Elizabeth Jean RUTLAND

RUTLAND: Elizabeth Jean (Betty) – Born April 17, 1916, the first child of Georgina (Georgie) and William (Tiny) Strange, Betty grew up on a farm near Brandon, Manitoba. The farming life did not suit Betty and she found that her chores always took a long time as she had to work with one hand (the other holding a book). In 1932, shortly after enrolling in high school, – her favorite subjects were History and English – her family moved to Brandon. It was during her high school years that she decided to become a teacher and after matriculation she enrolled in Normal School and became qualified as a teacher. After a brief local teaching position, she worked at a bank in Winnipeg, but she came home frequently, and during WWII she met her future husband, Wilfred, who was then on leave from the military in Brandon. Their friendship grew and when Wilfred had to move to Toronto, Betty followed and the they were married in Toronto in 1942. After the war, they moved to North Bay and Wilf worked with the ONR and her three children were born. When her son Edward enrolled in kindergarten, Betty re-entered the teaching profession and taught at King George and Centennial Schools. During this time she was an active member of the Federation of Women’s Teachers of Ontario, which crystallized for her many issues of social justice and equality. While teaching and raising a family, she attended Nipissing College and in 1973 she was its first grandmother in its first class to graduate. In the early 80’s, with her family grown, she and Wilf moved to White Rock where she was reunited with her sister Jean, her children and grandchildren, all of whom became Betty’s second family. When her husband passed away in 1985, she continued to reside in White Rock where she had breakfast with her family and friends every Saturday, was a member of the Christian Science Church, the Council of Women, the University Women’s Club, the Vancouver opera and played bridge, it is said, very creatively and very often. Through all these years, Jean was a constant companion, a support both in her travels and her everyday needs, and helped Betty live her last years with dignity and independence. Betty passed away at Peace Arch Hospital June 24, 2006 in her 90th year. She is remembered by her children Peter (Caroline) in North Bay, John (Gwen) in Pembroke, and Edward (Christine) in Pickering, brother Ted in Kelowna, sister Mona in London, England and sister Jean in White Rock, grandchildren, Wade, in Ottawa, Blaine in Boston, Ted in Vancouver, Beth in Guelph, Phillippe and Stephan in Pickering, nieces and nephews Gina, Archie and Greg in White Rock, George Jr. in Brandon, Judith and Stephen in London, and David in Newcastle. She was predeceased by her brother, George Sr. She will be remembered as a graceful pioneer feminist, her enthusiasm for the world of literature, and unselfish devotion to family.

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