Elizabeth "Betty" Mackie

June 26th, 2023

The life and times of Elizabeth “Betty” Mackie: (1941-2023) 

Betty was born on April 21st, 1941, in Edmonton Alberta. She was the eldest of four children born to Ella and Elgin Cole. The family moved frequently around Edmonton from city to farm and back again. She had many fond memories growing up with her dozens of cousins on the Winkleman family farms. When she turned 18, she moved to B.C. to begin her psychiatric nurse training at Essondale (Riverview) hospital. She graduated in 1962. Betty met her future husband Gerry through a shared acquaintance Joy Sheaves, Gerry’s cousin. From there it was a whirlwind romance that led to marriage in 1963. Betty had one condition for marriage, that they honeymoon in Europe which at the time was an unheard-of extravagance. Dad readily agreed. So began a lifetime of travel and adventure.

During the latter sixties Betty and Gerry started their family, first with Scott (1965), Kyle (1968), and Kiersten (1970). Kyle and Kiersty were both adopted. Betty soon decided that psychiatric nursing was not her life’s calling, so she launched the first childhood disabilities program in Delta, due to the lack of services for the mentally challenged. After those programs were established, she moved on to pioneer programs for adults with learning disabilities, also due to the lack of services in Delta at that time. Once that was established, she moved on to English as a second language (ESL) which was targeted at recent immigrants. Each time she recognized a need and threw herself into the challenge.

Betty and Gerry both shared an avid love of the Canadian outdoors. During the 1970s they traveled frequently to Botanie Valley near Lytton to spend time at Bertha Budd’s cabin. Eventually they bought their own land and with help from family and friends built their own log cabin a few miles up the road. Betty and Gerry spent many weekends at the cabin with family and friends. Those were among her fondest memories.

Betty was an attentive and devoted mother. She usually had summers off work and was always planning day trips to the local beaches, Stanley Park, and other exciting adventures. She had a zest for life and was always active. One of her favourite hobbies was cross country skiing, and she spent many a winter plying the local mountains. Camping was another of her favourite pastimes. Rain or shine, she always enjoyed the outdoors, all over B.C.

Betty was a people person. She had many friends from many backgrounds and cultures. She was extremely extroverted and made new friends as easily as Forrest Gump. She never put on appearances or pretended to be something she’s not. Genuine to a fault. Betty and Gerry loved to travel overseas and learn about other cultures. She was extremely open-minded and generous to new immigrants from all backgrounds. Both before and after retirement she devoted herself to charity work, maintaining a full schedule. Dad complained that she should have never retired, since she was still working full time, just for free. Among those she helped were the Syrian refugees who emigrated to Canada during the Syrian civil war. In her early and later years Mom was very active in the Lutheran Church. She had a deeply Christian sense of humility and generosity backed up by a lifetime of service to others.

In her later years, Betty’s passion was spending time with her grandchildren. She never lost her youthful zest for life and was as game for adventure with her grandkids as she was with her own children.

Betty had a full and interesting life, and she will be tremendously missed.

Betty is survived by her husband Gerald, and her children Scott, Kyle, and Kiersty.

A service for Elizabeth will be held on September 2, 2023 at 11:00 am at Trinity Lutheran Church; 11040 River Road, Delta, BC


I was sad to learn yesterday of Betty's passing. We worked together for a long time, and she was a real achiever, and lots of fun and support. I am sorry for your loss.

To Betty’s family; I was so sorry to hear of Betty’s passing. She was my work supervisor at Delta Continuing Education. She was intensely dedicated to providing education to her students and was a great mentor for those who worked in her field.

Uncle Gerry - so very sorry to read of Auntie Betty's passing. My sincerest condolences to you, Scott, Kyle and Kiersty.

Gerry, so sorry to hear of Betty's passing. I remember all the fun times when we were in training at Essondale. Praying you are comforted with all the memories you have. Betty & Bert

Auntie Betty was an amazing woman and we are all blessed to have had her in our lives. I will always have her in my heart with extremely fond memories of the beautiful, kind person she was and will always be.

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