Betty Leila Birrell

Betty Leila Birrell

June 23,1921 – May 22, 2017

After a long goodbye, Betty quietly passed away in West Vancouver on May 22, succumbing to complications from Alzheimer’s.

Betty was predeceased by her parents Blanche and Bill McCallum, brother Bill (1936), sister Gertrude (2004), sons Billy (1970) and David (1979), husband Bill (1997), and many lifelong dear friends. She is survived by her devoted daughter Betty (Doug), loving grandson Hayden,(her shining star), nieces and nephews Bonnie, John, Vivian, Jim, Rob, Wendy, Sandra, Bob, Bill and their families, and many wonderful friends.

Betty was a genuine and gracious soul, so loving and loved; compassionate, kind, witty, always cheery, ever optimistic, she was the best! People loved to be around her – her shining spirit, her laugh, were contagious. Always there to lend an empathetic ear and offer wise counsel, Betty was selfless and met life’s challenges with great courage .

Born and raised on a large working farm near Elton, Manitoba, Betty met her future husband Bill of North Vancouver (via Enderby and the Bulkley River Valley), at a military dance while Betty was working at Manufacturer’s Life in Brandon. They married in Vancouver and moved to Saltair where they raised their family . Betty lived on the family property for almost 60 years before moving to her daughter’s in West Vancouver and eventually to Capilano Care where she resided for the last 3 years .

Betty was a hard worker and a real trooper with many interests and adventures throughout her life . As a young mom, she was the elementary school secretary and for many years, the accountant for the family businesses. There were many family boating adventures in the Gulf Islands, fishing and camping trips, summer vacations at the farm in Manitoba. Betty and Bill traveled extensively, often accompanied by their daughter in the 70’s – South Africa, Malaysia, Seychelles, India, Nepal, New Zealand, Holland, England, Hong Kong and Quatemala. Betty carried on her travels in the 80’s and 90’s – hiking in Italy, Spain, touring in China, wintering in Hawaii. Back road camping and exploring in Northern B.C. every summer with Bill, Betty Jr., and Hayden were a 90’s highlight .

Throughout her life, her constant passion was her wonderful garden of Rhodos, perennials and bulbs, fruit trees, and vegetables and in her 50’s, Betty took up tennis with great enthusiasm and joy, playing with remarkable skill well into her late 80’s.

Never one to complain, always smiling always caring, Betty’s wonderful spirit will remain with us forever.

Many thanks to the staff at Capilano Care for their kindness .

A service is not planned at this time.

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