Obituary – Lilian Béland

Lilian Béland (1935-2019)

Lilian Béland died peacefully on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019 at the Edmonton General Hospice. She was 84 years old.

Lilian was born in 1935 in Falher, the eldest of two daughters of Agnes Crawford, a Scottish immigrant, and Pierre Paul, a pioneer and homesteader originally from Sorel, Québec. She grew up on a farm just north of Falher and received a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta.

She met Gérard Béland while he attended Collège St. Jean in Edmonton and they married in 1960. Before starting her teaching career she was chosen as one of only 50 Canadians to represent Canada as tour guides at the Bruxelles World Fair in 1958.

Once married they settled in Donnelly [later in McLennan], where Gerry managed general stores and she taught mostly English and Drama for 37 years. For many years was also the vice-principal of Georges P. Vanier High School.

While teaching full-time, Lilian also managed to raise four children. After years of devotion to her profession, students and her craft, she retired only to continue to dedicate over 25 years of volunteer service to the community. She sat on the Northern Lights College board, tutored newly-arrived professionals to the region [including priests] in either French or English and did endless hours of translations for numerous local history books, and the archdiocese, to name but a few of her volunteer activities.

In 2012, she received the Diamond Jubilee Medal awarded by Queen Elizabeth in recognition of her extensive public service to the community.

She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Gérard Béland and her children Margaux [Peter Engelmann], Suzanne [Paul Preston], Jacqueline [Paul Bennett] and Jean [Judy Garber] as well as their eight grandchildren: Nathaniel, Olivier and Camille Preston; Sébastien and Alexandre Engelmann; Dominique and Nicolas Bennett; and Isaac Béland.

Funeral Mass was held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at the St. John the Baptist Cathedral in McLennan.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that any contributions in Lilian’s memory go to either a charity of your choice or the Edmonton – Wings of Providence, P.O. Box 32141, Edmonton, K6K 4C2, which provides shelter and support to battered women.

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