Obituary of Beverley Jeannette Mathieson
Beverley Mathieson did not suffer fools. Possessed of a fine mind and many talents, she was born and grew up in Dartmouth Nova Scotia. Beverley was the only child of Susan Victoria Gay, her ambitious mother, and was the apple of her father's eye (Dr. Leo Baxter). Beverley skipped two years in school, passed Grade 8 violin by 14 years old and grade 10 piano by 16 years old, completing her ARCT in piano performance in her late 60s. She was an All Round Cord Girl Guide, rode horses, canoed, knitted, was always at the top of her class, and had many friends whom she kept all her life. Beverley completed degrees from Dalhousie in biochemistry (1952) and education (1965). In 1955, she married Ralph Duncan Mathieson, a mining engineer from St John's Newfoundland whom she had met at Dal. They had four children in five years: Tanya, Kim, Duncan and Jamie. All of her children were born while living in Schefferville, Quebec and Labrador City, Newfoundland while Ralph (Matty) was opening iron mines. Lake Beverley is still the water supply lake to Labrador City and Lake Tanya is the main recreational lake for the town. Beverley was a baby-whisperer and loved the chaos of her active family although she was admittedly less fond of teenagers. Beverley and Matty also lived in Corner Brook, Dartmouth, Edmonton, and Mississauga while their children grew. In 2002, they retired to Campbellford and then Port Hope and Pickering, where they thrived. Beverley made five CDs of piano music, played in any music competition she could find, and took up harp. They travelled widely for a few years before Ralph was diagnosed with Parkinson's. He died on February 10, 2018.
They were married for over 60 years and were a model for their children – who in turn found their own true loves, David Lonsdale, Paul Bradley, Susan Pychyl, and Michele Schneider. Beverley and Matty were Grammy and Papa to nine grandchildren: Michael Lonsdale (Katie Golding); Charlotte and Georgia Bradley; Ian (Julia Winters), Andrea, Victoria (Andrew MacIsaac) and Emily Mathieson; Jessie and Maggie (Carter Kinsey) Mathieson. William and Callie Lonsdale and Elise, Maddie and Duncan Finley Mathieson are Ralph and Beverley's much-cherished great-grandchildren.
Stories of Beverley abound: her piano arriving on a float plane and being rafted across the water at the Labrador City landing strip; taking her pre-teenage sons and their friends on a cycling trip through the Netherlands; camping with four children, a dog and a cat, and not Ralph, while moving from Edmonton to Mississauga so her children could see the prairies; the heated political battles at Sunday dinners. Beverley stopped supply teaching and returned to full-time work when her children were older; she got the silver medal for all of Canada on the Institute of Canadian Bankers exam, leaving her bosses in her dust! Coming late to a career, she never found the work that captured her intellectual energy but her children and many of their friends recall helpful and blunt career advice from Beverley that influenced their career paths.
Beverley was an individual - well read, easily bored, opinionated and fearsomely brave. Beverley was casual about things that she felt didn't matter – "life is long". She will be missed by all who were privileged to know her including all her family, Bernice Mathieson, now the matriarch of the Mathieson clan, nieces and nephews in Ontario and Newfoundland, and many friends across the country, in particular Jean Mitchell in Calgary and Joan Tanner in Halifax.
The family would like to thank the caregivers from Westney Gardens, and The Lighthouse Retreat in Ajax, particularly Kinza Chaudhry. Cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life for Beverley will be held this spring. Donations in memory of Ralph and Beverley can be made to Westben Centre for Connection & Creativity through Music in Campbellford, Ontario, a place they both loved. Beverley celebrated her 90th birthday there last August.
Rest in Peace Beverley.