CLARKE, HELEN ELIZABETH (BETTY)
We are sad to announce that our beloved mother, Betty Clarke, passed away on November 23, 2013, at the age of 92, surrounded by her four children, her sister Mary Wiggin, and other members of her extended family. Our mother was a wonderful mom, a loving wife and a dear friend to many, especially her nieces and nephews. Betty was pre-deceased by her husband, Reid Clarke, her parents, Helen and Robert McQuay, her brothers Francis, Jim, Leonard and Norman. She is survived by her children Len (Sharon), Fran, Joe (Heather), and Jude (John), her brother Don, her sister Mary, her grand-children Jonathan Wood (Rikki Barry, great grandson Westen Wood), Reid Clarke, Sarah Clarke and Alison Clarke.
Betty McQuay arrived in Vernon from Whitby, Ontario in 1946 to assume a job as a Public Health Nurse. She was a registered nurse who had completed her training at Queen’s University and the University of Toronto. Within six months of her arrival in Vernon she met the love of her life, Reid Clarke, and they were married in Whitby in 1947, and settled in Vernon where Reid, a pharmacist, owned and ran Vernon Drugs. Betty chose to leave nursing to stay at home to raise her four children. Throughout her life Betty volunteered for many organizations in Vernon, and always remained engaged in contemporary issues. Her passions were her family, spending time at the cabin with family and friends, and her magnificent garden. She was fair-minded and generous, always there to listen and support her children and friends and give back whenever she could. She considered herself a fortunate person, and could always see the humor in most situations.
More than these comments can catch, however, our mother Betty was a force of nature who was fiercely ‘alive.’ She loved Margaret Laurence’s portrait of Hagar Shipley in The Stone Angel , and could recite Dylan Thomas’ poem, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” from memory. Her rich laughter will continue to ring out and bless all the lives she has both nurtured and left behind for now.
There will be a celebration of Betty Clarke’s life on Saturday, November 30th, at 1:00pm at The Pleasant Valley Funeral Home, 4303 Pleasant Valley Road, Vernon. Instead of flowers please donate to one of Betty’s favorite charities: The Canadian Lupus Foundation: www.lupuscanada.org
Arrangements are in the care of Vernon Funeral Home 250-542-0155