Dr. Clarabeth McIntoshDr. Clarabeth “Beth” McIntosh
(née Mahaffey)
January 16, 1936 – August 25, 2022

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self composure. (Galatians 5: 22-23)

Surrounded by family and much love, Beth passed away peacefully after suffering a debilitating stroke in late June.

Beth is predeceased by her parents, James and Clara Mahaffey, her brother James, and husband John (Jack) Henderson McIntosh, her high school sweetheart and the love of her life. August 22nd would have been their 63rd wedding anniversary. Beth is survived by her children David, Janette, Mira, Gwyneth, their life partners, and six grandchildren.

Dr. Clarabeth McIntoshBorn and raised in Guelph, Ontario, Beth was an enthusiastic student and community contributor, and graduated with honours, first from Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute, then Queen’s University. She started her career as an English teacher in Toronto, then taught English as a Second Language when she moved to Japan in a wide variety of circles.

Beth was a devoted partner in parenting and mission with Jack for forty years, working with The Presbyterian Church in Canada and the Korean Christian Church in Japan. Together, they lived and served among Korean and Japanese friends, raised their four children and supported many community initiatives. Beth was lovingly called “Samonim” (honourable pastor-mother) among her Korean church family and delighted in building bridges between people.

“Life is an adventure in learning,” she liked to say. After the unexpected loss of Jack in 2001, Beth embraced a new role as “Grandma Beth” at UBC’s St. Andrew’s Hall residence, and as an active member of West Point Grey Presbyterian Church. While contributing to these communities as a welcoming host, English teacher and elder, she never missed the opportunity to spend time with family. Beth’s love of adventure and desire to serve remained strong, and led her on short mission projects in Hokkaido, North Korea and China, where she made new friends and shared her trademark optimism. More recently, she traveled to Malawi, the Holy Land and Japan. She was eagerly awaiting her next opportunity for a home-going to Japan, to reunite with many loved ones there.

Dr. Clarabeth McIntoshThe family would like to thank the staff and residents at Cavell Gardens, Beth’s home for the past 5 years, and the caregivers at Vancouver General Hospital for their continued dedication despite the challenges posed through COVID. We shall also be eternally grateful to friends who sustained Beth through her time at VGH with visits, prayers, cards and video messages.
Beth taught us to “Live with love” and was grateful to the end. In remembering her, let us also live with love, generously, with humility and gratitude.

Friends and family are invited to attend the memorial service in Vancouver at Fairview Presbyterian Church, 2725 Fir St. (at 11th Ave.) on Sat. Oct 29th at 3:30p.m. (For online access info, go to Home | fairview (fairviewchurch.ca) in October). In lieu of flowers, donations to The Presbyterian Church in Canada: Gifts of Change or First Steps Health Society would be appreciated. Beth was also a long-time supporter of Amnesty International, so those interested might consider contributing to AI’s letter-writing campaign to free political prisoners.