On September 12th, 2023 at age 96, Beatrice Grace Burgess left us peacefully to join her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The eldest of Stanley & Grace McDowell’s four children, Beatrice was born in Montreal and lived in the McDowell/Burgess family home in Westmount until age 54 before relocating to Toronto.
At age 28, Beatrice married Norman Burgess, her loving husband of 68 years, and over the ensuing decade they were joined by John (Lori), Ruth (Tom), Marjorie (Don), Stephen (Melanie) and Philip (Mary). Apart from her Christian faith, Beatrice’s top priority was her family. Raising five children was Beatrice’s full-time job. There were day-to-day chores, preparing meals, getting kids off to school, laundry for a family of seven, yet teaching good table manners and proper English grammar were at the top of the priority list. The manners and grammar lessons were trying at the time but years later that knowledge was truly appreciated.
Beatrice looked forward to summer holidays that included an annual camping trip to visit family friends in Northern Ontario, followed by six weeks of Beatrice and the children at the beloved country home in Rockway Valley QC. She loved piling five kids into the car to go swimming, visit friends or go shopping. We have many cherished memories speeding down the country roads with Mom.
When Norman’s career took him to Toronto in 1981, Beatrice was ready for a new adventure. With family grown and leaving the nest, Beatrice’s focus changed to caring for Norman’s aging mother, Grandma Burgess, until her passing in 1999. In recent years enjoying 14 grandchildren has kept Beatrice & Norman busy. Beatrice was never far from her cell phone and ready to view the latest social media post from one of her children or grandchildren and relay the update to Norm.
We have been blessed to have had Beatrice/Mom/Nana with us in sound mind for 96 years and will cherish memories of her forever.
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