Beryl Garrett (Sansome)
Obituary – Beryl Sylvia Garrett (Sansome)
With sadness, we announce the death of Beryl Sylvia Garrett, 94, on June 13, 2017 at Lanark Lodge in Perth, ON.
Beryl was born on November 7, 1922 in Toronto, ON to Arthur and Nancy Sansome, who immigrated to Canada from England in 1920. Her younger sister Joanne was born in 1924. The lived slodely with several of Nancy’s brothers and sisters who had immigrated earlier.
In late 1936 Beryl and Joanne sailed with their Mum on the Manchester Citizen to England for an extended visit. Being a small ship, she got to know the crew, and the captain let her help him with the accounts (where she had to learn about arithmetic in pounds, shillings and pence). When they arrived in England they stayed with relatives and were enrolled in the local schools. Beryl was a bit bored, and instead of going to school each day, she got a job doing the accounts at a local garment factory. When they returned, her father had secured a job at the Printing Bureau in Ottawa (he was trained as a printer in England) and they moved to Ottawa where she graduated from Nepean High School.
After high school, Beryl got a job at Orme’s Department Store in the Accounting Department. At that time, there was a push to educate new teachers so she applied to Ottawa Normal School (Teacher’s College) and graduated in 1942. Her first job was at Sharbot Lake Public School in 1943, where she taught until after the War. She shared an apartment over what is now the Pharmacy with another teacher.
In 1943, she met Virgil Garrett at a dance. They married in July 1947. After the War, she taught in Northbrook and Perth then came back to Sharbot Lake. In 1951 their first child, Anne was born followed by a second daughter, Jane in 1954. As was the practice then, she stayed home to raise the kids, but went back to teaching part time as a supply teacher and then full time when Anne and Jane were older.
While Beryl was teaching, she took part time and correspondence courses at Queen’s University and was a proud graduate in 1978, with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She set up a scholarship at Queen’s for women studying Mathematics. While teaching, Beryl also completed two advanced teaching certificates, one in Primary Education and a later one in Special Education.
Reading and learning were lifelong passions. Beryl loved to figure out what motivated kids to read. To that end, she used car magazines, comics to get kids interested in learning to read. She always loved math – taught her kids algebra at the cottage using charcoal on the rocks. Before there was a Library in Sharbot Lake, she belonged to the Book of the Month club so there were always books around the house.
Over the years, Beryl was involved in numerous community activities, including the United Church and the UCW, and the Eastern Star. She taught Sunday School, and help found the local Explorers, and CGIT. After retirement, she ran a local Red Cross Fun & Fitness program for Seniors and was an active Member of the 39ers local Senior’s organization.
Beryl’s family were quite musical. One of the jobs her Dad took after immigrating to Canada, was as a pianist for the silent movies. The family used to have musical evenings at their apartment. Beryl was a proficient piano player and took lessons at the Hamburg Conservatory in Toronto when she was a youngster. She competed one year at the Canadian National Exhibition where she came second. She gave piano lessons to many local kids and continued to play the piano up until 3 or 4 years ago. She often played the church organ.
Beryl loved playing bridge, but never quite learned how to play the local favorite Euchre – she found it a fast game and was well known in the family for continually asking “what’s trump?”
Beryl’s aunts all worked in England in the garment business, so they were all excellent seamstresses and milliners. With that heritage, Beryl was also an excellent seamstress and sewed most of Anne and Jane’s clothing when they were children. She also made wonderful Halloween costumes for the kids as well as tap dance outfits for Jane.
She always said she wasn’t a great cook, but a decent short order cook and with a good-sized garden, fed the family well. She was known for throwing great birthday parties with confetti angel food cake being a specialty.
Beryl is survived by her daughters Anne Garrett (Peter Jarvis) and Jane McFarlane (Ian), her grandchildren Duncan McFarlane (Cecilia Livingston), Heather McFarlane and Stuart McFarlane, her sister Joanne Petersen (Tom Matthews), nephews and nieces Marion Clark, Peter Garrett, David Peterson and Lorraine Jaffray.
Visitation will be Friday June 23rd at 11am at Goodfellow’s Funeral Home in Parham, ON followed by a Funeral Service at 12pm, Rev. Jean Brown officiating. Beryl will be buried at Zealand Cemetery. Donations to Sharbot Lake United Church or a charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family.