Beverley (Redfield) Cheesmur
Life and Work
"If you have a problem, pull up your socks and get on with solving it." Beverely Cheesmur learned that bit of philosophy from her aunt.
The life of Beverley Cheesmur (nee Redfield) began in Huron, South Dakota on July 18, 1925. It was to be a life that would take her to diverse places. In some, such as London, England, she studied for a few months; in Nigeria, she was a nurse and missionary; in Alberta, she was a minister's wife and a nurse; and on her seven trips to the Middle East she was a tourist, a pilgrim, and often, a tour guide.
Throughout all of these locations and situations, one thing about Bev's role never changed - she was - and still is - a caregiver, always ready to serve. Perhaps even as a young child, reveling in the family get-togethers at her grandparents' Dakota farm, Bev was already learning to play that role. When all the cousins played "Let's Pretend" she always wanted to be the nurse.
In 1934 the family moved to Alberta. While attending Bible School in Didsbury, Bev felt called by God to become a missionary in Africa. She pursued her childhood dream and took nurse's training at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, in Edmonton.
Beverley's next stop was London, England for several months of midwifery training. She happened to walk into a small church pastored by a young bachelor. Something sparked Bev's interest enough for her to begin dating the young preacher, Bob Cheesmur. The two were married on December 5, 1955.
Two daughters, Jill and Liz, were born during the 13 year sojourn in Nigeria and child-rearing in that country brought a whole new set of challenges. The family later relocated to Bergen, Alberta.
The Bergen years were the happiest of the Cheesmurs' lives and they were very pleased to be a part of the building of a new church in Bergen in the 1990s. Bev recalls awakening early one morning just after the ground had been leveled and staked out, "Here was a deer, a doe, just prancing all over the staked-out area, It was just as if she was saying, 'If you build it, I will come,' to quote, Kevin Costner, " Bev laughs.
In 1993 Bob and Bev decided it was time for Bob to retire and time to leave Bergen for Didsbury. Always interested in people, Bev found a new job as Welcome Wagon Representative.
When asked what are the great lessons she has learned throughout her long and varied life, Bev's first answer is that she is still learning. "One point is that there are different ways of looking at things. I think that comes with the maturity of age. You're not quite as dogmatic as you are in your 20s - or 30s - or 40s. But also, the important lesson that has guided my life is put God first and the other things will follow, fit into place, and make sense. If you believe in God, discover His plan for your life and let Him lead you through it."
Memories of Beverley Cheesmur by Mary Wiens
It has been a privilege and a pleasure to be a friend of Bev Cheesmur for over 30 years.
Bev and her husband Bob, ministered the Bergen Missionary Church for 23 years (1970 - 1993). I can hardly talk about one without mentioning the other because they worked as a team. That team became known to many as "Rev" and "Bev." They willingly gave of themselves and their time without thought of thanks or remuneration.
While at the Bergen Church, Bev played the organ or the piano; taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School; worked with the Women's Missionary Society and helped organize the Women's World Day of Prayer. She assisted Bob in his pastoral work, acting as his secretary and partner in visitation. No task was too humble. She loved the church and especially loved to keep it clean.
Bob and Bev not only served the Bergen Church, but also the community. They were active members of the Bergen Community Association and Bev belonged to the Bergen Ladies' Aid. Bev served as pianist for the Sundre Community Choir and participated in the annual Sundre Carol Sing. They encouraged fellowship and good will among the area churches.
Visiting was a large part of their ministry. Their home was always open for a social evening for the young people; a Bible study or a friendly cup of coffee.
In 1971 we moved to Bergen and I was very apprehensive about living on a farm after having always lived in town (Olds). Bev told me that they always had coffee at 10 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon and if I ever felt lonely or needed someone to talk to, I was always welcome at their place.
Bev was, and still is, available to help when someone is in need - whether it was a shoulder to cry on, someone to pray with, an ear to listen, or help with a physical need.
While at Bergen, Bev took a refresher-nursing course and worked part-time, for several years, at the Sundre Hospital. She did homecare nursing during times of terminal illness and was there for the bereaved in their time of loss.
Bev and Bob retired to Didsbury in 1993 and Bev still keeps active helping people in her usual gentle way, such as serving as Didsbury's Welcome Wagon hostess.
I cherish the friendship that has been ours over the years. Truly, Bev Cheesmur fits the profile of a "virtuous woman" mentioned in the Book of Proverbs. "She is worth far more than rubies."