Beatrice Cooke Christian
Life and Work
Beatrice was born April 27, 1901 in Toronto, Ontario. Her parents were Annie and Isaac Cooke. Her siblings were Annie Evelyn, Wilfred Argyle and baby Ross all of whom have passed away.
Her parents separated, leaving her mother to raise three small children on her own. This taught Beatrice that hard work was necessary if she were to succeed in life. Her father was a protestant and her mother was a Catholic. Perhaps, because of this, Beatrice did not attend any church. However she had a strong belief in the Christian principles.
Beatrice attended school in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. After high school Beatrice worked in the Woolworth store and attended teacher's college. Upon graduating from college, she taught school in Saskatoon.
On December 5, 1923, she married Dr. 0. A. Christian, a veterinarian. They lived in Milden, Saskatchewan during the 1935 drought. Dr. Christian operated his business from their home and Beatrice was kept busy answering the phone, scheduling appointments, cleaning and sterilizing instruments and looking after the books. Along with this, Beatrice managed to keep a spotless home and cooked excellent meals. She enjoyed fresh vegetables and fruit thus maintained her own garden.
She was always ready to lend a hand to those in the community when needed. She had a vacuum cleaner that was lent out often to others in the community.
Beatrice and Dr. Christian had no children of their own but were very close to their nieces Shirley McKay and Louise Lewis, also Dr. Ralph Christian.
Beatrice joined the Eastern Star in 1935 and took her dismissal in good standing in 1974. 5he enjoyed swimming while on vacation at Ma-Me-O Beach. She also played the piano and loved to ride horses.
She began taking flying lessons in October 1953. On July 13, 1955 she received her private pilot's license. She held the unique distinction of being the only local woman pilot to graduate from Central Aviation's Flying School. She said, "The first time I went solo the door flew open and I had to reach over which upset the balance of the plane... since I was getting the feel of one passenger in the first place. Doc would never fly with me. I really wanted to set an example for the other women in the area."
“She was always very positive about life and it was a pleasure being with her throughout her lifetime. May she rest in peace.”
- Doris Hammer
Research and Writing: Janis Ruitenbeck
Contributors: Ralph Christian, Pat Witt, Louise Lewis, Shirley McKay and Stan Reynolds
Curator: Janis Ruitenbeck