July 22, 1925 - May 27, 2023
It is with immense sadness that the family of Dorothy Beetstra, longtime resident of Warfield, announces her peaceful passing at the age of 97 at Poplar Ridge.
Dorothy was predeceased by her parents, George and Betty Binks, her beloved husband, Jan, her cherished baby daughter, Jan Elizabeth, her sister, Kathleen and her son-in-law, Larry Hayton.
She is survived by her loving family and will be dearly missed by her children, Patti (John) Buchanan, Michael (Heather), Joanne, and Garth (Shellie); her grandchildren, John Buchanan, Patrick Buchanan, Megan Beetstra, Kyle Beetstra, Amanda Cross and Kelsey Harty; her great-grandchildren, Olivia Cross and Liam Cross and another on the way; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Dorothy was born in Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham in England; at the age of 2, she moved with her parents to Canada, where they settled first in Canmore, Alberta, before arriving in Trail and making their home in Warfield.
While attending high school in Trail, she met our dad, but when WW2 broke out, he enlisted in the Army so she completed her schooling and went to work. At the age of 18, Mom found herself teaching in a one-room school, accessible only by paddle wheeler, in Deer Park on the beautiful Arrow Lakes; she spoke fondly of the families whose children she taught there and on frequent visits ensured that her children experienced the beauty of the area.
Dorothy departed for the coast to earn her nursing degree at the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing. She and dad, who was then at UBC, married in 1947 and after graduation and Patti's birth they moved back to Trail, making their home in Warfield, where she lived for the next 60 years before moving to Mountainside Village in Fruitvale where she spent the final 11 years of her life.
While busy raising Patti, Michael and Joanne, and later on, Garth, and encouraging their educational development and supporting their participation in a variety of activities and sports, Dorothy was happily engaged in her own pursuits, including being the Camp Nurse at Koolaree on Kootenay Lake, creating her beautiful garden, and enjoying her books and music.
She loved camping and spending time at the very rustic Broadwater cabin overlooking the Lower Arrow Lake, very near where she had enjoyed her brief teaching career. Later on, the Longbeach summer home on Kootenay Lake was a place of joy and contentment for her and dad.
Once her children were launched, except for Garth who started grade 1 in Vancouver, Dorothy enrolled in UBC's School of Epidemiology and earned her Diploma in Public Health. On her return to Trail, she embarked on a rewarding career as a public health nurse.
Long after her retirement, she continued to have memorable encounters with children she had vaccinated as infants who were now mothers and fathers with their own growing families. She maintained her affiliation with the VGH Nursing Alumni Association to the end of her life.
Mom was an adventurous soul and loved to travel. If Airtags had been around during her travelling years, notifications would have shown her in the UK, Europe, especially the Netherlands and Italy, Mexico, Hawaii, Cuba, all across Canada, and, in particular, her South American adventure which included sailing to the Galapagos Islands and climbing up to Machu Picchu in Peru. She made many friends on these trips and her experiences provided her with exciting stories and life-long memories.
In retirement and after dad's death in 2004, mom continued to stay busy, especially with her award-winning Warfield garden and her prize iris. She was an avid birder and hiker with the West Kootenay Naturalists' Association. All of her children and a great many Trail babies have been the recipients of her beautiful, lovingly made quilts.
A committed community volunteer, she was involved in the Friends of the Trail Public Library as well as with the Warfield Community Gardens.
Our mother was also renowned as a bit of a "fashionista" and, in spite of failing health, she would get up every morning, select an outfit from her extensive wardrobe with matching bling and apply her make-up, even if it took most of the day. As she was fond of saying, "Not bad for an old babe!" Looking back on her long and well-lived life, one of creativity, dignity, courage and steadfastness, we cannot disagree.
The family would like to thank the management and staff, past and present, at Mountainside Village, especially Marie, Donna and Nellie, and the many care aides who enabled Dorothy to maintain her independence for so long.
Special thanks goes to Brian Henry, the Community Paramedic for his professional and empathetic care. We are also grateful to the supportive medical staff at KBRH for the care our mother received while on the surgical floor as well as from the compassionate staff at Poplar Ridge who made sure she was comfortable during her brief time there.
As a founding member of what is now the Greater Trail Hospice Society, Dorothy was honored by the community for her work establishing this service in Trail; we would like to express our gratitude to Lori Rieberger, Hospice volunteer, for her regular visits and the companionship she provided in our mother's last months. We also sincerely appreciate the many kindnesses and conviviality provided by Dorothy's Lemon Creek friends over the years and especially during her last year.
Cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Life will take place in the summer. Bill Clark of Clark's Funeral Services has been entrusted with the arrangements.
As an expression of sympathy, donations can be made to the Greater Trail Hospice Society or to a charity of your choice. You can also honour Dorothy's memory by hugging your loved ones, planting some flowers, sharing a good book, being kind, enjoying a glass of red wine at the end of a satisfying day and keeping all of your ducks in a row!
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the family's online register at www.clarksfuneral.ca
Clark’s Funeral Services