JANET ELIZABETH (BETTY) MILLER
February 24, 1918 –
July 10, 2007
Betty passed away peacefully on July 10th, 2007 at Glacier View Lodge. She was predeceased by her husband Harry Miller; son Bill Miller; sister Isabel Jackson; and three brothers: Jock, Jim & Bill McCowan. Betty is survived by her daughter Judy (Charles) Gurr of Courtenay; five grandchildren; six great grandchildren; brother-in-law Joe Jackson of Courtenay and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mom was born in the beautiful town of Banff, Alberta, February 24, 1918. She grew up in Banff along with her mother and father, sister and three brothers.
At the age of 13, Mom and her family moved to Vancouver. She learned to swim at English Bay and Kitsilano Beach where she became a powerful swimmer and entered many competitions.
Mom learned at an early age to sew and became a talented seamstress in her Father’s tailor shop making fine men’s suits. During this time Mom also became an accomplished pianist.
At the young age of 21, Mom met a dashing and handsome young professional boxer named Harry Miller. After a short courtship, Harry Miller, Dad, asked Mom to marry him and promised to quit boxing. They married February 4, 1938. During the war years Mom kept busy knitting and sewing for the troops overseas and Dad worked in the shipyards.
In 1941, their first child was born – Judith Ann (Judy) and in 1943, brother Bill came along. Not wanting to raise children in the city, Mom and Dad moved to the Valley in May 1946. They decided to start a poultry farm on 25 acres on Plateau Road. Having the Brown’s River running through the property, they decided to call this piece of paradise “Harbet Haven”.
For the first year, not having a vehicle, Mom would ride the four miles of gravel road to town on her bike, with 15 dozen eggs strapped to the back. Over the years, they started up a great business, supplying eggs to businesses such as Overwaitea, Hobbies CafÃ©, and Safeway to name a few. Mom always had a huge vegetable garden and flower beds, specializing in roses.
After thirty years of farming, Mom and Dad decided to sell and live on the banks of the Brown’s River. They did everything together. They were avid bowlers and members of two leagues. In addition, they travelled extensively and loved to fish, camp and garden together.
Mom became very interested in ceramics and read every book she could get her hands on. Her work was beautiful and sold to many establishments up and down the Island, including exclusive stores in Banff and the Empress Hotel gift shop in Victoria. Mom taught ceramics and china painting at North Island College as well as at home.
Mom was always into some kind of hobby and was a self-taught artist in oils, pastels and watercolours. She loved the outdoors and was an avid photographer. When Mom was in her seventies, she took up counted cross-stitching and loved it. Mom always said – “Live each day to the fullest, it only comes around once.”
Mom was a loving wife, a supportive and great friend who loved to laugh.
Private cremations arrangements entrusted to COMOX VALLEY FUNERAL HOME, CREMATION & RECEPTION CENTRE, 1101 RYAN ROAD, COURTENAY. For those who wish, donations can be made in Betty’s name to the Canadian Cancer Society, Comox Valley Unit, #102 – 1509 Cliffe Ave, Courtenay, BC V9N 2K6 or the Alzheimer Society of Canada, #20 – 601 West Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G1