Emily Minor Beaton

In Victoria, BC, at the age of 87, Emily passed away peacefully. The youngest daughter of Charles and Bessie (Cox) Saunders, she was born and raised on their dairy farm in Berwick, N.S. Her first adventure was heading off to Truro for Teachers College but the really big trip came after her marriage to Bob (Robert W.) in November 1954, when, for their honeymoon, they drove to Red Deer, Alberta. It took so many days that she wondered if she would ever see her family again. As a teacher, she started in NS then to a one room school house in Alberta and later specialized as a teacher of the mentally handicapped in Ontario. She was a wife, mother and grandmother extraordinaire. The importance of maintaining family connections was always a priority and many summer vacations in NS fostered strong friendships between her children and their cousins. (It also belied her initial fear of never seeing her family again.)
Emily had an adventurous spirit and loved to travel, which she continued to do into her 70’s despite being widowed in 1983 and dealing with Parkinson’s disease for 19 years. During her life she lived in NS, AB, ON, NWT & BC. Her travels included the South Pacific, Australia, Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, Mexico and the US. In her last few years Emily handled disability and a diagnosis of cancer with grace. She had a heart of gold, living her life as a faithful Christian always showing generosity and God’s love to family and friends. We picture her organizing a family dinner in heaven with those she loved who passed on before her. Emily was a PEO member and treasured the support of her PEO sisters. She started a wellness group at Oak Bay United Church (OBUC) for people with chronic illnesses, which is still going strong decades later. Her work at OBUC to bring a refugee to Victoria had the blessing of adding Ry, Sophen and Stephen to our family.
Surviving are her sister Amanda (Paul) Whitman, sister-in-law Marjorie (Guilford) Saunders; children – Cathy (Mike), Rob (Paddy) & Cindy; grandchildren – Alex (Joanne), Liz, Krystal & Erika and great grandchildren – Kenzie & Keira. She was predeceased by her husband Robert, her brothers– Edmund, Guilford & Douglas and sisters – Eva, Margaret & Cecelia.
A service to celebrate her life will be held on Sunday, March 17, at 1:30 pm at Oak Bay United Church in Victoria followed by a reception in the lower hall. Everyone is welcome and family thank those attending for respecting the “scent free” environment in the building. In August, family will take Emily’s ashes to NS for burial beside Bob in Thorburn Cemetery. Family flowers only. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pacific Parkinson’s Research Center at UBC ( https://parkinsons.ubc.ca/wp/about/our-team/ ) or to a charity of your choice.

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  1. Joan Lawrence

    Thank you for this extraordinary story of Emily’s life. She was my PEO sister, in Chapter AI , and so wonderful to know, and share thoughts on education for women . We had fun interviewing and hearing the stories of women making plans for on their going studies. Bless Emily as she travels to N.S. to be beside her Bob.

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