Helen Elizabeth “Betty” (Rowcliffe) Tilley
Helen Elizabeth “Betty” (Rowcliffe) Tilley passed away peacefully with her husband Fred by her side, on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 at Seaforth Manor Long Term Care Home in her 93rd year. Theirs was an enduring love story having celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this past September.
Betty is survived by her beloved husband Fred and much loved family: daughter, Helen Southgate (Brian Oldfield) of Seaforth, son, David (Joanne) of London; cherished grandchildren, Kathy Meier (Rick), Angela Douglas (Neil), Andrew Southgate, Matthew Southgate, Shannon Tilley and Derek Tilley; great-grandchildren, Aiden, Liam, Tenley, Jaden, Hailey, Charlotte and Benjamin; and brother-in-law Harry Crocker and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by their daughter, Barbara Ann, in 1980; son-in-law Bill Southgate; her brothers Jack and James (Anna) and parents Oliver and Jean Rowcliffe, in-laws, Alfred and Edna Tilley, sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Ila Jory (Don) and Winn Crocker and nephews Dan Jory and Mark Crocker.
Born Dec, 16, 1930 into a dairy farming family on Highway 4 just south of Hensall, Mom was the youngest with two older brothers. As a youngster and teen, when she wasn’t baking pies and doing chores, in her spare time, she loved playing with her dog, climbing trees, roller skating, basketball and dancing.
Sadly, both her parents died when she was 19. However, by that time, she was working as a telephone operator and had met the love of her life at a dance in Exeter. She and Dad were married in 1952. By 1958, three children had been added to the family and they moved from south of Hensall to Exeter where Dad worked as an auto mechanic.
Mom was an amazing homemaker - her cooking was divine and her house spotless! In 1967, the family moved to Seaforth to embark on a life-changing adventure. They purchased and operated the Canadian Tire store there until they sold it in 1981 and, after a brief break, they purchased the Blyth Mini Mart and operated that until 1993.
Avid lawn bowlers for decades, they made many friends around southwestern Ontario. Both in work and play, they did practically everything together, so naturally, when retirement arrived, they were inseparable, touring around in their car, visiting friends, playing cribbage, dancing, spending time puttering in and around their home in Harpurhey until the fateful day in late 2021 when they were unable to live there unassisted.
By January of 2022, they were settled together in Seaforth Manor and they made the best of their new situation. Mom was witty and charming and was seldom afraid to share her opinion.
This is the lady we knew and loved and we will miss her deeply.
The family wishes to thank the entire staff of Seaforth Long Term Care home for their compassion and loving care of Mom, especially during the past few difficult weeks, and for the extra attention to Dad as he faces this new chapter in his life.
Cremation has taken place. A private family gathering will be held at Northside United Church. Interment will be at Maitlandbank Cemetery, Seaforth. Haskett Funeral Home, Seaforth is entrusted with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, if you wish, memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice, Cystic Fibrosis Canada, One Care Home and Community Support Services - Clinton, or Northside United Church, Seaforth.
Condolences may be forwarded through www.haskettfh.com.