and adversity, but with Betty, if you asked her, she’d smile and tell you otherwise. Her memories were of the fond times.

 

Betty’s strongest suit - that she was the eternal optimist.   

 

Betty’s children would like to thank the staff at River Park Gardens Personal Care Home, Riverside Lions Seniors Residence for the care of our mom in the last years of her life.

 

A Celebration of Betty’s life will be held in the spring.

 

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society of Manitoba or a charity of your choice. 

ETHICAL DEATH CARE

Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St. Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 - www.ethicaldeathcare.com

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