Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Golata

July 25, 1913 – October 27, 2014

It is with great sadness that the family of Elizabeth (Betty) Golata announce her passing on October 27, 2014 at the age of 101 years, 3 months.

She was born in Vancouver, B. C. On July 25, 1913, to Blanche and Ross Moulton. As a fledgling teacher she moved to the Peace River area of BC in 1934, to teach in a one room schoolhouse near Dawson Creek. There, she met and married Frank Golata, a marriage which lasted 37 years until his passing in 1972. During much of that time, she lived in a 3-room log house Frank had built. They had no electricity for 13 years, and never did have running water in the house. It was a lovely time of her life.

She became very active in the social life of the community: she belonged to the local Women’s Institute, and was the last survivor of a small group of people who founded, in the 1940s, the Lake View Credit Union in Dawson Creek, now one of the largest in BC. After her marriage, she taught when needed. One of her jobs after World War II, was to travel from one rural school to another teaching untrained teachers. Eventually she moved into the town of Dawson Creek to join the staff of South Peace Jr – Sr High School where she taught Commerce and was senior girls’ counsellor until the late 50s when she and Frank retired to Shuswap Lake.

They lived in a house on the lakeshore and spent a large amount of time entertaining guests, children and grandchildren for summer-long visits, She substituted at local schools, again became very involved with the BC Women’s Institute, becoming provincial president. After Frank’s death, she moved to Victoria and at the BC Provincial Museum discovered the joys of being a volunteer. Later yet, on her 80th birthday, she moved to Nelson to be nearer her family, became a “grandfriend” at Hume school, and an active participant at the swimming pool, and started an endless program at the museum: that of recording and filing all the obituaries of people who have lived in this area since Nelson was incorporated.

She was a person who did things and made things happen. She twice swam across Shuswap Lake, while she was in her sixties. She still shovelled the snow from her driveway when she was 94. She was instrumental in establishing a free short-term parking spot in front of the Capitol Theatre, and at the age of 90, was the first person to receive a lifetime membership to the community recreation swimming pool. Less than a month ago, she still went to the museum to work on her project.

She leaves to mourn her passing her daughter Frances, son-in-law, Lorne Nicolson, grandsons Sean Nicolson, and Cameron Nicolson, Cam’s wife Susan Rutherford, Sean’s step-daughter, Dana Dickinson-Sampson, as well as friends and students from all stages of her life. She requested that there be no service.

She will be remembered as a strong, vital, social woman who loved children, and was incredibly active both physically and socially, in her community. She was an “inspiration” to all who knew her. She had a good life and one to be proud of.

The Nicolson family would like to thank the people who smoothed her way through her later life: Drs. Ross McKay, Paul Walker, Kevin McKechnie and Trevor Janz, the staff of Mountain Lake Assisted Living program and finally, the nurses and aides of Diamond cottage, particularly Pattie Palmer, and Laurie Steele.

Arrangements are under the direction of Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. Online condolences may be expressed at

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