The family of the late Betty Michael sadly announce her passing on December 30, 2021 at the Yorkton and District Nursing Home, Yorkton, SK.
Betty Joan Michael (nee Christoffer) passed away peacefully on December 30, 2021 at the Yorkton and District Nursing Home.
Betty was born on the family farm in the Boakeview District near Saltcoats on May 16, 1936 to Margaret (nee Jones) and George Christoffer. Betty’s siblings are Marion, Jack, Jean and Allan. Betty and her family lived on the farm with the children attending Boakeview School until they moved to Saltcoats to go to school “in town”. George and Margaret switched from farming to owning Christoffer Trucking. They also operated the concession and campground across the lake at what is now Saltcoats Regional Park where one of her first jobs as a teenager was to collect admission fees at the Saturday night dances in the pavilion.
Betty was very outgoing, hardworking and an industrious student. She started working at the Bank of Montreal in Saltcoats after she finished Grade 11 and the bank manager convinced her to keep working there instead of returning for Grade 12. Her “summer job” turned into a 42-year career with the bank!
Betty married Donald Michael in 1958 and they enjoyed socializing, travelling, acting in plays, curling and time spent with family during their 41 year marriage. She continued to work at the bank while Don trucked with his father in law, George. During this time, they bought Herb and Ethel Pickering’s farm near Saltcoats where they farmed alongside Betty’s Uncle Fred Christoffer for many years.
Betty and Don’s son, Ron, was born in 1960 and their daughters, Merle and Joan, were born in 1962 and 1964. Life was busy with a growing family with Betty working at the bank and Don farming. Betty and Don were blessed to have the support with raising the kids from Uncle Herb and Auntie Ethel Pickering. They always had a huge vegetable garden, with Betty canning fruit and freezing veggies all summer and fall. Berry picking was a favourite activity and provided many jars of jam and jelly. Betty made it look easy to work all day at the bank and then make a huge meal to take to the field during harvest!
The Michael family loved to go camping. They started with a tent when the kids were little and upgraded to trailers as the family grew. Fishing was a favorite activity, and when the kids were old enough the family spent many summer days waterskiing, with Betty occasionally going for a ski around the lake. When they became grandparents Don and Betty continued the tradition and went on many fishing and camping trips with the grandkids.
Betty loved working at the bank. When she started she used a straight pen and manual adding machine and was very happy to receive a ballpoint pen as a Christmas gift one year. By the time she retired she was quite comfortable using computers. She was the first female bank manager for Bank of Montreal in Saskatchewan.
Betty was a kind, generous person. She truly enjoyed helping people through her work at the bank, and was happy to see youngsters opening their first bank account, people buying their first home or car, farmers adding land or equipment to their operations and people planning for retirement. She was an advocate for women to have their own bank accounts in the days when that was an uncommon practice.
When MasterCard was introduced by the bank, she won a trip to the Bahamas for signing up the most customers for a credit card. Betty and Don thoroughly enjoyed that hot holiday and it gave them the travel bug. Other winter holidays included Hawaii, Jamaica, Florida and Vegas, among other warm locations.
In her “spare” time Betty liked to sew and crochet. She loved to host big family meals on special occasions. Tables and chairs would be added until there was a spot for everyone and then the table was set with beautiful tablecloths, fine china, silverware and crystal. Baking for her family brought Betty so much joy. During her working years she spent most Saturday mornings baking buns, cinnamon buns, bread, pies, tarts, cookies and cakes for the week. No meal was complete without tea and dessert.
Betty was very community minded served on several boards and committees. She was a member of the Boakeview Ladies Club, a Saltcoats Curling Club executive, served on the Saltcoats United Church Session, sang in the church choir, and was a Board Member of the Health Foundation of East Central Saskatchewan.
Betty retired from the bank in June, 1996 and Don passed away in 1999. She continued to live on the farm where her second husband, Blair Chappell, joined her. Betty and Blair were married in 2006 and enjoyed dancing, curling, camping, travelling and spending winters in B.C.
As a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother she had endless patience and energy. She loved having the grandkids for sleepovers, teaching them to bake and going to all their activities. She loved each and every one of them unconditionally.
Betty was well known for her quick wit and she had a saying for everything. These ranged from the comical such as “I’m fine as frog’s hair”, “we’re off like a herd of turtles”, and “well now brown cow, do you give chocolate milk?”. Other popular ones were just good advice like “hunger is a good sauce”, “a stitch in time saves nine”, or “many hands make light work”. Some more whimsical sayings included “isn’t that the bees’ knees”, and “that’s the best thing since sliced bread”. She could also give good advice such as “it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow someone some good”, and “every cloud has a silver lining”. Finally, a saying she frequently used was “It’s quite a life if we don’t weaken”. This list is an abbreviated version because Betty was such a character!
In her later year’s dementia robbed Betty of her memory and left her confused. But it wasn’t able to steal her love of family, sense of humour, or gift of hospitality. Until her last days, Betty wondered if the coffee pot was on, if the food was on the table, and if there were enough chairs for everyone gathered.
Betty was predeceased by her husband Donald Michael, her son Ronald Michael, great grandson Maran Nabozniak, her parents George and Margaret Christoffer, close family friends Herb and Ethel Pickering, and her special Uncle Fred Christoffer.
Betty will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Blair Chappell, her daughter in law Joanne Michael, and family, Jamie (Michael) Nabozniak and their daughter Autumn, Warren (Jolene) Michael and Warren’s sons Grady and Knox, Brandy Leniuk and her children Logan and Mikayla, her daughter Merle (Dean) Wiley and family, Tamara (Kevin) Bajus and their children Kyra and Tanner, Marshall (Kristen) Wiley and their children Brooklyn, Taelyn and Luke, her daughter Joan (Arlan Maddaford) Michael and family, Nicole (fiancé Carter Maloney) Maddaford, Blake Maddaford and his son Tayzen, Lisa (fiancé Jeremy Krolouski) Maddaford, and Kristen Maddaford, as well as her siblings Marion(Gerry Clark) Miller, Jack (Ruth) Christoffer, Jean (Bill) Strachan and Allan (Linda) Christoffer, and many nieces and nephews.
A funeral service for Betty will be held on Tuesday January 4, 2022 at 2pm from the Saltcoats United Church with Sarah Giles officiating. The service will be live streamed staring at 1:50 pm please click on to the link provided, you do not have to have a Facebook account to view the service http://www.facebook.com/christiesfuneralhome
Those wishing to make donations in memory of Betty Michael, may make donations to The Alzheimer's & Dementia Society of Saskatchewan, Saltcoats United Church or to a charity of ones choice.
For more information or to leave a condolence for the family please contact www.ChristiesFuneralHome.com.
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