'A good Christian woman'
Betty Stewart was a true Northerner, say friends

Jeff Colbourne
Northern News Services

NNSL (Jul 10/98) - She exemplifies what the North is all about.

Betty Stewart, who passed away at Stanton Regional Hospital July 2, is being remembered fondly by her close Yellowknife friends as friendly, compassionate and sincere.

"I met her when we first moved on to Matonabee Street. That was back in 1967, I guess. We were neighbors for about 15 years and she was one of the best neighbors I think anybody could ever have," said Yellowknife's Mary Parsons.

"She got along with people of all ages. Young people and older people too. She was just an all-round very good Christian woman."

Stewart, born in Minnedosa, Man., moved to the NWT in 1942 to serve as supervisor of the Anglican residential school in Aklavik. There she met the man who became her husband, RCMP officer Scotty Stewart.

Stewart and her husband moved to Ontario in 1950 and adopted their children, Donna and James.

From there they moved to Fort Simpson, Inuvik and, in 1963, Yellowknife, where they spent the next 20 years. While in Yellowknife, she got involved in a number of organizations, including the Anglican Church women's group and the hospital ladies auxiliary.

In 1983, Stewart was given the Commissioner's Award for her devotion to Northern people and her kind care of pupils at the All Saints school in Aklavik. She then moved to Kelowna with her husband, but following his death in 1987 she returned to Yellowknife.

Longtime Yellowknifer Barb Bromley remembers Stewart when she first moved to town in the 1960s.

"I first met her through the church and knew her for 20 years. In Yellowknife she was just a great Northern person and always welcomed newcomers when they came to Yellowknife," said Bromley.

Stewart was a dedicated volunteer and instrumental in keeping the Anglican church choir going, either singing in it or playing the organ.

She also worked at Akaitcho Hall when it was a hostel, making out-of-town aboriginal students feel at home.

"She was really a true Christian person and devoted her life really to her family and the people of the North," said Bromley.

Memorial services were held for Stewart on Tuesday. Her body has been cremated and the ashes are being buried with her husband's in B.C.

Stewart is survived by her son Jimmy, daughter Donna Zubic,husband Uzier and grandchildren Hajra, Hajro and Safet. She was 83.