It's with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Thomas Ira Betts of Tantallon on January 29, 2023. Tom battled COPD and related respiratory complications; he passed away following a heart attack in the embrace of his wife, Elsie, with faithful caregiver, Donna, by his side.
Tom was born in Oxford, NS, January 18, 1944, to the late Ira A. Betts and late Caroline (Carter); he was number four of ten boys. He left his hometown of Oxford and pursued a career in banking as an accountant and shortly after became a Bank Manager; a role which he held for several years. Throughout his career, work took Tom to various locations across Nova Scotia. In 1975, Tom and his family moved to Annapolis Valley; during his time there, Tom served as an Officer of the Order of Good Cheer. In 1980, they relocated to Cape Breton Island where he and his family spent several years in North Sydney. Tom was an active member of St Matthew Wesley United Church and served as both the Treasurer for the Church in addition to being part of the Men’s Club. Tom had a successful career, however, his roots and family in Oxford, always remained a priority for him and he enjoyed returning home to visit his parents, siblings, and his grandmother every summer.
In 1992 Tom married his childhood sweetheart, Elsie Allen, and lived in Tantallon, NS, where they owned and operated The Teddy Bear Bed & Breakfast for 15 years, followed by a quilt shop. Tom was very involved with his church, Head of St Margaret’s Bay United Baptist; he served for more than 25 years as both a Deacon and Trustee as well as sat on various committees within the church, that he loved.
Tom was a most generous, observant, kindhearted gentleman, and a wonderful husband, father, and brother; he loved people and conversations and was quick to help and pray for anyone who needed him. Tom and Elsie’s home in Tantallon was always filled with love, laughter, music, and food. Often, he could be found in a quiet spot reading his Bible, playing his guitar or in the garage designing and building a wood working project. Tom had a deep love for music; he was an accomplished self-taught acoustic guitar player, singer, and as well enjoyed playing the piano, harmonica, and the accordion. His love for music was shared throughout his family and his passion, rhythmic and refined technique inspired his children and several siblings, to play musical instruments. During Tom’s retirement years, along with brothers Carl, Ron and their wives, Nancy and Barb, they formed “The Betts Family” group and were often invited to play live gospel music at Churches throughout Pugwash and Oxford.
Tom is survived by his loving wife Elsie, and his children Stephanie (Charles) Wheeler, Alberta, Michael (Marnie), Craig (Valerie), both of Ontario, and Errol, Alberta, stepchildren Michael Haider, Vancouver, and Jeffrey Haider (Cathy), Windsor Junction. Tom has 6 grandchildren, 2 step-grandchildren and a great grandchild. Brothers, Howard (Mary), British Columbia, Ronald (Barbara), Pugwash, NS, Carl (Nancy), British Columbia, Stephen, British Columbia, sister-in-law Darlene, Oxford, NS, Carter, Oxford NS and Joel (Emmie), British Columbia. Tom is also survived by his former wife and mother of his four children, Linda Gabriel. Over the last several years, Tom was surrounded by special caregivers who he loved dearly; Summer, Karen, Wendy2, Donna, Weldon, and Tanya. Tom was predeceased by brothers Roy, Roger and Cyril John as well as sisters in law, Susan, and Kimberly. Cremation has taken place under the care of Eirene Funeral Home, Halifax. Service will be at 2pm on May 27, 2023, and will be held at Head of St Margaret’s Bay United Baptist Church with Reverend Richard Moore officiating. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made either the Head of St Margaret's Bay United Baptist Church or the St Margaret's Bay Food Bank.