It is with deep sadness and much love that the family of Bess Durham announce her peaceful passing at Chartwell Tiffin Residence in Midland on Thursday, May 13th with her daughter Cathy by her side loving her as she passed into the hands of the Lord. Bess was a loving mother to Susan (Terry Gibbons), Nancy (Bill Newton Smith) and Cathy (Glenn Shoebridge), predeceased by her son Jerry Durham. Bess will be greatly missed by her grandchildren Shawn and Nicola of New Zealand, Jessica in Australia, Sarah in Carleton Place, Jennifer in Penetanguishene and Rebecca of Deep River. Bess will also be missed by her two step-grandchildren Ron (Amber) of St Catharines and Kim of Mississauga. Bess will also be missed by her great grandchildren Amber, Joel and Riley in New Zealand, Natalie in Nova Scotia and Lucas, Nicole, Cotter, Arianna, Liam and Colton in Ontario. Bess was also predeceased by her former husband the Honourable Warren L. Durham. In Bess’s early life she was an avid Tap Dancer and would perform on stage in Toronto for the public and the RCAF. In her 50’s Bess attended York University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and then went on to Ryerson University and excelled in Nutrition where she began her life love of fresh carrot and other juices which would attribute to her strong health through the rest of her life. Bess also travelled to Paris France where she went to Sorbonne University to learn to speak, read and write French fluently. Bess returned to live in Toronto and with her knowledge of the French language and she had a long career alongside the great and much loved Reverend John Rye at Anglican Church House in Toronto where she worked on the African desk communicating in French and translating letters from Africa. After Bess’s retirement from Church House she would travel many, many times to London and Wales to visit her daughter Nancy and from that base would travel all over Europe in her running shoes visiting the sites, museums, art galleries, beautiful shops and cafes. Bess loved to shop and had an appreciation for beautiful things. She spent the most of her time there enjoying the beautiful heavenly views from Nancy and Bill’s land overlooking their most picturesque valley. Bess was a force of nature, full of energy, unstoppable and unforgettable. Bess had a great sense of humour and loved to laugh. Also loved to try different beers from all over the world landing on Heineken and Stella as her favourites. Mom knitted many, many scarves that she donated to the church and other organizations for the homeless. We would like to thank the staff of Chartwell Tiffen for their care and attention to Mom in this sad time. A cremation has taken place and a celebration of Bess’s life will take place at a later date. Memorial donations to a local homeless shelter or food bank are greatly appreciated.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elizabeth "Bess" Mary Durham, please visit our floral store.