It is with tremendous sorrow that we announce the sudden passing of Helen Mary Betts (nee Colville) on October 4th, 2020 at the age of 91 at Credit Valley Hospital.
Beloved wife of Alfred (1924 – 2017), together for 69 years.
Cherished mother of Doug (Janice), Marylyn, Brian (Jennifer), Stephen (Evelyn), and Cynthia (Barry).
Devoted grandmother of Paul Douglas, Natalie Lynn, and Robert William Lindsay.
Helen was born in Toronto on February 24th, 1929 to Kenneth and Rhoda Colville. She talked about her early years growing up in the Great Depression when they were one of the only families on Gladstone Ave. that raised chickens for eggs and meat.
Mom attended Central Commerce Collegiate where she excelled in shorthand and typing and, in fact, won the Toronto Typing Championship with 114 words a minute. She graduated with honours but even with all the studying, she still had time for Saturday night dances at the Palaise Royale on Lakeshore Road. At one time, she considered being a dance instructor with the Arthur Murray Dance Studio.
In her early working years, she was secretary to some of the more prominent businesses in Toronto but realized that a career change was necessary in order to support her growing family in Streetsville. She went to night school and took accounting courses in order to achieve the financial freedom that she enjoyed in later life.
Her passion was gardening and when they moved into the house on Vista Blvd. in 1956, she couldn’t wait to start growing her own vegetables. As babies, most of her children grew up on mashed vegetables from her own garden instead of the store bought brands.
Her love of nature, dogs, and birds drew her to northern Ontario where a cottage was purchased to enjoy the warm summer days. There were many weekends of swimming, water skiing, cruising the Trent Canal, card and board games, and hard work. The cottage always sparkled with laughter for family and friends alike.
As her children grew older, it left Helen and Al time to travel extensively. They visited England, France, Spain, coast to coast in Canada, and most of the USA, Greece, Cuba, Mexico, Portugal, Costa Rica, Hawaii, St. Maarten, and cruising throughout the Caribbean.
Helen’s passion for living life day to day, her infectious laugh and generous nature will be sorely missed by her family, friends, and neighbours.
She now has the chance for that last waltz with Alfred!