Noel Elizabeth Stephens, known as Bette to her friends and family, died peacefully at home in her 90th year on November 8, 2017 with her husband Dr. James G. Stephens at her side.
Bette was born on December 3, 1927 in Windsor, Ontario and grew up in London, Ontario. She graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a BA in Home Economics in 1949. She was married to Dr. James G. Stephens, also of London, on June 7, 1952. She is survived by her husband James, her children Jim and Susan Stephens of Whitehorse, YT; Susan Stephens of Poughkeepsie, NY; David Stephens and Johanna Mohring of Bridgeport, ON and Robert Stephens of Kitchener, ON; her grandchildren Jamie Stevenson and Mathieu Saujot of Paris, France; Kaitlin Stephens and Chris Ander of Vancouver, B.C.; John and Ingrid Stevenson of Southington, CT, and Ted Stephens and Meghan Young, Burton Stephens, and David Stephens and Maggie Shykula-Ross of Whitehorse, YT. Bette was predeceased by her son Gregory and her sister Geraldine Costain Smith.
Bette was a member of Holy Trinity Anglican Church, the Westmount Golf and Country Club, and a past member of Devil’s Glen Country Club. She was an avid golfer and skier and spent many happy hours with her family and friends engaged in those activities. Bette also loved to play bridge and was one of the last original members of her bridge club that started in Forest Hill in the 1960’s.
Bette volunteered with the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery in its early years and worked tirelessly with her good friends Helen Smith, Jo Hemphill, and others organizing the annual art sale. She also spent many years working in various capacities on the committee for the annual Westmount Ladies Blazer Charity Invitational tournament. Bette always considered herself to have been very fortunate in life and was quick to give her time and attention to many causes; she was particularly interested in supporting the activities of the House of Friendship and Saint Monica House. She also volunteered for many years doing hospice work with AIDS patients, bringing them hot meals and offering comfort and support.
A devoted wife, a loving mother, and a proud grandmother, Bette ran her household with great style and efficiency. The Stephens household was a very active and happy home with five children, various family dogs and cats, and a lot of coming and going. Nevertheless, Bette always ensured that dinner was a formal sit-down affair with room for one or two extra hungry friends at the table. Bette loved to entertain and it was not unusual, especially during the summer months at the family cottage in Red Bay, for her to cook for a crowd.
The last few years were difficult for Bette as her health declined, but she remained content and quick to smile, never complained, and cherished the time spent surrounded by her family and friends. Rhonda Murray, who cared for Bette in the last two years of her life, grew to be one such friend and, along with the staff from CCAC and Lana from Hospice, contributed to making sure that she was comfortable and well cared-for in her final years.
Moms life touched many people. She will be sadly missed.
Cremation has taken place.
A Memorial Service will be held at Church of the Holy Saviour, 33 Allen St., Waterloo on Friday November 24, 2017 at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, her family would appreciate donations to the Grand River Hospital Foundation or the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation and can be arranged by contacting the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home 171 King St. S., Waterloo at www.erbgood.com or 519-745-8445.