Her family and friends mourn the passing of Betty Lou McDowall at the Palliative Care Unit of the West Parry Sound Health Centre on January 18, 2022 in her 91st year.
Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on July 25, 1931, Betty was raised in Boissevain, Manitoba. She earned a Bachelor’s degree at the University of North Dakota and taught at the Kirkland Lake Collegiate and Vocational Institute where she met her future husband William (Bill) James McDowall. The young couple moved to Parry Sound in 1955 and raised their family there. Betty was fiercely proud of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, celebrating their successes and staunchly and unfailingly supporting them with love and wisdom in times of need.

Betty leaves her children Jane, Geoffrey (Pauline), Stephen, and Mary (Gerry); her cherished grandchildren Sarah Ashford (George), Carly McDowall, Ceilidh Shipman, Cosette Shipman, Rielle Shipman, Elizabeth Graf, and Carl Graf; and her great-grandchildren Pippa and Lena (Lulu) Ashford; along with many friends.
She is predeceased by her husband Bill, her brother Gerald and her sister Diane.

Betty led a remarkable life and leaves a legacy of volunteerism, as well as advocacy in the areas of social justice and disability. She was a fervent and prescient environmentalist. She loved traveling, curling and figure skating – still taking lessons until she was 80. On her 90th birthday she enjoyed a day on the water with her family and a float plane ride over Georgian Bay.

There will be no service at this time. A celebration of her life will be held when circumstances permit.

Thanks are due to the compassionate nurses and doctors who ensured Betty’s comfort in her final days.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Betty’s name to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, the West Parry Sound Health Centre or a charity of your choice.


Hi Mary, So sorry to hear about your mom, know that my thoughts are with you through this tough time,

-Mark Cameron

We send out thoughts and prayers to Mary and her family.

-Sandra and Phil Sabourin

I truly do not know how to put this into perspective.
Stephen and I have known each other since we were #3 years old, my heart is broken his family & mine well knew what family is.
I can not mend but know I am here just a simple Celt, ask I will try my best.
Her love of family can not should not be measured, her love of music and the innocence of youth when Stephen and I played as equals trying to find our place. God Speed may the Allfather find a place at his table so that you can sit in his presence ,


We would like to offer our very sincere condolences to the McDowell Family. Betty was an advocate for good change. An example would be her efforts to get Audible Signals at some of the crosswalks in Town. When growing up she was always there. She will be missed.
Jamie and Ally McGarvey

-Jamie McGarvey

Steve, Mary and family. Our heartfelt condolences on the loss of your mom. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Susan Adams and David Austin

-Susan Adams

Jane. I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. It sounds like she lived her life fully and well. May the memories bring comfort to you and your family.

-Beverley Hall (Nicksy)

Steve we are sorry for your loss. its never easy.

-Regan and Anne Marie Barker

Matriarch not only to her family,children Jane,Geoffrey,Stephen and Mary but part of the Mothers/neighbors within our close knit
community Victoria,Marion Ave. and Wood St.
Families looking after families!
I feel priviledged to be part of may your Grandchildren and those that follow understand such a gift.
I thankyou for allowing me a place when needed in your home


Betty & Bill McDowall’s household was THE most fascinating & welcoming in our entire neighborhood, filled daily with books, art, music & stimulating conversation. Many lifelong & unshakable friendships were formed there & memories made that will buoy us all forever. Betty, you were & remain remarkable, inspirational & ahead of your time. That you took time to make a personal connection with us all says everything & we are blessed to have known you. May it be a comfort to your family to know that you are now reunited with Bill. Much love from the many lives you have touched ❤️

-Tom Berry

Dear Jane, Goeff, Stephen, Mary and the extended family... sending my heartfelt condolences to you all. Betty was a loving person and an amazing example of Christ in action. Growing up, she was one of those Moms that was always there. You knew you could count on her. And, she cared. She cared and freely offered to help. I know you and the community will miss her greatly as will I.

-Sharon Sheppard

Jane, Geoffery, Stephen, Mary:

Betty was a constant in our lives as children and always had a smile for us and also kept Stephen and I in line as young children and teenagers. My sincere condolences to you all, for the loss of a great Mother and influence in our lives.

Douglas Bruton

-Doug Bruton

Betty was a sweet and lovely neighbour. When ever we crossed each other path we would have a pleasant and interesting conversations. She will be dearly missed here at Silver Birch.

-Terry Malone

I remember Mrs. McDowell always walking by our house on Victoria Ave. She always had a smile.
Condolences to the family.
Sandra (Hawkins) Villeneuve

-Sandra Villeneuve

We would like to offer our condolences to the family , so sorry for your loss .

-Gary and Lorna Kennedy

Stephen and family. Very sorry for your loss always enjoyed visits at your home.

Randy Johnson

-Randy Johnson

Dear Mary, Stephen, Geoffrey, Jane

Betty was much-beloved - a remarkable woman in so many ways! One who made a big impact in a quiet way. She loved her family, her home, her church, her garden, her friends. Her door was always open as was her heart.

The picture in the North Star is lovely!

-Nancy Cunningham

My deepest condolences to your family. I gave fond memories of Betty. She was an inspiration. Peace and blessings to you and your family.

-Holly Cascanette

We send our sincere condolences to all of the McDowall family on the passing of Betty. You were blessed to have wonderful parents. We knew your dad as a teaching colleague at Parry Sound High School in the 60’s and 70’s, and had great respect for his intelligence and integrity. And we loved Betty’s warmth and interest in people. They were a remarkable pair. Sincerely Pat and Richard Poole

-Patricia and Richard Poole

Mary so sorry for your loss. No matter the age losing your mother is sad business! Thinking of you!

-Janice Land