Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Gray passed away on Sunday March 25, 2007 at her home in Chilliwack at the age of 80 years. She was born November 9, 1926 at Princeton, B.C.
She was predeceased by her husband, David Gray, and her daughter Dava McMahon. She is survived by her daughter Donna Hernblad, and her grandchildren Jenna Hernblad and David Snyder, Kristy (Jay) O’Neill, Danielle (Quentin) Lindgren, and great granddaughter Nikki Lindgren.
Betty moved to Chilliwack in 1959 with her husband Dave. She raised her daughters here after he passed suddenly in 1963. She worked in the Eaton’s China Department, retiring in 1986. She went from a stay at home mom to the head of the family overnight, and stayed firmly as the head of the family for the rest of her long and active life.
Betty was a loving mom and Nana. Family was hugely important to her. She kept in touch with as many relatives as she could over the years, and was generous in including new members to her crowd.
She was a very dignified mother hen to many new chicks. There is a large crowd of unofficial family members who are mourning the loss of Nana Betty. Her squeezy hugs will be sorely missed.
She loved to travel with her children and grandchildren, driving to Princeton as recently as last year with David and Jenna. She often travelled to the Island to visit the McMahons’, and loved her time with her precious daughter Dava, and her grandchildren Kristy and Danielle. Her son in law Dan was a favourite once he passed her mother in law test!
Nana was known for her Christmas cakes and Easter Lindt chocolate bunnies. She knew how to celebrate family events and that included wonderful cooking and baking. Be it picnics, barbecues or banquets, she was the ultimate hostess. Her dinners were always delicious and her baking was fought over. No one would want to miss her sit down dinner parties, where the table cloth was linen, the china and silver polished and the food and wine were perfect. Her, grandchildren (and adopted grandchildren), were taught how to appreciate family Sunday dinners and to always try to finish their vegetables without “a face” so they could enjoy their dessert.
Nana was also always involved in her community. She was an active member of the United Church Women’s group, her bridge club, and the social crowd at her apartment building. Her neighbours were very special friends and she always enjoyed her “neighbourhood”.
The sorority was an important feature to Nanas’ everyday life. She was a long time member of the Beta Sigma Phi, with special ties to the “Golden Girls”. She took her responsibilities as a member seriously, but was a good sport with a well-defined sense of the ridiculous! All of “the girls” were loved by Betty.
Nana leaves a large family behind who will always remember her dignity, strength and humour. She will be remembered with love.
A memorial service will be held on April 12, 2007 at 1 p.m. at St. Thomas Anglican Church, Gore Ave, Chilliwack. Reverend John Sovereign officiant
Memorial donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society if desired.