On the morning of March 13th, ELIZABETH ANNE EBBERN (nee GUEST), passed away peacefully of natural causes in Invermere, BC. Elizabeth or Liz, as she liked to be called, was 87 years old. She is survived by her five children and their spouses: Stephen (Judy), Jane (Kevin), Laura Donatelli (Terry), Thomas (Linda) and Andrew (Diana) as well as by 8 grandchildren and a first great-grandchild. She is predeceased by her husband of 63.5 years, Keith, her three brothers, Bill, Donald and David, and her sister Margaret.
Liz Guest was born in Winnipeg, the youngest child of Spencer and Grace Guest. Her father was a shoe retailer with a number of stores, and Liz, like her older siblings, got hands-on experience as a teenager working there. Her parents built a cottage at the new resort of Victoria Beach on Lake Winnipeg the year she was born and her first 25 summers were spent there.
Liz was an avid reader and an excellent student; after excelling in the Winnipeg school system, she took a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics at the University of Manitoba, graduating in 1948. She then taught Home Economics at the Olds School of Agriculture for a year before starting work in Winnipeg as a lab assistant, studying cereal grain and wheat bacterial diseases.
As a young adult member of Home Street United Church, she met the dashing
engineering student, Keith Ebbern, around 1946. They did lots of university ski trips together and, by 1950, they were married.
Liz was a good corporate partner for Keith, who worked for Dominion Bridge Company. They were transferred around the country on little notice as he worked his way up the management ladder, ultimately retiring as a Senior Operating Officer based in Calgary. They lived in the Winnipeg area for the first 11 years of married life. Liz then moved with Keith and children to Montreal for 5 years, next to Regina for 2 years, then back to Winnipeg for 5 years, on to Toronto for 2 years, then to Montreal for 1 year, and finally one last family move to Calgary in 1979. Liz managed all of these challenging moves, many of them occurring during the school year. She used to say, “Obstacles are good things. You climb over them.”
Liz devoted 30 years to raising her 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls, who were born between 1952 and 1962. She was also active in the United and Moravian churches and with the women’s philanthropic organization, PEO. At age 53, afraid that her brain was “rusting out”, she got her private pilot’s license — all the better to accompany her airplane-
obsessed husband on long trips in their beloved Cessna.
Keith retired in 1986 and they then traveled extensively. They also took some overseas volunteer corporate work postings in Eastern Europe and Panama. Liz enjoyed exploring new cultures and she volunteered to lead English classes for locals in each place.
Keith and Liz custom built a lovely vacation home in Fairmont Hot Springs in the Columbia Valley in B.C. and they moved there from Calgary permanently in 1989. They loved having great ski slopes and golf courses nearby and continued enjoying both till their early 80’s.
During their Fairmont years, Liz was physically very active and won medals for swimming in many BC Senior Games. She regulirly swam laps every morning for an hour at the Fairmont Pool.
Keith and Liz developed a strong group of Columbia Valley friends, both in Fairmont and Invermere and, when declining health became a challenge, they relocated to Invermere in 2012. During Liz’ last year and a half, she received excellent care from the staff at Ivy House in Columbia Garden Village. This was very much appreciated by her children.
She will be greatly missed by her family and friends. Services are being held at Christ Church Trinity (Windermere Valley Shared Ministry), 110 7th Avenue, Invermere on Saturday, April 4th at 12 noon. Given Liz’ love of reading, please consider a donation to
a library or a literacy organization, in lieu of flowers.