With your children David and Diane at your side at Toronto Grace Health Centre in Toronto on December 9, 2018 at the age of 93, God closed his arms around you and whispered “Come with Me”.
Elizabeth (Betty) Marie MacRury (nee Belhumeur) was born November 1, 1925 in St. Lazare, MB to Napoleon and Eva Belhumeur (nee Houle). Betty was the eldest of 10 children.
She is predeceased by her husband James Aubrey MacRury, her parents Nap and Eva Belhumeur, her sisters Eva Marie (at infancy), Lucy, Clara, Jean, Alice and Edna, and her brothers, George and Arthur.
She is survived by her loving children David (Todd) of Toronto, and Diane (Glenn) of Cobourg, brother Lawrence (Georgina) of Birtle, and sister-in-law Alma of Toronto, as well as cousins, nieces, nephews, grand and great nieces, nephews and friends.
Mum was the first-born of ten Belhumeur children. She had a lot of responsibilities being the eldest of 6 girls and 3 boys, helping in the home as the family grew. She attended school at Pumpkin Plains until the age of 12, leaving formal education to work caring for children and doing housework in order to contribute to her family’s needs during the Great Depression.
In the 1950’s she moved to Brandon, MB and worked as a waitress at Dick’s Golden Gate Café. Mum left the restaurant in 1953 to relocate to Toronto with her sisters Clara and Jean.
In Toronto, she loved the big city and the fashion; she had grace and an eye for style, saving her pennies to buy the latest fashions. She worked as a waitress at the Silver Rail Tavern then as a bulb inspector at General Electric until 1961. Mum enjoyed taking pictures with her Kodak Brownie Holiday camera and was able to capture special memories of her life in Manitoba and Ontario in the 1950’s. She loved to dance and, with her sisters, went as often as she could. When she began dating our father, they attended dances together at the Palais Royale on the shore of Lake Ontario and the Silver Dollar Club. They joined a bowling league and her women’s team were Champions in 1955 – 1956.
Mum married our father, James Aubrey MacRury, on July 18, 1959. They both looked like movie stars in their wedding photos.
In 1961, Mum gave birth to David, fulfilling her long held dream of becoming a mother. In 1963, Diane arrived, completing our family. We were blessed to be raised by a strong, independent, caring, and loving mother who taught us values that made her proud. She was an excellent baker; she loved to make bread, cinnamon rolls, molasses cake and cookies, apple pies and birthday cakes. She kept our home spotless and well organized. She had pride of ownership and wanted things to last.
In 1991, our father died of a heart attack at 65 years. This was a difficult time for Mum; she was now alone to start her life again. She took classes at Dixon Hall community centre, sewing, cooking, fitness, and an art class where she learned painting with acrylic paints. Painting became the pastime that saw her through difficult times. It allowed her creativity to flow, leaving beautiful paintings behind for us to cherish. At Dixon Hall, she became an active member of the Busy Bees Advisory Committee, volunteering at special events and supporting the Program Coordinator with advice and guidance; she loved the connections she made at Dixon Hall. On her 80th birthday she invited members and staff to a celebration at Whistler’s. In 1998, Mum’s artwork of red Christmas bells was chosen by the staff to grace the cover of the annual Dixon Hall Christmas card. She was proud and honoured to have been selected. Mum loved Christmas at Dixon Hall especially the annual Christmas lunch. Mum made two quilts that she shared in the community to bring awareness to aboriginal abuse and child abuse; she would talk about her quilt and the message it held. These quilts are still hanging on display in the Dixon Hall offices and shelters. She was passionate about these issues and hoped for real change by creating greater awareness. The almost 30 years of social interaction at Dixon Hall’s senior classes, helping others by volunteering at the Good Sheppard serving food to homeless men, and being a 24-year member of St. Paul’s Catholic Women’s League kept Mum active and involved, contributing to her long and healthy life.
Mum was independent, living in her own apartment at one of the busiest corners in Toronto, known as Greek Town. She loved the neighbourhood and enjoyed being in the heart of everything; the streetcar and subway were right outside her door. She travelled by streetcar until she was 86 years old. She walked across the street almost daily to her favourite place, the NY Café, to meet family for breakfast or just eat on her own. She had help when needed from the caring support staff at her building. She enjoyed companionship with Edy who came every Wednesday to help with errands, doctors’ appointments or just to spend time talking together.
Mum loved to travel; she accompanied us on many vacations, traveling to London, England; Rome, Italy; Cabarete, Dominican Republic; St. Augustine, Florida; Playa Palmar, Panama; to Alaska by cruise ship, and by car from Calgary through the Rockies to Vancouver. She always made time to travel home to Manitoba for a family visit. She was able to go home in 2017 for her 92nd birthday and a Thanksgiving Day celebration held at the Victoria Inn in Brandon. She was thrilled to see her family again and visit her hometown of St. Lazare.
Our Mother overcame difficult times because she had a strong faith in God and St. Therese, The Society of the Little Flower. She knew when her time came to die, she would go home to God, see her loved ones again and rest in eternal peace. She said “Death is a part of life and we all must go through it. It is just the way it is, and we must accept this.” She believed that we will all meet again in heaven. She said, “When I go, I will take a little piece of your heart and your brother’s heart with me to remember you both and leave a little piece of my heart in your hearts to remember me.”
Mum will forever be in our hearts. She is sadly missed but we were very fortunate to have her in our lives for so many years, experiencing her love, kindness, determination, wisdom, and that beautiful smile that made everything better. She was a classy lady who was young at heart and loved to have fun.
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