June 25, 1918 – September 15, 2008

On September 15 we lost a wonderful wife, mother, sister and grandmother. Ruth Biley was taken suddenly in her 91st year after a pleasant evening with family. She was born on June 25, 1918 in Edam, Saskatchewan, the third of four daughters. She is predeceased by her parents, Percy and Alma Farnsworth, and oldest sister Jeanne.

Ruth was the extremely proud mother of Barbara and David. She was also the mother of two sons who died in infancy. She is survived by her husband Al with whom she spent 64 years and intended to spend many more and will be missed by her sisters Leonis and Bev, brothers and sisters-in-law, John and Marilyn Masters of Ottawa and Fred and Doreen Masters of Montreal.

To her children and grandchildren she was always someone to emulate – steady and firm and loving. Grandchildren Martin and Nick Seed, Kevin, Jesse and Lacey Biley, and great grand-daughter Makenna Greenland will miss her terribly.

Ruth graduated from The Calgary General Hospital as a Registered Nurse in 1940 and worked as an RN in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and BC. She ‘ended’ her nursing career in 1978 as an instructor at Vancouver General Hospital. Al and Ruth retired to Hornby Island where Al had been building a house, and Ruth promptly got involved with a group of retired nurses to develop the philosophy and guidelines for what became the Hornby and Denman Community Health Care Society. She served on its Board of Directors and volunteered at the Hornby Island Recycling Depot and for the Cancer Society.

After retiring once again and moving to Courtenay in 1997, Ruth continued to volunteer at St. Joseph’s in the ER and in ECU until shortly before her death.

A caring wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Ruth was a nurse and a teacher through and through. She often quoted one of her heroes, Norman Bethune, who, as a volunteer doctor in China, taught the volunteer medical personnel of the Eighth Route Army “Be a leader yourself, though you only lead yourself, for every leader starts by first leading himself.” It was a philosophy she lived by.

At her request, there will be no funeral. Friends who wish to commemorate her are encouraged to donate to the Hornby and Denman Community Health Care Society (call 250-335-2885) or to the charity of their choice.

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