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Doris Elizabeth "Betty" Weenk (nee Appel)
March 15, 1923 - December 18, 2016
If it hadn’t been for World War Two, Betty Appel probably would have lived her life in Stratford, Ontario where she grew up. But she met John H. Weenk, a dashing prairie boy from Saskatoon, who along with his two brothers had enlisted in the Air Force when war broke out in 1939.
Betty was the daughter of Lorne “Chick” Appel, a well-known sports journalist and Sarah Kaufmann Appel. Betty was the middle child sandwiched between two older and two younger siblings. Her brothers both fought in World War Two; Bob as a radio gunner and Laurie (short for Lorne) in the Navy. Betty left high school before she graduated to help pay her oldest sister Audrey’s way through Teacher’s College. Betty always envied her youngest sister, Marjorie because Marj was a terrific dancer. Mum was predeceased by her parents and all of her siblings.
Betty was the “appel” of her Dad’s eye because she was an accomplished athlete. She played soft ball for the Kroehler’s Furniture team. Her position was short stop and she has always been proud she never used a glove. Betty was also a dedicated tennis player and an ice skater. In later years Mum was involved in lawn bowling. She also loved to sing in the church choir. Mum always sings the alto parts of any song (and “Oh Canada” always en francais). Bridge was her favourite card game for many years.
Betty and John – she always called him Jack – moved to Saskatoon in 1945. Jack worked for the Saskatoon Transit System first as a driver and then as an Inspector. Betty was an accomplished seamstress working for Eaton’s sewing draperies. In later years, she taught community classes in upholstery and worked at Fix-It Furniture in Saskatoon sewing cushions.
Betty was a fervent supporter of her children’s interests. She was determined her four children would play sports and go to university. John (Cheryl Ann), the eldest was an excellent athlete playing baseball, hockey and football. He played the latter two at the university level. Bob (Judy) also played football and basketball. Both John and Bob achieved their B.Ed degrees and taught Phys. Ed. among other subjects. They have both spent thousands of hours coaching sports. Bill (fiancée Lynne) is the musician in the family, possessing perfect pitch. He also plays a mean guitar. He followed his Dad into the Air Force. Wendy (Ian), the youngest by ten years, became a high school Special Education teacher, and then taught History and English. Drama was her passion. Wendy’s chosen sport was reading. Betty did manage to teach her how to play softball and tennis.
Betty was an excellent and thrifty cook (best gravy in the western world!). Feeding three teenage boys on Jack’s salary was sometimes a difficult task. She also took great pleasure in purchasing remnant material and turning it into beautiful outfits for Wendy.
Jack died in 1994. As a result of a breast cancer diagnosis, Betty had a mastectomy in 2002. There were no further complications. In 2012, Betty’s health took a turn and she experienced the pain of sciatica. This necessitated a move to Swift Current to be close to her daughter. She first resided at Riverview Village Estates. As dementia began to take its toll, Betty moved to Cypress House in September, 2014 where she remained until her death.
Betty’s children, six grandchildren (Jonathan and wife Amanda, Heather, Julie, Heath and wife Sherron, Brian, Billy and wife Amber) and eight great-grandchildren (Leanne, Christine, Hailey, Connor, Liam, Carter, Zack, Grady) take this opportunity to express their gratitude to the many care givers in Saskatoon and in Swift Current who supported her and her family so diligently. Special thanks to Dr. Jenna Cuthbert, Linda Bridal and Cynthia Philip.
At Mum’s request, there will be no funeral or memorial service. Interment will take place at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in the Spring. Memorial donations may be made to the Saskatoon Community Clinic Foundation, 455 2nd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK S7K 2C2.
To share memories and condolences, visit www.parkfuneral.ca “Obituaries-Contribute”. Arrangements entrusted to Kenneth J. Scheirich, Park Funeral Home, 306.244.2103.