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Betty Karn

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Betty Eileen was born on May 17, 1931, to parents Harvey and Lily (Fenton) Sulkye. Betty joined older brother Gordon, and then Ken, Gerald and Howard were welcomed to make the family complete. The Sulkye family lived outside of Scone, and after moving Betty attended the Kinghurst one room schoolhouse until grade 8. Betty began working at the Silknet factory in Chesley, and then began working at a Chesley nursing home.

When she was sixteen, Betty started spending more time with her longtime childhood neighbour, Wilmer “Windy” Edward Karn. The two dated for two years, and just before she turned eighteen, they were married on April 28, 1949, at the parsonage of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Sullivan. Betty and Wilmer moved to the Karn family farm on the 6th of Sullivan, where they raised their family. They welcomed daughters Darylann, Dorinda, Dorothy, Darlene, Dennice, and Doreen. It is safe to say that Betty was a very busy woman raising six young girls while helping Wilmer on the farm. Betty would help outside with the chores, and then take some of the girls inside with her to prepare dinner. Betty and Wilmer butchered many pigs and cattle beasts for family and friends, as well as hundreds of chickens and turkeys. One year when Wilmer was gone moose hunting, Betty killed a large turkey for Thanksgiving. However, the turkey ended up getting its revenge, as Betty somehow ended up with a black eye! Although it made for long hours, Betty never complained and was always happy to spend the moments with her family.

When the girls were in school, and Doreen was three, Betty went back to paid work, starting at Heirlooms, and continuing to Knechtel’s. She began working at Heinzman Piano for a period of time, and then babysitting for Dr. Ian Thompson and Vicky Winterton for many years. In 1994, Wilmer was severely injured and was in a wheelchair, which led Betty to stop working outside the home so she could help care for him. She was happy to help Wilmer when he needed her, as long as there was no blood. One day when Dorothy was hurt and bleeding, Betty ran into the house and came out with a glass of water. Dorothy asked her mom “what am I to do with this?” Betty responded with “If I faint, throw it on me!” Betty did her best to stay away from blood after that! In 1996, Betty and Wilmer moved into a brand-new house, just south of the farm, where she remained until April 2022, even after Wilmer passed in 2006.

Betty, Wilmer and the girls rarely travelled, as it was hard to leave the farm for periods of time, however they enjoyed their trips to visit family. Betty did have the opportunity to travel to Florida and Jamaica. When the girls moved into their own homes, they would often call Betty and ask for her assistance with painting, and she was so good that she always got called back! Betty loved hosting her family when they would come to visit, often spending all weekend with the family. She was a great host, unless you came to visit while The Young and the Restless was on, and then she would be in her room watching!

Betty enjoyed sewing, and knitting mittens, socks, and hats. She had a large vegetable garden, in order to feed her family. Apparently, Betty had a very famous banana bread recipe, and she would even make double batches to send with her children and grandchildren to take to work, which was highly requested by their coworkers! Betty loved a good egg salad sandwich and tea.  Betty loved the colour pink and enjoyed listening to old-time country music.

Betty enjoyed spending her time with family and was so proud of all of their accomplishments. When her grandchildren were born, she loved every moment she spent with them. Betty would take them swimming, and tobogganing. Most grandmothers would watch from the top or bottom of the hill, not Betty! She would hop on the sleigh, and enjoy the fun with her grandchildren! Betty taught her family the value of hard work and showed them that family is the most important thing!

Betty passed away at Hanover Care Centre on Sunday, October 8, 2023, in her 93rd year with her daughters by her side.

Loving mother of Dorinda (John) Howie, Dorothy Kaufman, Darlene (Bruce) Schaus, Dennice (Wayne) Fritz, and Doreen (Terry) Walker, grandmother of 9 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild. Also survived by Gerald and Doreen Sulkye, Betty Sulkye, Betty (Al) Karn, Betty (Dean) Karn, Ruth Karn, Bernice Sachs and Darylann Thompson (Dan Gies). Betty will be missed by many nieces and nephews. Betty was predeceased by her husband Wilmer “Windy”, her sons-in-law Ernie Thompson and Howard Kaufman, her grandson Kevin Thompson, her brothers Gordon, Ken and Howard Sulkye, her nephews Brian,Glen and Rick Sulkye, her niece Sharon Hopkins, and her parents Harvey and Lily Sulkye.

Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley, on Thursday, October 12, 2023, from 6 – 8 p.m., and on Friday, October 13, 2023, from 1 p.m. until the time of the funeral service at 2 p.m. Interment in Chesley Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Chesley Hospital Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society, or a charity of your choice would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

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