Elizabeth Cecilia Willekes
1919 - 2021
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WILLEKES, Elizabeth Cecilia March 3, 1919 - February 6, 2021 Elizabeth (Betty) Cecilia Willekes passed away in Victoria, BC on Saturday, February 6, 2021 at the age of 101. At Betty's request there will be no funeral services. Betty was born in the Netherlands into a family of 8 children. She is survived by her sister and numerous nieces and nephews throughout the Netherlands, Canada and United States. After obtaining her degree as a registered nurse in 1957, she emigrated to Canada where she began her unique career in Edmonton; Tuktoyaktuk, NWT; Hobbema, AB; Hall Beach, Nunavut; Haines Junction, Ross River and Whitehorse in the Yukon; Sierra Leone in West Africa, Port Hardy, BC and finally retiring in 1979 in Victoria. Throughout her working years she continued upgrading her skills with a Diploma in Public Health and as Nurse Practitioner. Despite her crusty exterior and stubbornness, she was a loving, independent and adventurous lady. She cared deeply for her family and was always giving gifts and sharing stories from her travels. As well, her compassion for people less fortunate was evidenced by the financial support she extended to homeless shelters/kitchens and refugee families. She helped deliver Meals on Wheels for many years. She was very generous to charities in which she believed. As she aged, she continued to preserve her physical and mental health by learning French, playing bridge and taking philosophy courses. Betty was a person who set a good example and was respected by all who knew her. From a family member: "Betty was generous to me and my children. She took me to Holland and Spain for a month when I was 19 so I could 'carry her luggage' -that was a small price to pay for an amazing trip. She often gave little gifts from her northern travels and the times we came to visit she would treat us to dinner or tea at Butchart Gardens. It was obvious she enjoyed her retirement in Victoria very much and was always pleased to share that with her many visitors. A few years ago she was able to give all her nieces and nephews a contribution to the education of their children. She was a frugal saver of money with a generous heart". "I remember how much she enjoyed playing duplicate bridge, particularly the social aspect. She would talk to everyone and remember details about their lives so she would ask about them the following week. After she sold her car, she would bundle up on the coldest days and ride her scooter from James Bay to buy things on sale at Oxford Foods or the Market on Yates. She would read the coupons every week and cut them out. She had a great sense of humour and was fun to be with." From her nephew: "Back in the 60's Betty came to our home in Edmonton to visit and while she was there mum and dad had to go to an appointment leaving her in charge. Being an independent and curious 9 year old, I decided to make something that needed a cut on the table saw. Of course dad's saw was right there so I helped myself. We all knew we were not supposed to go near it but what the heck, he's not there so I went ahead and cut the end of my thumb off. When Betty saw it she immediately went into nursing mode and bandaged it. The part I appreciate the most and will forever be grateful for is that she never told mum or dad." The family would like to thank the staff at Beckley Farm Lodge for the care and kindness during her last year. Messages may be sent to dignitymemorial.com

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Published in Victoria Times Colonist from Feb. 20 to Feb. 22, 2021.
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February 20, 2021
I had the privilege to care for “Betty’ since I came back to care this last Sept. I knew with the language barrier at times, I always knew when she said “ double knot”( shoelaces tied twice) what she meant. She wasn’t into too much fuss and was always trying to do things for herself right to the end. I had a lot of respect for Betty as I knew she was a RN and giving her great care was important me
Thank you Betty❤
Karen Alberts, HCW, Beckley Farm Lodge
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