Obituary for the late Betty James

James, Elizabeth (Betty) Osmond
Proud Veteran (WRCNS) World War II

Passed away peacefully at Arbour Heights on Sunday April 9, 2023. Our beloved Betty James, age 99, loving wife for almost 60 years to the late Charles C. James. Devoted mother of Susan Creasy (Tim Byrne) and David James (Mike Valentine). Affectionately known as “Granny” to her grandchildren, Rebecca Creasy- Buchner (Aaron Buchner) and Jack Creasy (Amar Powar), Great Granny to Nolan Buchner and Hayden Buchner, much loved aunt to many nieces and nephews.

Predeceased by her parents, Percy Osmond Robertson and Marjorie Robertson, son Michael James, son-in-law David Creasy as well as her identical twin sister Marjorie (Peg) Fosmire, brothers John Robertson and James Robertson, sister-in-law Anne James, brother-in-law George James and his wife Carolyn James and nephew Paul O. Robertson.

Born January 2, 1924 in Kingston, Jamaica, Betty and her identical twin Peg attended Wolmer’s Girls School. After graduating Betty and Peg traveled by ship and train to Sackville, New Brunswick in September 1941 to attend Mount Allison University. At the start of their second year of University, Betty and Peg heard that the Women’s branch of the Navy (WRCNS) had just formed and went at once to the Naval Base in Saint John’s to join the Navy. Betty was called up mid January 1942 for basic training. In February 1943 Betty was drafted to HMCS Bytown in Ottawa for special duty in Naval Intelligence censoring mail, a job that could not be spoken of! In June 1943, Betty was drafted to Cornwallis and a further posting at HMCS Stadacona in Halifax as a censor.

Betty attended University of Toronto after World War II and met Charlie James in Toronto. In 1949 Betty and Charlie were married and raised their three children in Toronto. Betty was the office manager for a Provincial MPP for most of her working career running numerous political campaigns. Betty volunteered with CNIB reading textbooks to tape for university students and supported the needs of an elderly blind woman by doing her shopping, banking and driving her to appointments. Betty was a sport – not afraid to try winter sports such as downhill skiing, skating and cross country skiing, none of which she experienced growing up in the tropics!

In 1989 Betty and Charlie retired to Kingston to be close to family and to our family summer cottage on Knowlton Lake. A dedicated volunteer, Betty was instrumental in the organization and leadership of the Kingston Wrens Association and a volunteer at her church, the CNIB and various political campaigns at all levels of government in the Kingston area.

In respect of Betty’s wishes, cremation has taken place and inurnment will be in Union Cemetery in Cobourg at a later date. A memorial service will be held at James Reid Funeral Home on Friday, June 16, 2023 at 2:00 pm with Rev. Jane Warren officiating. A reception will follow in the reception room, James Reid Funeral Home after the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the CNIB (designated to CNIB Camp Lake Joe) 826 Princess Street, Kingston, Ontario K7L 1G3 in Mrs. Elizabeth James’s memory.

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