Betty Magusin was the first child of Tomas and Etela Magusin who was born in Canada. The Magusin family came to Canada from Slovakia to live a pioneering life in Farmington. Betty grew up in a large family with six siblings: Joseph (Julie), Thomas, Teresa (Art), Peter (Margaret), Etela (Bill), and Annie.
In 1959 Betty married Charlie Finkle during a double wedding with her sister Etela and Bill Strasky. Miraculously, they had their first children on the same day the following year. Betty and Charlie would go on to have seven children: Catherine (Kevin Gilbertson), Rosemary (Frazer McKenzie), Mike (Pat), Pauline (Marlin Weninger), Mark, Carol (Ed Pardell), and Josette (Kevin Genest). Betty had 15 grandchildren: Karyl (Jenna), Shauna (Brent Wizinsky), Robyn (Chad MacDonald), Jaclyn (Adrian), Kieran (Jenny), Heath (Marianita), Ryan, Charles (Keona), Sydney (Kale), Kyle (Krysia), Gillian, Shea, Michelle, Sara, and Wyatt. She also had 5 great grandchildren: Jack and Charlie, Elizabeth, Christopher, and Thomas. She had 16 nieces and nephews, all of whom were important to her, along with her cousin, John’s children. Donna Lyste, family friend and lifelong neighbour, was also considered part of the family.
Betty grew up on a homestead speaking Slovak and when she went to school she was held back a year due to insufficient English. However, Betty was a voracious learner and developed a lifelong passion for English, later completing two grades at once to return to her age appropriate grade. Learning in a one-room school gave Betty the opportunity to assist younger students with their studies once she had finished her own, an early indication of her vocation for teaching. Pursuing higher education, Betty attended Notre Dame Boarding School in Dawson Creek. She continued her education, attending Vancouver Normal School, UBC, and UVic to become a fully qualified teacher. She began teaching in the one-room school at Sunrise Valley and finished her full-time teaching career at Notre Dame School. When Betty had children, she made the decision to focus on her family as a full-time mother, returning to teaching as a substitute after Josette became a toddler.
Betty was an active member of the CWL (Catholic Women’s League) most of her life. In her sixties, she became dedicated to exercising every day either at the gym or outdoors, doing so until the pandemic. She loved to write and journaled every day, a practice she started as a young adult. She completed multiple family histories as well as a novel and several books of poetry. She played cards and enjoyed many years of bridge with family and later friends at the seniors’ hall. Scrabble was another game she loved to play regularly, particularly with certain family members. Betty planted a garden every year and tended to a small jungle of house plants; she got a lot of enjoyment from her flowers. Betty also loved going to ‘the farm’ which she and Charlie had bought from her parents. Family often gathered around the fire pit for wiener roasts and talk.
Betty was able to live the life she loved which was all about family and she took up the matriarchal role from her mother. Betty provided love and support to all her family, who always knew they were welcome at her home; this love and support was also extended to the larger clan of her brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews. As well as keeping up with her large immediate family, Betty also communicated with her big extended family, including her cousins abroad and Charlie’s family out east.
Inspired by unwavering faith, which she considered a gift she had been given by God, Betty’s actions set an example for her family to aspire to. Her large family relied on her regularly to provide prayer, guidance, connection, and information. In her final days she was cared for by her sister, children, and grandchildren, in the house she and Charlie built. She will be dearly missed.
Betty was pre-deceased by her husband Charlie (1994), her daughter Catherine (2016), her parents, Etela and Tom, her siblings, Joseph, Thomas, Teresa and her husband Art, and Etela and her husband Bill.
Due to COVID restrictions, a private family funeral service will be held on Friday, June 11, 2021 at 11am with a livestream from the Reynars website for those not able to attend. To view the livestream, go to Betty’s memorial page on Reynars.com and the video will be below the obituary. For friends so wishing, donations may be made in memory of Betty to the Dawson Creek Senior Citizen’s Hall, 1101 McKellar Ave, Dawson Creek, BC, V1G 2S2.
Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium