Virginia BYFIELD
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BYFIELD, Virginia Luella
The death on July 21 of Virginia Byfield, writer, editor and for 65 years wife of western Canadian publisher Ted Byfield, ended a life that was deeply committed to a resurgence of the Christian faith in the modern world.
Raised in Ottawa she attended the University of Toronto on four scholarships in classical languages, and became a summer replacement reporter on the Ottawa Journal. There she met her future husband. She dropped out of university in her second year to become a reporter on the Timmins Press in Northern Ontario, where her husband was by then city editor.
In her mid-20s, a mother of four, she was powerfully influenced by the writings of Christian apologists like G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis and Dorothy L. Sayers. With her husband she became a founding member of the Company of the Cross, an Anglican lay order. The order established three boys' schools, dedicated to the reassertion of Christian educational principles, where she taught French, English grammar and literature. There she gave birth to a fifth child and adopted a sixth. Five of her children survive her, and 15 grandchildren.
When the Company of the Cross launched what later became Alberta Report newsmagazine, to assert a Christian presence in the news media, she led its coverage of the diminishing role of the family in law, politics and schools. Later she was a major contributor to AR's 12-volume history of Alberta, and to the ensuing 12-volume history of Christianity.
In 1996, she and her husband converted to the Orthodox Church in America; she has since been an active member of St. Herman's in Edmonton. She will be sorely missed, by none more than her husband. "I've not only lost a wife, comrade, counsellor and favourite drinking companion," he said, "I've also lost my best editor. I've published few things over the last 40 years that didn't undergo the severities of her edit and the profound insights of her Christian mind." She died at her Edmonton home. She was 85.
Prayers will be said Friday night at 7:30 at St. Herman's Church, 9930 167 Street. The Funeral Service will take place at St. Herman's at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 26, and the burial at Holy Cross Cemetery. Reception will follow at the Byfield home, 531 Lessard Drive at about 1:00 p.m.


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Published in Edmonton Journal on Jul. 24, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
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26 entries
October 3, 2014
My first "job" as a reporter with the Company of the Cross led first to journalism as a calling in the 70's and finally to the priesthood in the Anglican Church of Canada in the 90's. My experience working for Ted and Ginger and living with them in the community on 149th street in Edmonton was formative, even though I left to help build the magazine in Calgary. Even though I didn't share the Byfields conservative politics or theology, I became a more committed Christian as a result of my perience with the Company and and it has changed my life. Thanks to Ginger for everything, and my sympathy to Ted. Glad I signed up for a dollar a day in 1976.
Rev'd Bob Bettson
August 10, 2014
Hello Ted, How very sorry I am to hear about Ginger's passing. All of my family have fond memories of Ginger and her hard work at St Johns.
Please accept our deep condolences and please know that you are in our thoughts.
Neil,Charles and Stuart Wood
July 29, 2014
Glory bound
Dave
July 29, 2014
A blessing to everyone she met. I remember her when I worked at outputting the film work for Guideline Graphics who prepared the Alberta Report magazine layouts for the press. Now she belongs to the ages.
Dave Belcher
July 29, 2014
In celebration of Ginger's life as I remember it --- brilliant intellect and palpable empathy --- in equal measure.
Tom Gougeon
July 28, 2014
May her memory be eternal. Virginia was a down to earth and interesting lady.She did many things to spread the christian faith. She will greatly missed by all that knew her.
Don Fushtey
July 27, 2014
I met Virginia in 1990 in Vancouver: a red letter day! (Ted was there too.) From her elegant prose, I was expecting to see a Grace Kelly! I loved her wit and down to earth personality. I've been a BIG FAN of Virginia and Ted's for many decades: Alberta and Western Report helped to keep me sane in PC Toronto. Virginia's death is a huge loss, but what a life she lived! "May her rest be this day in peace, and her dwelling-place in the Paradise of God." Love and blessings to Ted and all the Byfields.
