V. Elizabeth (Bette) Watt
Peacefully in her 85th year on the 2nd day of November 2022, at The Pines in Bracebridge, Ontario.
Beloved wife of the late Thomas (Tom) Watt, Bette was the cherished mother of two daughters, Holly (David Britton) and Heidi (Craig Longden) and much-loved grandmother to Emily, Julia and Cate Lamb.
A sister-in-law to Ross and Betty Watt, she was predeceased by in-laws Jay Watt (Ruth) and Jack Watt (Brenda).
Bette Watt was born in Bracebridge on June 5th, 1938, the only child of the late G. Leslie Black and Florence J. (McEown) Black and granddaughter of early Muskoka settlers. Educated at Bracebridge, Bette completed her Commercial Diploma upon graduation and worked at the Lake Drive Dairy and the Bracebridge Town Hall.
In 1964, Bette accepted a ride to work from a good-looking police officer from Port Carling, reported to be driving a very nice blue convertible. Married the following year, and after a one year posting in Stayner, Ontario, Tom and Bette returned to Bracebridge to raise their family. While enjoying their annual holiday treks, often to Wasaga Beach, there seemed to be no place like home for them both.
After her marriage, Bette did bookwork for the family business, and later began a small business with her husband managing lottery tickets through local drugstores. When widowed at a young age, through hard work into the wee hours of the morning, she grew this business to support her family.
An avid gardener, Mrs. Watt could be seen gardening on her corner for some 60 years. She took great pleasure in the outdoors, whether on the verandah of her home, or on a picnic in a local park. She never ceased to enjoy the beauty of Muskoka’s rivers, lakes and woods. There was much laughter, many boat rides and great support from dear friends, in particular the late Gordon and Patricia Nudd.
She loved children, took great satisfaction from her cat companions over the years, her beloved dog Merry, and truly enjoyed a scenic drive especially when accompanied by an ice cream cone.
Most of all, she derived great delight in people. She had an amazing capacity to recall the interconnections of not only family, but it often seemed, of half the town. Her door was always open and the coffee always on. There was no hour too late, no problem too small. A wonderful listener, she made her home a place where all were welcome. Through her children’s teenage years, her house was always full – and she supported many through their tumultuous years with her patience and kindness; always a sandwich at the ready, tailored precisely to your specifications.
Bette took great satisfaction from helping others, and really did practice her “good deed for the day”, (even for wayward teenagers needing a ride at 1:00 am). Although she volunteered for the Canadian Cancer Society, Meals on Wheels, the Presbyterian Ladies Auxiliary and enjoyed filling out exhibit tags at the Bracebridge Fall Fair on occasion (a testament to her lovely penmanship), she was most at home with private acts of kindness. A quiet and reserved person, she most often showed her caring through doing; each granddaughter had their favourite lunch and every delicious picnic had crinkle-cut carrots. Her granddaughters were truly the apples of her eye.
The family will receive friends at Reynolds Funeral Home on Wednesday November 9th from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. A Funeral Service will be held on Thursday November 10th at 10:30 am also at Reynolds Funeral Home, Bracebridge, followed by interment at Bracebridge Municipal Cemetery. Honourary pallbearers: Wesley Banks, Rob McKeown, Kyle Richardson, Richard Dawson, Robert Dawson, Glen Dawson and Graeme Boon.
The family would like to extend their sincere thanks to all those who assisted in her care with kindness, at The Pines and at James Street over the last few years. Friends wishing to honour Bette with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Alzheimer’s Society of Muskoka or the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation.