ELIZABETH MARION SHEARER (née Searle)
November 25, 1927 – June 28, 2023
Our dear mom and grandma Betty died peacefully at Luther Home in Winnipeg, aged 95. She leaves behind her children Jim, Catherine (Ron) and Doug (Aandra), granddaughters Justina, Victoria, Elizabeth, Marta and Lola, grandsons Dustan, Jessie and Kurtis, and six great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her son David, husband David and brother Jim Searle.
Betty Searle was born in Winnipeg in 1927 to Jim, a Scottish WWI veteran and Agnes, who grew up on the Graham family farm in southeastern Manitoba. Her brother Jim was born in 1929. The Searle family lived on Strathcona Street in Winnipeg, across from open fields where Betty searched for prairie crocuses.
Betty was an exceptional student with a creative, artistic mind. After graduating from Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute, she worked at the Woolworths store on Portage Avenue and then at CBC as a payroll clerk. There, she met Dave Shearer, whom she married in 1955. After stints in Cleveland, Ohio and Saskatoon, they settled back in Winnipeg, where Betty spent most of her career as a proud federal civil servant. In the early 1970s and while raising a family, Betty fulfilled a dream to pursue higher education, earning her Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Manitoba. In the 1990s, she reconnected with university life as president of the University Women’s Club of Winnipeg, one of her many volunteer activities.
With husband Dave, Betty cherished summers at the family’s cottage at Ponemah on Lake Winnipeg, swimming, walking dogs and picking berries. Betty and Dave traveled when they could, most memorably to Scotland, Italy and Costa Rica. When she wasn’t cooking, baking and sewing for four kids and a husband, or caring for various dogs, cats and rabbits, Betty enjoyed reading and socializing with a small group of lifelong friends.
Betty loved everything about the prairies, but especially the sky. She used to say that further west, “the mountains blocked the view.” On the evening of the day she died, a prairie storm thundered down on Winnipeg in her honour. Betty was kind, intelligent, pragmatic, and strong. She cared for many, from her kids and friends to her elderly mother. Her legacy is the life she led, an example for all who knew her.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Luther Home, who so enriched the last six years of Betty’s life. Donations in Betty’s name can be made to the Alzheimer Society of Canada alzheimer.ca, or Luther Home lutherhome.com. A memorial service is planned for August 21 in Winnipeg; location and time to be confirmed.