On Sunday, June 12, 2022, Beverly Ruby Byron, a long-time resident of Salt Spring Island, passed away on the farm with her family very close. She was 85 years old. Bev was loved by her daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.She was predeceased by her husband, Mike Byron.
Beverly Ruby Hicks was born in Slocan City, BC, in 1937. Her parents, William Edmund Hicks and Frances Mary Hicks (n. Nye) were also born in the Kootenays. From a young age, Bev enjoyed dinner parties and music nights in Slocan, which planted the seed for huge family gatherings later in life. She attended the UBC Normal School to earn her teaching certificate in 1959, but stayed longer at university to get her full Bachelor of Education degree. Her first teaching position was in Surrey, B.C. at Prince Charles Elementary school and it was there she met a very charismatic young principal, Mike Byron.
Bev and Mike were married in 1961 and moved to the farm at the south end of Salt Spring overlooking Stowell Lake. Their daughter, Frances Elizabeth, was born in 1963 and they welcomed another daughter, Jacqueline Beverly, two years later. After their third daughter, Nadaene Louise arrived, the farm soon grew to include cattle, sheep, pigs, and horses, as well as free range chickens, ducks and geese.
Bev was a substitute teacher for many years and would tackle any position from kindergarten to grade 12. She is fondly remembered by many students as a no-nonsense teacher, who taught the basics, creating a solid foundation for future learning. Bev eventually went back to teaching full time at Salt Spring Elementary, Fernwood Elementary, and finally Fulford Elementary where she taught grades 4 and 5.
Bev loved get-togethers and dinner parties. She could plan, prepare and present a 40-pound turkey dinner to the table, all with a smile on her face and a skip in her step. Many islanders will remember the parties filled with guitars, singing and dancing that carried on long into the night.
After Bev retired from teaching, she was elected to the Island Trust for two terms from 1996 to 2002. After her retirement from the Trust she joined the Salt Spring Island Women’s Institute to continue to contribute to the community. Bev was very proud of the WI’s fundraising, and found such joy in being part of the “Pie Ladies” at the Salt Spring Fall Fair.
Bev is survived by her daughters Fran (Doug), Jacquie (Brent), Deanie (Charlie); her grandchildren Braden (Kaela), Bailey, Josie (Keri), Jonah, Ella, Michael and Ryan; and her great grandchildren Brooke, Luke and Henry.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 8 at 2pm at All Saints by-the-Sea Anglican Parish of Salt Spring Island. We will be gathering in the church hall afterwards. We hope you can join us.