On January 27th 2017, at the age of 79, Betty Stanhope-Cole quietly teed off on her eternal golf course, after a brief battle with cancer. She was predeceased by her parents, Robert and Lillian; her brother Tony, and the sister that she never had Nancy Walker. Her loving family, daughter Jackie and her husband Wes, son Rob and his wife Donna, and 4 grandchildren Brian, Tyler, Talia and Tanner survive her. She lived a full and eventful life, with too many individual and team accomplishments to list. She will be remembered as one of Canada's most prolific female amateur golfers as well national level curler. Throughout her sports career she achieved a combined 60 City, Provincial and National championships. She was very fortunate and proud to represent Canada as team member 5 times in International and Commonwealth events. She will be missed, but perhaps not by slow playing golfers. Those who knew Betty appreciated her athletic achievements, but as importantly for her long serving commitment to supporting and developing amateur golf. She was a fierce competitor whom loved winning, yet the drive to be her best was her main motivator. A quote to sum up what drove her success was “I hated to lose more than I wanted to win”. She was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1980, Royal Canadian Golf Association Hall of Fame in 1991, the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, and Alberta Golf Hall of Fame in 2005. This recognition was a result of her incredible sporting achievements but as well the countless hours she committed to amateur golf both as a mentor and contributor to the Canadian Ladies Golf Association. One of her fondest moments was the opening of the Betty Stanhope-Cole Park in the Highlands community on September 18, 2011. In 2016 she capped off an incredible sporting career attending the Masters, her last bucket list item and had the honour of re-connecting with another RCGA Hall of Fame member, her idol Jack Nicholas.
She would have never been so fortunate to be honoured with such achievements without the incredible bond with mentor and coach Henry Martel whom she credited to her golfing success and firmly supported by her parents with their love and encouragement. She was tough, proud, demanding, and certainly competitive, yet those whom were fortunate enough to know Betty beneath her veneered toughness, knew a very loving and compassionate individual. She loved to win, as she would retort why else compete, which over the years created many lifelong friendships and laughs of which she was eternally grateful. Her illness was brief and too early to say goodbye, but she leaves as a champion, a very proud grandmother, mom, friend and competitor.
Our family would like to thank the countless compassionate and caring health care professionals that touched our lives during this short journey. We can’t thank enough, Dr. Walter and the entire team of 9Y at the General Hospital, your care and making Betty’s last days comfortable falls short in words on how truly appreciative we are of your care.
A Memorial Service will be held at Connelly-McKinley Funeral Home, 10011 - 114 Street, Edmonton, on Monday, February 13, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Following the service a reception to share memories and stories will be held at the Highlands Golf Club, 6603 Ada Boulevard, Edmonton; her sanctuary, second home, and where her golf journey began, commencing at 4:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, if desired a donation in memory of Betty may be made to the Edmonton Community Foundation, designated for the Stanhope-Cole Fund, or the Alberta (Northern) Kidney Foundation.