Long-time resident of Creston Valley, Betty Hess (nee Kemp) passed away on March 13, 2020, in St. Albert, Alberta. Betty came to the valley as a child in 1936 with her parents. Her grandparents had been pioneers of the area and the fruit-growing industry, having settled in Erickson in 1910. Her father, Aubrey, continued the family tradition as an orchardist in Erickson until founding the Wayside (now Beltane) Nursery across the highway from the orchard.
In 1946, Betty graduated from high school and married Mannie Hess of Wynndel where they lived, raised their family, and hobby-farmed until retirement in 1996 when they moved to “town”. While Mannie pursued his ambition in the logging and trucking industry, Betty was kept busy growing cherries and asparagus. Once the work was done each summer, Betty would take the kids to the lake for a holiday, renting a cabin at Cummings.
Always active as a volunteer, Betty was involved with the Wynndel Community Club, the Recreation Society, Brownies, Scouts, and Girl Guides while the kids were growing up. Later, she volunteered with the Creston Museum, served as a director for the Regional District Central Kootenay, and worked at the Creston Co-op Packers. Betty was a key member of the Wynndel Heritage Group, collecting stories and publishing “Forest to Fields,” a 100-year history of the Wynndel community and its families. She also enjoyed playing golf with the Creston ladies league. After Mannie passed away, Betty moved to the big city of Edmonton where she enjoyed being with family, making new friends, and experiencing many of the things she had on her “bucket list.” But Creston Valley was always “home.”
Betty is survived and fondly remembered by her four children and their spouses – Laraine and Tim in Delia, Janet and Gerry in Edmonton, Dave and Tara in Fort St. John, and Maxine and Rick in Kamloops; as well as 9 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
A private family Celebration of Life Service will be held this summer at the Creston Museum with a graveside service to follow at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Erickson, BC.
Friends wishing to make a memorial donations, may do so to the Creston and District Historical & Museum Society, 219 Devon Street, Creston, BC V0B 1G3.