With much sadness, the family of Betty Harmsworth announces her passing on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, at the Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Hospice in Kamloops, at the age of 90 years.
Betty is survived by her children: Anne Harmsworth of Thunder Bay, Ont., Gillian Sernich (Adrian Robert) of Strasbourg, Sask., John Harmsworth of Regina, Sask., and Geoffrey Harmsworth (Shelagh Marks) of Kamloops, B.C., as well as her daughter-in-law Bonnie Sernich of Estevan, Sask. She is also survived by seven grandchildren: Melanie (Russ) Lansdell, Jennifer (Cory) Rainville, Ben Harmsworth (Allison Brunsdon), Robin Sernich (Heather Sproat), Kelly Harmsworth (Stacy Cairns), Stephanie Harmsworth (Jason Jeannot), and Bonnie Varley, as well as eight great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. She is further survived by her loving sister, Sheila Tucker, sister-in-law Joan Painter, nieces and a nephew, all of Enfield, England.
Betty is predeceased by her husband, Fred Harmsworth, son Peter, partner Herb Bossert, son-in-law Richard Sernich, her parents George and Ivy Tucker, sister Barbara Edwards, and brother-in-law Jack Edwards.
Betty was born Aug. 24, 1928, in Enfield, England. She attended Enfield County Grammar School and excelled in languages, particularly French, German and Latin. She married Frederick George Harmsworth in 1947 and they had three children before emigrating to Canada. The family moved to rural Foam Lake, Saskatchewan, where prairie life was still very hard and became lifelong friends with Frank and May Stopyra and their daughters Jane and Shirley. The family then moved to Estevan where two more children were born. Mum lived in Estevan until after Dad died in 1976, managing the Leader-Post bureau in the years during and after his illness. Mum later moved to Kamloops where she bought a farm with her partner, Herb Bossert, and together they built a house. Her farm at Black Pines was her pride and joy and some of her happiest days were spent on this beautiful property with her animals.
Mum became a knowledgeable breeder of Dexter cattle, and later of Birman cats. She and Herb had cattle, sheep, goats, guinea fowl, chickens, dogs and cats, which they enjoyed immensely. Her two dogs, Gypsy and Lucky, were very dear to her heart. She was always ready for a road trip with Herb and together they saw many places in B.C. and Washington State. Mum was absorbed in family history projects which she researched with persistence and great accuracy. While in Estevan she volunteered for a project documenting old and abandoned prairie cemeteries.
Mum always had a quirky sense of humour and very odd things would put her into uncontrollable giggles. She had a lifelong fondness for rural life and particularly for barns, and she read widely on many subjects. As well as animals, Mum loved plants, which she often found and rescued. She cared greatly about the state of the environment and endeavoured to leave a minimal footprint. She was a complex person with curiosity about most things and she loved to talk about ideas and current issues.
A memorial service will be held at a date yet to be announced. Friends so wishing may make donations in Betty’s memory to The Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge, 7877 Skimikin Road, Chase, or to any animal charity of your choice.