Judy Anderson
July 26, 2014
My condolences to Ted and Family. The years shot by and I am sure fond of my memories as a young boy at SJSA, (1969-1972) together with Ted and Virginia, forever, etched in to my mind..You will be missed by all..Ronald A Morin # 190
Ronald Morin
July 26, 2014
To Ted, Elise and the Byfield family-
May Virginia's memory be eternal. May she enter the mansions in heaven being greeted by our Lord with "well done good and faithful servant".
Melanie, Russell, Grace & Nathaniel Woodroffe
July 26, 2014
I was assigned to Virginia, as my editor, during a short stint with Alberta Report in the mid-80s. Her insights on the Christian faith and its relationship to life provided me a much needed mid-career "refresher course". So much that she and Ted have done will live on well beyond them.
Lloyd Mackey
July 26, 2014
Virginia and Ted are a true testament of faith. Virginia was an intriguing, compassionate, unforgettable woman. We are Blessed to have had the pleasure to spend time with her.
Tammy Ketsa
July 25, 2014
Knowing Virginia and Ted has been one of God's great gifts to me. I enjoyed being billeted with them when in Edmonton and was privileged to observe their keen minds, warm piety, brilliant sense of humour, and mutual love for one another. They are a true inspiration. Virginia will be sorely missed.
Fr. Lawrence Farley
July 25, 2014
Strong. Determined. Noble. Words I associate with Ginger. I offer my condolences.
Derrick Sorochan
July 25, 2014
We wish to extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to Ted and the Byfield family on the loss of Virginia. Virginia was a very "special", kind, and considerate person and it was a privilege to be in her presence. May her memory be eternal.

Doris and Family
Doris Megley
July 25, 2014
God bless Mrs. Byfield for all she did to promote the faith and to embrace the dignity, worth, and value of all human life - even the littles. She is flying with the angels now and I hope that gives her family peace. My littles will pray for you Mrs. Byfield as will my husband and I.
Hailey and Ryan Vanderhart
July 25, 2014
May Her memory be eternal . She will be greatly missed to all that knew her.
July 25, 2014
Virginia was a great example to me and a fine journalist. My condolences to the Byfields and her friends.
Rick Hiebert
July 25, 2014
I am proud to say that I worked with Virginia and her husband for a decade and a half, and it was the most thrilling and rewarding time of my career. Virginia was -- and remains -- an inspiration, and I will miss her. My condolences to the Byfield family.
Terry O'Neill
July 25, 2014
Virginia was a feisty, lovely woman, a fitting unindicted co-conspirator in Ted's efforts to sustain conservative Christianity in Western Canada.
Steve Weatherbe
July 24, 2014
Virginia Byfield was unafraid, she knew that the best advice was: "Be not afraid" and she passed this courage in faith to all who were privileged to know her - she has gone home, "she has fought the good fight, she has finished the course, she has kept the faith" - 2 Timothy 4:7
Jaan & Helen Holt
July 24, 2014
Giving thanks for her life with us - well-lived good and faithful servant! Remembering her easy smile, her bang-on observations... on everything. Love to you Ted and all the Byfields. Memory Eternal! pr. Stephen Keaschuk & Family
July 24, 2014
Warm-hearted and sharp-witted, Virgina Byfield was an exceptional woman. I will always remember the kindness she showed me at AR. Though she never actually edited any of my copy, her influence was everywhere present. My sincere condolences to her family.
Paul Rodgers
July 24, 2014
A true one of a kind women! Ginger you will be missed by many and never forgotten. Tom Braid and Family
July 24, 2014
An amazing woman I had the privilege of getting to know. In my view, Mrs. Byfield embodied the spirit of Western Canada. I love how she cut directly at a subject and yet was loving in doing so. May Her Memory Be Eternal!
Ian Bodnaryk
July 24, 2014
Virginia's passing is a loss to journalism as well as to her family and friends. Her clear, enterprising, and rigorous mind, and vivacious personality lit a professional path for uncountable colleagues.
July 24, 2014
My sympathies go out to the family of Virginia. I enjoyed my subscription to Alberta Report. RIP Virginia.
David Evans
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