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Date of Passing: Mar 04, 2022

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March 4, 1936 - March 4, 2022

Bill Betz passed away at the age of 86 years in hospital with his family by his side, actually and virtually.
He is survived by his wife Isabel (neé Barker), his daughter Michele (Thomas) Lepp, and his sons, Mark (Katy Gardner), Vaughn (Corinne Wolfe-Betz), Patrick (Karen), and Grant (Tracy). He also leaves his beloved grandchildren, Erin (fiancé Stephen Radford), Heather, and Christian (Lepp); Tierney, Teighyn, Brodie, Avery, and Tye (Betz); Victoria, Katherine, and Emily (Wolfe-Betz); and numerous nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by some dear friends: Glen Gurney, Moe Zastre, Mervin Sumner, and David Frye.
Bill was born in Runnymede, SK to parents, Frank and Magdalena (neé Wirl), the sixth of seven children, all by whom he is predeceased: Wilfred, Gene (Hopkin), Reginald ("Reg"), Grace (Murchison), Clarence, and Marianne (Ryan). His was a childhood and adolescence of hardscrabble family farm work alongside school and church. After a brief hiatus from his secondary studies, Bill returned to complete his high school diploma in Neepawa, MB, and was indebted to the Sumner family there for their generosity and support - the Betz family has enjoyed enduring relations with the Sumners ever since.
Upon completion of his certificate at Manitoba Teachers' College, Bill initially taught at schools in rural Manitoba before moving to Winnipeg to join staff at Linwood School in St. James, where he remained resident for the entirety of his working life. It was at Linwood that Bill and Isabel, also a teacher, met and courted; they married in 1961 at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Winnipeg, where they remained parishioners for the next 60 years, and where until recently Bill steadfastly participated in the running of the weekly bingo nights.
A devout and principled man, Bill's greatest happiness involved time spent in work and at play with his family. Two ventures undertaken in his late 30s and early 40s had transforming and lasting effects on them all. After some early family summers spent camping, Bill and Isabel bought a small cottage on Granite Lake, ON, in 1974. Bill and his close friend Davy Frye learned basic construction and electrical skills to build additions onto their two adjoining cottages; the summers (and some Christmases) their families have had at Granite Lake ever since have been joyous in ways difficult to overstate. In 1978 Bill purchased a half section of farmland near Beausejour, MB, and for the next 20 years grew crops there with the help of his (not always entirely keen) wife and children. Bill's enthusiasm for farming was abiding, and the family is thankful to George Murash for the initial sale of his land and ready counsel, and latterly for his taking over of its husbandry.
Bill graduated with a B.Ed. from the University of Manitoba in 1968. His 35 year career as an educator was spent almost entirely in St. James Assiniboia School Division No. 2, first as a teacher, then Vice-Principal and then Principal at several schools, including Woodhaven, Assiniboine, Stevenson-Britannia, Strathmillan, and Buchanan. Upon retirement Bill continued with lifelong sporting pursuits (curling, fishing, golf), and with characteristic vigour took up further work at a gas station and with a newspaper route, which he retained into his 70s. Other endeavours beckoned: a modest second residence in Donna, Texas, which he and Isabel bought in 1995 and made their own, spending a decade of wonderful winters snowbirding there; developing and honing his woodworking proficiency to make furniture and all sorts for his family; and the purchase of acreage and the building of a beautiful home in Headingley, MB, in 2006, where he and Isabel were blessed with 15 happy years living close to children, in-laws, and grandchildren.
Bill's was a life filled with devotion to God, duty to community, pleasure in industry, and love of family and friends. He will be remembered and missed by all those he knew and touched during his life.
Cremation has taken place. Prayer services will be held at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church on Monday, March 14, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. A Celebration of Life and Funeral Mass will be held also at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church on Friday, April 22, 2022, at 11:30 a.m.
A special thank you to all of the amazing MICU staff at the Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, for the care, compassion, and kindness they gave to Bill and his family in his final weeks. We are grateful for everything you have done.
In lieu of flowers, please consider honouring Bill's memory with a donation to Siloam Mission, Winnipeg, or the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba.

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As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Mar 12, 2022

Condolences & Memories (22 entries)

  • My deepest sympathy to Isabel and family on the passing of Bill. I taught grades 4 and 6 at Linwood School between 1959 and 1963. Both of you worked there during that period, although not at the same time as they usually separated husbands and wives. Bill was a quiet person and I remember you, Isabel, for your musical talents. Laura (Hills) Falloon - Posted by: Laura (Hills) Falloon (fellow teacher) on: Jun 02, 2022

  • I was a student of Mr Betz at Deer Lodge in grade 7 and 9. I really liked him, and always thought he was a terrific teacher. - Posted by: Jim Bauman (Student) on: May 23, 2022

  • Dear Isabel and family, our sincere sympathy at Bill's passing. - Posted by: Myrtle Hutlet and family (Friends) on: Mar 20, 2022

  • My condolences to your family. Mr.Betz was my Grade 9 teacher at Deer Lodge Junior High. He was a great teacher that made you want to do well. A very quiet, and dignified man. He and Isabel were also neighbours on Amherst street of my friend Bonnie Buchanan. Her Dad at that time was the janitor at the school. I have seen your Dad and Mom over the years at the Headingley play and other areas. Such a great couple. May the love and support of your family and friends comfort you. Grateful to have had such a great teacher. Cheryl Telford. (Thomson) - Posted by: Cheryl Telford (Thomson) (Past student) on: Mar 16, 2022

