“Betty - Beth – Nana”
ELIZABETH KATHLEEN PARRY
July 10, 1942 - June 7, 2020
“Betty - Beth – Nana”
After a valiant fight against the unbeatable duo of cancer and pancreatitis, Elizabeth “Betty/Beth” Kathleen Parry passed away, peacefully in her sleep, in the Riverview Health Centre, on June 7, 2020 at the age of 77.
Betty is survived by her husband of 58 years, Syl; son Christopher; daughters Donna (Lorne), Catherine (Dave), and Theresa (Colin); six grandchildren Michael (Kym), Anya, Vanessa (Joey), Kari (Steve), Adrian (Madison), and Skye; and four great-grandchildren Issac, Rylen, Savannah, and Evelyn. Betty is predeceased by her parents Andrew Clarke and Kathleen McGown; sisters Anne and Christine; and stepmother Dorothy.
Cremation has taken place and a celebration of Betty’s life was held on September 1, 2020 and can be viewed on this page.
Betty’s family kindly requests that all of her friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour her memory by watching her photo-biography video and sharing stories and memories of their own using the comment area on this page. Condolences for Syl and family may be expressed as well.
Betty was born to golf, and shop. She was born in Ardwick, a district of Manchester UK, on July 10, 1942 to Andrew Clarke McGown, a salesman demonstrator, and Kathleen McGown. She had two sisters, Anne and Christine.
Betty’s parents separated when she was four or five years old. Her mother abandoned her and put her and her sisters in an orphanage. When she was about seven years old her maternal grandparents took the girls out of the orphanage and raised them with some monetary assistance from their dad. It was hard times for all in war-torn Manchester.
Betty went to St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Primary School where two girls, Rosaleen and Margaret, took her under their wing. The three have remained steadfast friends to this day. They still communicate and trips across the Atlantic were frequent.
Sometime during this period her dad remarried, and Betty was blessed with the arrival of Dorothy, a stepmother who she absolutely adored.
On leaving school Betty became a machinist, sewing children’s clothing with Johnson and Nephew for a number of years. She held various other jobs, including two seasons at Prestatyn Holiday Camp in Wales.
She loved to dance. The local Apollo was one of her favourite spots as was the local church, the Holy Name.
In 1961 she met her future husband Syl at Holy Name at one of the weekly dances. That first date was almost the last as they stood waiting for each other on the wrong end of a long street for over 30 minutes. (Syl was not allowed to pick her up at home as her grandfather would not allow it.) Fortunately, after they both gave up, they passed each other on their way home and the date was on again. They fell in love and married in St. Aloysius church on June 30, 1962.
Guests were few. They married in the morning, had a wedding lunch and retired to the Sambrook, a local pub, to celebrate and have some drinks with friends. They left for home, a rented one room flat on Heaton Moor Road, on a Manchester Corporation double decker bus. It was packed and they had to stand. Betty still had on her wedding dress and the conversations with the other passengers were hilarious to say the least.
Children soon followed with son Christopher in 1963, Donna in 1964 and Catherine in 1965. In the summer of 1966 Syl came home from work and asked, “Do you want to go to Canada?” “Where abouts?” said she. “Oh, somewhere in the middle” was the answer. “OK. let’s go.”, and go, they did.
Syl secured a job with Pioneer Electric and that November she and her young family landed in Regina, Saskatchewan, on the second day of a three day blizzard, to begin their life in Canada.
Things were quite tough the first couple of years with three growing children, a new country without family backup, and extreme weather the family had not experienced before. They managed. She was stubborn enough to take the bull by the horns and get on with it. And they did. Things started to fall in place and another child, Theresa made her appearance in Regina General Hospital in 1969. Many friendships that remain to this day were made in Regina and Betty loved the place.
1973 brought a transfer to Winnipeg with more new friends and jobs at The Bay, Sports Administration Centre, Queens Printer and the Government Services Post Office. At Queens Printer she was the first female press operator and loved it.
Joining the Winnipeg Canoe Club in 1987 led to many more new friends, playing racquet ball, and, most importantly, golf came into the picture. Determined not to become a ‘golf widow’, she took golf lessons and the rest is history. She loved the game and became involved in the many leagues and tournaments at the Canoe Club and served on a couple of committees. She golfed all over Winnipeg, North Dakota, and Minnesota.
Texas called in 1995 and for the next 26 years golfing in Texas was an annual event. Again, she made many friends in Texas in Canyon Lakes, Lago Vista and Kingsland.
Betty joined St. Boniface Golf Club in 2000 and became a regular feature booking the first or second tee time seven days a week with friends. And may God help you if you tried to ‘cut in’! She was quite feisty and would not put up with any disrespect from anyone, which added to her charm. In addition, she played with the Wednesday Ladies and the Saturday Ladies for many years.
Betty played many country golf tournaments in Manitoba and loved them. The Ladies Senior Champion at Roland was an honour she downplayed by stating that she would not have won if one other golfer, a good friend, had been there.
It was delightful to watch her presented with a Silver medal at the World Senior Games in Utah.
There were so many people she considered friends and who loved her that we cannot begin to name them, for fear of missing someone out, but they know who they are.
Shopping was an ‘art’ with Betty. Golf clothes were ‘essentials’, not clothing, which she sought out and collected passionately along with clubs, balls and anything golf. She was on every golf stores’ mailing list in Winnipeg and Texas.
Betty also liked knitting and made many ‘onesies for babies which she gave to her friends as needed. She also hand-painted golf tees for use at various golf tournaments at St. B.
Betty was the heart and soul of the family who she loved dearly and protected like a tigress if she thought it was required,
We loved her. We miss her.
Betty’s family expresses their sincere appreciation to each of the doctors, nurses, aides, and everyone on “Three-East” at the Riverview Health Centre and Palliative Care Manitoba who went the extra mile to ensure Betty was as pain free and comfortable as possible during her most difficult times.
Memories, Stories and Condolences
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