Betty Schamber (nee Rowein) passed away peacefully June 22, 2021, at the age of 97 years at Lakeview Lodge, West Kelowna, BC.
Mom will be fondly remembered by her family: Evelyn (1999) and Larry (Derek, Jarret, Travis), Vel and Bob (Bret, Sean, Holly), Kon and Brenda (Troy Chad), Laura and Peter (Janessa, Candice, Crystal, Karla, Els, Tanner), Joanne, Sandy and Denny (Kennedy, Aja), James (Brandon, Jessica, Daniela), and 27 great grandchildren.
She was pre-deceased by her husband Ed (1992) and daughter Evelyn (1999) and all her Rowein siblings and Schamber in-laws except for two sister-in-law’, Eleanor Schamber and Tillie Rowein .
Mom was raised in a small farmhouse with 6 other siblings near Grosswerder, SK..
She lived there for 22 years.
They were the real pioneers, and literally lived off the land. They used horse drawn sled to get to church even in winter, butchered cows and chickens and canned the meat, grew all vegetables, made cream, butter, ice cream, milled the flour from grains they grew to make bread and pastries, built their own home and farm buildings, made lye soap, sewed all their clothes, ordered shoes and furniture from catalogues ( Army and Navy, Eatons), and made their own home-brew (not tasty but very powerful stuff !). Their running water was when the kids ran water in buckets up to the house. They walked to country school but only attended up to Gr 8, then worked on farm until they married. Mom’s parents didn’t encourage further education especially for women. They fixed everything, nothing was ever thrown out, everything was organic! Their faith was central to their lives. Everyone went to church on Sundays which was their only day of rest. They were instilled with love of the land, love of life, love of faith and family community.
So now we can understand mom’s unending love of family.
In October 1944 she married dad who was in his 3rd year of service in the Royal Canadian Engineers Army unit in Chilliwack, BC. Dad needed to get permission from government to get married! In 1945 they moved to the Alex Rowein Sr. farm in Primate, Sask. and farmed there for 8 yrs. Evelyn, Vel, Kon and Laura were born there. Mom’s mother Amelia also served as a mid-wife and likely helped deliver her own grandchildren.
In 1953 they bought the “Old Rock House” west of Primate Sask , farmed there for 16 years and raised seven children. (Joanne, Sandy, James were born there.)
Mom worked hard helping with the farm, caring for chickens, feeding pigs, milking cows, planting huge garden, and cooking, baking, sewing, while raising 7 kids ! We all helped with chores : scrubbed and waxed floors, gathered eggs, made pickles, picked rocks in the field, cleaned out chicken coup, and all went to church every Sunday. There were always relatives and friends visiting, celebrations, and a freezer (right by the back door) filled with baking.
In August 1969 they moved to Provost, AB, where they lived for 23 years.
Dad worked at various jobs. Mom continued baking, sewing, gardening and hosted many large family dinners. She loved her “coffee clutches”, quilting bees, disking league and of course playing cards. Both were very involved with church or community activities, and especially enjoyed “squeezing” their grandchildren.
At age 58 years when her youngest, James left home, she took up painting. She learned the basics from a TV show and started painting canvasses for family and friends. One of her favourite sayings was “how hard can it be”. A perfect example of mom’s toughness, resiliency and can-do attitude. Dad passed away September 25,1992.
In August 1997, mom moved to Calgary to help with care of Evelyn who had recently been diagnosed with ALS. This was an extremely stressful and heart-wrenching time for her. She was 74 years old and had to deal with care of a dying daughter.
Shortly after, she sold her house in Provost. She lived with Vel, Sandy, James and Larry for a while and then moved in June 2001 to West Kelowna where Laura and Peter lived. She welcomed family, friends and everyone to come visit her at Monticello condo….and they came from far and wide.
In 2017, we moved her to Heritage Retirement Residence, where she enjoyed the independent living, dining with new friends, playing activities, dance, and music. She stayed for a year until she was diagnosed with beginnings of dementia and needed more support. In June 2018 she resided at Lakeview Lodge in West Kelowna until her death 3 years later.
Mom lived BIG!
First and foremost was her ‘loving and giving” nature! Moms devotion to her family and to her God were the driving forces in how she lived her life . She was a strong, competent woman with many talents and endless energy and generosity.
She was an amazing cook and nobody ever left her home without an armful of baking, noodles or bags of carrots, potatoes, etc.
Mom was also an outstanding self-taught seamstress. She sewed all our dresses from the time of our first communion, school, graduations, and wedding dresses. She sewed for many neighbours and friends as well. Young James became the perfect model to try on other children’s dresses being sewn.
Her early life experiences gave rise to her tenacity. Mom was persevering, steadfast, tough, unwavering, and unshakeable. She was proud of all of us. She taught us things about love and family right up to her last days. She put her heart and soul into her kids and grandkids. we were her center and purpose for living. All the things that went on around us, she embraced unconditionally.
Yes, she lived BIG and loved life.
Visitors would always say how inviting it was to come in the front door to the smell of fresh baking and the smiles and laughter that mom greeted them with.
She made everyone around her feel special. She made the world a better place. We cherish the fond memories and will miss her very much.
A Funeral Mass will be held Saturday, July 3, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., in Westbank at Our Lady Of Lordes Catholic Church. Attendance will be limited, but we invite you to join via live stream by visiting the Our Lady of Lourdes website.
A second Funeral Mass will also be held in Provost, Albert at St. Mary's Catholic Church August 7, 2021 11:00 a.m. Internment to follow.
In Lieu of flowers donations may be made to the ALS Society Alberta - Donate online , phone 1-403-228-3857 or send cheque to: ALS Society of Alberta, 7874-10 Str. NE Calgary AB T2E-8W1
Thank you to the staff at Lakeview Lodge for their loving care and special attention to mom, their smiles, professionalism, respect and friendship.
“Love is contagious. It spreads like a virus and although death will
come to all of us, our love for each other will go on forever”