The Town of Churchill celebrates a life well lived. On February 17th, Joyce Odelia Urbanovitch, nee Bettcher, passed peacefully, surrounded by love.
Joyce was born in Calgary, Alberta on August 30, 1930 to Mary and Walter Bettcher. They, as well as siblings Lloyd, Kenneth, Shirley, and her grandson Blair have predeceased her. Joyce leaves behind her sister Beverley; children Wayne (Leah), Deborah (Mike), Diane (Pat), Mary, and Garry (Louise); grandchildren Shawn, Bryce, Jesse, Lance, Gunnar, Devin, Landace and Cole; great grandchildren Hayley, Janessa, Oliver, Roman and Avery; many nieces, nephews, and foster children that are still in contact with the family.
Joyce and her husband John moved to Churchill in 1961 with the children and lived the rest of their lives there. John passed away in June, 1997. Throughout the 60’s and early 70’s, Joyce stayed home with the children and took in more than 70 foster children over the years, while sewing and baking, and creating a loving home. When the children were older, she had a home daycare, then became a substitute teacher, while spending countless hours volunteering wherever needed. She sewed and did alterations for others, and always had something in her hands knitting, liquid embroidery, hangers, mending, darning or hand sewing. Joyce was always very involved in the church where she and her friend Marion hand made baby gifts, followed by a 1st and 2nd homemade birthday gift for each and every child born in Churchill. Joyce became known as “the Cookie Lady” in the 80’s, and children of every age in Churchill could come for one cookie a day. On her 80th birthday, the playground beside her house was re-built and dedicated to her calling it “Cookie Lady Park.” Her children and grandchildren were so loved and cherished, but all children were of ultimate importance to her.
In August 2014 Joyce became a resident of long-term care in the health centre in Churchill, with the most caring staff, and amazing view of Hudson Bay. Thanks for all your loving care!
On Tuesday, February 23, our Town celebrated with a send off procession following the hearse passing “Cookie Lady Park”, then out to the airport. Thank you to Roy McPherson for driving the hearse, and pall bearers Erika Ingebrigtson, Koral Hrominchuk, Daric deMeulles, Gerald Azure, Edgar Botelho and Mike Lawson.
A service will take place when conditions allow. Her cremated remains will be interred with her husband John at the cemetery in Churchill.< back to obituary listing