Elizabeth Susan McKinnon (Fletcher)
Born January 10, 1952
Died December 24, 2013
Betty (Betts, Bubbles, Fletch) was born in Calgary, grew up in Vernon and after graduating in 1970, studied journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa. In the early ’70’s, she worked as corporate secretary and travel manager at BC Central Credit Union in Vancouver. She then graduated from SFU and started her teaching career as an elementary school teacher at Alexis Park School in Vernon during the heady days of open learning, Selma Wasserman and Milt McLaren. She went on to teach at Coldstream, Hillview and West Vernon schools. Betty later taught art/art history and yearbook classes at the then new Fulton High School and absolutely adored that experience. Guiding students was gratifying, but her greatest achievement was in steering “difficult” kids through troubled times. When some former students would appear years later at her front door and say “Mrs. McKinnon, you changed my life”, she knew the sweat and tears had been worth it all.
Thanksgiving Day, 1990, Betty received her 1st liver transplant. Thanksgiving Day, 2000, she received her 2nd. Since 2010, Betty was hoping to receive a 3rd liver transplant but ran out of time. She was so grateful to the donor families for the opportunities she had to continue her teaching, to play, to raise a family and to enjoy life as she could. Climbing the long staircase at the Duomo in Rome was her Mt. Everest. Betty would always encourage everyone to never give up, always push and forever search out fulfillment.
Betty was not much forsf ceremony and did not wish to have a formal service. She did have 3 wishes for everyone: 1) call or see anyone you love and tell them you do love them-it’s so important, 2) don’t take no for an answer-ever!, 3) seriously consider organ donation. Talk to your family and friends and sign the form. So many friends, students, colleagues, even the Tax Dept. knew Betty for an extra 23 years through this gift of life. Her family is so grateful for those years.
Betty’s interests were varied, as shown by the vast array of characters she called friends! To all of our friends, to all of the book club members, the quilters and the sewers and the Wearable Art crew, all you crafters out there, Betty loved you. Through sharing your joys and sorrows, laughter and pain, achievements and disappointments, she leaned on you and gained strength from you every time she saw or talked or created with you. She was very grateful to have known you and learned from you and to have had your love and support.
Betty was so proud of the achievements of her parents, brother, sisters, and all her nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws. She thought the world of our friends’ kids’ adventures too!
Sean, you were the light in Mom’s eyes. She adored you and was so thankful to have been able to see her little boy become a successful, thoughtful young man. She loved you so very much.
Betts, you were my friend, my lover, my wife and the mother of our son. You were courageous in your health battles, full of grace in your life and had more plain guts than most of us have. Thank you for your trust and joy of life. I will always have you by my side.