January 14, 1931 – August 26, 2023
Our beloved Mother, Gramma, and friend, passed away peacefully August 26th, 2023, from natural causes. She leaves behind a legacy of love and warmth shared by so many she held dear.
Born on January 14th, 1931, in Calgary, Alberta, Shirley’s early days were spent living with her mother, Orlis Mayo, while attending St. Mary’s Catholic Girls School. As a young teenager she worked as an usher for a movie theatre in Calgary, where she and her mother lived directly above, in a small apartment.
It was at the Crystal Swimming Pool where she first met a handsome lifeguard, Bill Beattie. A faked swimming emergency got her genuinely rescued by him, pulled to safety, and then personally walked home.
Not too long after that, their first “smooch” on her grandmother’s bench-swing sparked the beginning of what would become a wonderful 56-year marriage. Together, they lovingly raised their five children: Dorn, Gaye, Kathi, Dean, and Drew, in a home that Bill built in the then-new area of Spruce Cliff, in Southwest Calgary. It proved to be a very busy house, almost always full of neighbourhood and school-friends who often stayed for dinner, Shirley was always willing to “throw another potato in the pot.”
She worked night shifts for many years at Grace Maternity Hospital, then later as a private secretary at an Insurance Agency, and then as a Bank Teller for the Royal Bank of Canada.
When Bill retired as Deputy Chief of the Calgary Fire Department, they relocated to British Columbia, settling in Maple Ridge. Here, Shirley and Bill hosted every holiday dinner at beyond maximum capacity. These joyfilled family events always went late and ended with long goodbyes at the front door.
They attended as many grandchildren’s sporting events, musical performances, and dance recitals as possible, and were always enthused, supportive, and very proud. Shirley and Bill were known for showing up for those they loved, and in turn people showed up for them as well.
The loss of Bill in 2005, following a courageous battle with brain cancer, devastated her, but she bravely carried on finding happiness in her “little house” in Coquitlam. Together, with her sweet dog Abby, she found new friendships and remained a gracious host, welcoming neighbours, and family into her home. She cherished nothing more than a simple chat, preferably over a cup o’ tea. With a twinkle in her eye and her constant lovely smile she made everyone feel truly loved.
She often bragged about her 16 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren, and never missed giving a thoughtful, handwritten Happy Birthday card. Shirley was a woman of many talents, a gifted cook, gardener, seamstress, and painter of Canadian landscapes and beloved pets. She even had a knack for restoring worn paintings, breathing new life into them.
As our family mourns and learns to navigate life without her, we find peace in knowing that she is reunited with Bill, darling daughter Gaye and many other dear loved ones.
We can all still feel her love. That hasn’t changed and will never change at all.
“The song is ended but the melody lingers on.”
Proverbs 31:31 NIV.” Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” NIV
St. John The Divine Anglican Church
21299 River Road, Maple Ridge
September 16th at 4:00 PM
Immediately after the service, interment will take place at Maple Ridge Cemetery, followed by a gathering in the Social Annex room of St. John The Divine Anglican Church, where we can share cherished memories of Shirley.
All are welcome to attend. A live online video stream of the service will also be available, please contact Dorn: DornBT@gmail.com