It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of our Mother, the matriarch of our family, Beverly Gellatly (nee Middlestead). Beverly left this earth on March 25th 2020 at the age of 86 in Burlington, Ontario. She was predeceased by her husband M. Roy Gellatly. Beverly is survived by three of her four children, Ian, Heather, and Kevin. Duncan passed away in early 1998. She is also survived by five wonderful grandchildren (Kyle, Kaitlyn, Alysha, Talia, and Fiona), and two great-grandchildren.
Beverly was born in Kitchener, Ontario, to Frank and Emma Middlestead. She was a devoted daughter and good student, and graduated as a registered nurse in 1955. Shortly thereafter, Beverly met her future husband of almost 50 years while attending the London Bible Institute in London, Ontario. Starting in the early 1960s until 1967, the family served as missionaries for the Presbyterian Church in Canada – returning to Canada due to a civil war in the country. Once back in Ontario, the family moved to Shakespeare (1967), Willowdale (1970), Mississauga (1973), and Peterborough (1979). In 1995, Roy and Beverly moved to Lethbridge, Alberta. After her husband passed in 2006, Beverly moved to Kingston, Ontario in 2008. Her stay in Kingston was a very happy period with her rich network of friends and neighbors in Walnut Grove. In 2019, Beverly moved to Burlington so that she could be closer to her daughter, Heather.
In her professional life Beverly was a public health nurse. In 1978, Beverly graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She retired from Peterborough Public Heath in the mid-nineties. Retirement was a wonderful time in her life. While in Lethbridge, Alberta, Beverly remained intellectually curious and audited dozens of different courses at the University of Lethbridge. Throughout their lives together, Roy and Beverly were avid travelers. They could be found on the sun-soaked beaches of Cuba or trudging around Europe (especially historical points of interest). Beverly was a ferocious reader across a wide range of topics, and always an enthusiastic contributor at the many book clubs she belonged to. She was keenly interested in science, current events, politics, historical fiction, classical music, dramatic arts, and in the works of progressive theological thinkers.
Our mother had a very strong faith – not in a “religious” sense – but in a true connection with God (and the ultimate mystery as she liked to say). Her faith gave her strength and courage. She taught her family about finding our core strength when life serves up challenges and setbacks. She taught us to love and be kind to each other. She was a woman of impressive intellect and a gifted storyteller. She lived a full and interesting life, and all who knew her can attest to this fact. She will be missed!
Beverly has asked for a private family memorial to be held later in 2020 or when convenient.