Elizabeth Mary ‘Bette’ Sproat

September 4, 1927 – August 23, 2021
Bette was born in Jerusalem, then in the British mandate of Palestine. Her mom, a circus performer, had met her dad, an officer in the British Palestine Police, when the circus travelled to Palestine. Her parents remained in Palestine, where Bette and her sisters Pat, Jane and Susan grew up.
Bette had many happy memories of the Middle East, although there were troubled times as well. In 1946, a terrorist bombing struck the King David Hotel, where Bette worked for the British authorities. Fortunately, Bette was not there at the time.
And as a result, Bette came to know Jim Sproat, a young officer in the Palestine Police, who was called in to assist with the reconstruction of police records. Bette and Jim were married in 1947 and remained together for 61 years.
After their marriage, Bette and Jim went to England where Jim trained as a nurse and where their daughters Jane and Judy were born. With few prospects in either Palestine or post-war England, the family chose Canada.
For Bette, Canada was a big change from the warmth and sunshine of the Middle East. At first, for several years, they were posted to operate nursing stations for Indigenous peoples in the far north, including Baffin Island. Eventually, when their girls needed secondary school, they moved south to Chilliwack.
Bette lived in Chilliwack for over 55 years. She raised her family, loved her grandchildren and enjoyed her garden. She was an expert in spinning wool and knitting, and was active with the Weavers Guild.
Bette was predeceased by her sister Pat, and by her husband, Jim, who died in 2008. She is survived by sisters Jane and Susan; daughters Jane Johnstone (Bruce) and Judy Pollock (Bob); grandchildren Jennifer, Susan, Graham, Caitlin and Claire; and great grandchildren Lucy, Amelia, Eleanor, Helen, Leon and Max.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, September 8th at St. Thomas Anglican Church in Chilliwack.


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