  • We met Bill and Isobelle at Granite Lake when we owned a small cottage there. Bill was a very kind and gentle man. Our condolonces to the family. - Posted by: Ted and Gracia Tworek (Old neighbour) on: Mar 15, 2022

  • I was saddened to see the passing of Mr.Betz, my grade 6 Phys.Ed. Teacher. Miss Barker was my home room teacher & did his music classes. Wonderful memories with such nice teachers. Sending sympathy to you all at this time. Will keep you all in my prayers. Jennifer - Posted by: Jennifer (Lauder) Lawson (Student) on: Mar 15, 2022

  • I first met Will at Neepawa High school where he was one of the few students to own a car . [Model A Ford] He and I taught at neighbouring schools near Deloraine and spent almost all weekends together either driving home to Neepawa or enjoying varied social life near Deloraine and Waskada. We both moved to Winnipeg, roomed together at Summer School and continued our friendship. He was a pleasant, generous person and a faithful friend. My condolences, Isabel Arnold - Posted by: Arnold Suski (Long time friend) on: Mar 15, 2022

  • We were Bill and Isabel’s neighbours in Headingley for 15 years. Bill was a man of few words but always kind and helpful. He was always active in the yard and walked daily to the mailboxes. I remember how he re-shingled the cottage roof at 78, much to Isabel’s dismay. They loved to sit outside enjoying each other’s company and their beautiful surroundings. Our sympathies to Isabel and family during this difficult time. - Posted by: Lorna and Walter Meyer (Neighbours ) on: Mar 14, 2022

  • So sad to hear of Bill’s passing. Remembering your family back in the years when our kids were young on Keating and Mark and Andrew were friends. Many good memories. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. - Posted by: Pat Fraser (Former neighbour on Keating) on: Mar 13, 2022

  • Our thoughts are with you, Isabel and with your wonderful family. As my teacher and later in life a colleague, I have the greatest respect for Bill. Our world is a better place because he was a part of it. The wonderful memories you have made together and as a family and your strong faith will surely help ease some lonely moments ahead. - Posted by: Lorne Lisik (Friend, colleague ) on: Mar 13, 2022

  • Sending love, hugs and prayers to you all. Love Judy, Jeff and family - Posted by: Judy Lodeweyckx (Niece ) on: Mar 13, 2022

  • I'm a past student from Woodhaven school and we all remember Mr. Betz as being such a kind man. My mother was able to work with him I believe at both Woodhaven and Buchanan school. She too spoke very highly of him. My prayers for the family for peace at this time. - Posted by: Jennifer Gibb (friend) on: Mar 12, 2022

  • Condolences to all of Bill's family. He was such a fine guy who was a positive influence on all who had the good fortune to know him. - Posted by: Gary Hamilton (Colleague ) on: Mar 12, 2022

  • Condolences to Bill's Family and fellow teachers. My daughter spoke of him as a wonderful teacher. God Bless - Posted by: Darlene Szustygesto (My Daughters teacher ) on: Mar 12, 2022

  • Bill (always “Mr. Betz” to us kids) was a warm and friendly man who cared deeply about the students in his schools. As a principal, he kept food in his office for kids he knew did not have enough to eat at home. Condolences to the Betz family. - Posted by: Joseph Zebrowski (Friend of Family) on: Mar 12, 2022

  • Very sorry to hear about Bill’s passing. He was a great boss, mentor and friend that I was very fortunate to have had. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the the Betz family during this difficult time. - Posted by: Tony Szarkiewicz (Friend) on: Mar 12, 2022

  • My condolences. - Posted by: Elizabeth Harman (Acquaintance) on: Mar 12, 2022

  • I enjoyed talking "farming" with Bill, among other things when we were at Stevenson together. Bill was a kind and gracious person. I valued his friendship. I was fortunate to later teach with Patrick at Brooklands/Krauchuck. My sympathies lie with all his family and friends. I know you will miss him, until we see him again. - Posted by: Bill Fisher (Colleague) on: Mar 12, 2022

  • My condolences to you Isabel & family. For the short time that I knew Bill, I found him to be such a kind & caring man. Not sure if you remember me but I was one of your bingo table partners & also was the sewer of Bill's pants (you fed him too well Isabel)! You both are such wonderful people. Prayers go out to you. - Posted by: Lynda Buchanan (Bingo playing friend) on: Mar 12, 2022

  • My condolences to your family on the loss of Mr. Betz. What a wonderful caring gentleman he was. I have a lot of good memories living next door to your family on Keating and enjoyed babysitting the kids for many years. Your family was always very kind to me and after I had moved and my mom was at the Courts of St. James, Mr. Betz delivered her paper to her. I’m sure he will be missed by so many and I will always remember him fondly. - Posted by: Dawn Mooney (Turner) (Neighbor and babysitter) on: Mar 12, 2022

  • Deepest condolences to the Betz family. Your father's commitment to society was evident in his many contributions to the community. Truly a life well lived! - Posted by: Cathie Cleveland (Former Keating neighbour, parishioner at St.Paul the Apostle, childhood friend of Michelle, student ) on: Mar 12, 2022

  • Sending love, light and my Deepest Sympathy. So very sorry to hear about Mr. Betz. My heart is heavy for all who knew him. I often think of my wonderful childhood Lake memories at Granite. He was a very Sweet and Gentle man. May each day bring you closer to peace. Sharing in your sorrow. - Posted by: Barb Turczak (nee Smith) (Neighbor at Granite Lake) on: Mar 12, 2022

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