Betty Williams

WILLIAMS: Betty Williams (nee Elizabeth Williams Gardner) born in the family home on Shakespeare Avenue, Nakusp April 15, 1914.

As a teenager, Betty worked for her brother Hunter in the Nakusp Drugstore, located where the Re-Awakening Health Centre is today. Betty moved to Rossland, and while working in the hospital there, met Stan Williams. They were married May 10, 1940 and resided in Trail for a few years. During this time, their daughter, Barbara was born. Shortly after, the family moved to Grahams Landing, a small community just south of West Arrow Park. Like so many others, they had no electricity, inside plumbing, phones or stores. They worked hard making their home warm and welcome to everyone. Betty played the piano, and Stan, the saxophone, and before long, an orchestra came to be. They provided entertainment, throughout the communities of the Arrow Lakes for many years. During this time their son Joe was born in Nelson. In the early 50’s they moved to Nakusp. Their music continued. Around this time, Betty started work with Overwaitea and soon became known as Old Lady Waitea. This name has stuck with her through the years. When she retired, she became very active in her church and became the organist for over 40 years. Betty provided music for most community get togethers, such as the Annual Christmas Carol Sing in the Legion, all churches, weddings, funerals, etc. She travelled up and down the valley, rain or shine. Betty was a member of the Eastern Star, was Citizen of the Year and Queen Mother, just a few of her many accomplishments.

When the Golden Years, or the Rusty Years, as she used to say, crept upon her, Betty made Halcyon Community Home her place of residence. She accepted this change with dignity, and continued to provide enjoyment through her music.

August 15, 2005, Betty was relocated to the new facility, Minto House, located at Arrow Lakes Hospital, where she passed away August 28, 2005, at the age of 91.

September 3, 2005, a Celebration of Betty’s life, provided an opportunity to bid a fond farewell to a Great Lady. A lovely tea, provided by the members of the United Church, followed. During this time, the Choir sang The Song of Old Lady Waitea, which has evolved over the years, honouring Betty.

Betty was predeceased by her husband Stan, brother and sisters; Maude, Amy, Hunter, Hildred, Smith and Bert.

She is survived by: daughter Barbara (Art) Abbey, Nakusp, son Joe (Linda) Williams, Nakusp

grandchildren: Jeffrey (Yvonne) Olsen, Los Angeles, California, Tracey (Gordon) Roberts, Nakusp, Steven (Charity) Williams, Quesnel, BC, Micki Olsen, Los Angeles, California, Leanne (Jason) Smith, Nakusp

great grandchildren: Ashley Roberts, Nakusp, Brett Roberts, Nakusp, Ryan Olsen, California, Treson Smith, Nakusp, Hailey Olsen, California

Brother Dr. Joseph Gardner, Vancouver, sister Helen Pearson, Victoria

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