Betty May WhitlockMay 28, 1926 ~ January 4, 2018 (age 91)
It is with love that we say “talk-to-ya-later”
BA, as her friends call her, was born in Ramsay, Calgary in 1926 to Maud and Archie Whitlock. Her grandparents, Emily and Albert, were among the first residents in the area and while she lived in Ogden for a few years, she called Ramsay her home. Although she wanted to live to be as old as the California Condor (she called it the Ramsay Condor of course) 105 years, she came closer than most (91) and passed away peacefully on January 4, with her daughters at her bedside and grand-pup Kaylee.
Mom worked at 3 of our family owned businesses, Forest Lawn Power and Light, Whitlock Electric and Albert Park Locker Plant. Also #11 depot during the war, Black and White Meat Market, and the Shamrock Hotel which her 13 dear friends owned, Ganongs Chocolates, Stork Diapers, City of Calgary Roads and the City of Calgary Parks to name a few.
She was an independent woman who thought it important to complete her high school education – receiving her certificate at the age of 57. She even threw her own graduation party at Millican Ogden community that her granddaughters Jodie and Jolene attended and tapped danced proudly. Truly believing in celebrating life to the fullest, she threw her own wake for family and friends in 1997 at the Ramsay Community Hall. It started with a piggy bank and then grew to a savings account to pay for this once in a life time event.
She gave to countless charities and spent endless hours knitting and crocheting scarves and hats for the homeless which she learned from her Mum Pullan. She was a volunteer. Donating her time to the Heart and Stroke Fun, and eventually becoming Captain for Ramsay District. She was the registration/memorabilia gal for the 1988 Ramsay School 75 year reunion and donated the day of skating at the new Olympic Oval. Just recently we discovered she worked with the University of Alberta for 3 years on a study for type 2 Diabetes.
She loved to travel and went to Kauai three times, Bali, Hong Kong, Alaska, Vancouver, Lethbridge, High River, Okotoks, Black Diamond (she loved camping and had 3 vans to do so in), White Rock (to stay with her great friends John and Lorraine Wolfe), Victoria, Las Vegas, Reno, Spokane, Phoenix with buddy Millie Marsh (Carlson), Idaho Falls, and Finnegan (to celebrate with her school chum Delbert Gillespie on their 75th birthdays)!
We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Mom (BA). Among them: the Golden Rule - do to others what you want them to do to you, if it doesn’t feel right- it probably isn’t, your heritage is a gift - treasure it, give more than you receive, laugh (or even make fun) of yourself often, you are never too old to learn, appreciate the little things, open your doors (especially for Sunday dinner) there is always someone with less than you, you can always find something nice in everybody, sugar is a food group (or so she hoped), if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all, humor is a gift to be shared especially in cartoons she drew of herself and for her friends, never forget a birthday, and very importantly - never miss a Stampede!
She was a proud white-hatted honorary Calgarian, a devoted Terry Stokes friend, Frank Sinatra - Doug Gilmour fan and may have never missed a Stampede. She can best be described as a kind-hearted, thoughtful, generous, talented artist, (always carried a joke in her purse) fun woman who wore great hats/costumes and loved to celebrate (any excuse to have a get-together). She took a million pictures, a Stampeders season ticket holder since Mewata Stadium and then McMahon. She was passionate about her community and a devoted friend, mom, gramma, great-gramma, and doggy Mom to Gilmour, Daisy-Mae, Bonita, Cindy I and II, Trixy, Nibby, Sachmo and grand-pup Brindee to name a few.
She leaves behind her two daughters - Bonnie Smith (Clarke) & Kathee Anderson (Tom); her son, Joe Anderson; her four grandchildren - Jodie Walsh (Mark), Jolene Smith, Joseph Anderson and Jesse Anderson; her five great-grandchildren Myles, Connor, Nolan, Taya Mae and Carson; her grand-puppy Kaylee; her sister Jo (Marty); special niece Merla; nieces Debbie, Marci and Tracy; nephews Bill, Danny and Darry; and many special friends. She is probably listening to Frank and playing smear with her 2 sisters - Peggy and Gail, Sandy, Merv and her ex-husband Joe Anderson. She will especially love to kiss her mommy and daddy again as she loved and adored them so much.
There will never be the perfect way to say goodbye, but we think she would like to part with a Yahoo, of course. And in the end, she would go out singing, “I did it my way.” Gone from our sight but never from our hearts. We love you forever.
Altho' a tear may be ever so near,
That's the time
You must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying
You'll find that life is still worth-while
When you just smile (Nat King Cole)
“I Love you, bye for now” (she’d say).
BA was interviewed for the Ramsay newsletter in 2013 (page7), and her interview can be read at http://ramsaycalgary.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/RCA-Newsletter-2013_05-scrn.pdf.
BA also wrote her Stampede Story in 2012, “I Wear that Hat Every Year”, which can be read at http://my.calgarystampede.com/i-wear-that-hat-every-year.html.
Arrangements in care of EVAN J. STRONG FUNERAL SERVICES. (403) 265-1199