Elizabeth (Betty) Jeanne Davenport was born January 21, 1946 to Jean and Bill Davenport. She was raised in the Willowdale area of Toronto with her two brothers: Don and Michael. When her younger brother Michael was born, Betty took care of him due to their mother’s illness and this created a very independent, nurturing streak in her.
These are the basic facts. I can’t begin to do her justice with the rest because she was one of the most, unique and colourful people I have ever known. In a time when women didn’t have as many choices as they do now, she didn’t let it slow her down. She became a nurse because she wanted to travel. Her plan was to work in England and explore Europe but she met Bill Mumford at his Fairbanks camp and everything changed. In her words “they fell wildly in love”. They married and she had three children: Jeff, Sharon, and Greg and settled into Lively, ON putting her dreams on hold. She worked as a nurse at Pioneer Manor for most of her career and loved it. They loved her too. She would often come home with candy and chocolate the residents gave her.
She wasn’t a winter person or an outdoor person or an inside person. You wouldn’t catch her fishing or skiing, swimming, knitting or baking but you could find her somewhere with a book, a cigarette, and a glass of wine or a cup of tea. You could sit and chat, unless the book was extra good and then you had to move on.
She was a free thinker and very intelligent but the best part of her was that she didn’t care about the fluff. She wasn’t concerned with status or stuff. A minimalist before it was cool. If you gave her a Body Shop soap set or candles for the bathroom, there was a good chance it was in the bin before spring. That included her kid’s presents as well. You never wanted to get too attached to anything.
She didn’t care what people thought of her and cared even less about filtering her thoughts. If you knew her, she has probably offended you at some point. We are sorry for that but I can’t say she was. When she loved you, she loved you with all her soul but she would also tell you exactly what was on her mind. She was fiercely protective of her family and made it clear the only one who could attack or put the down was herself.
She lived a wonderful life and did it her way until the end. We will miss you mom. You always were in our corner and there was never a moment we doubted it.
Betty made it very clear throughout her life that she did not want a memorial or Celebration of Life. Everyone who knows her well, knows this. So maybe instead we will gather with a glass of wine from a box and toast her for a job well done.