ELIZABETH “BETTY” EILEEN DRING
August 22, 1918 – April 24, 2009
Elizabeth Eileen Dring, (nee Labrie), passed away at the Lady Minto Extended Care Unit on Friday April 24, 2009 at 90 years of age. Betty was born August 22, 1918 in Vancouver, BC to Charles and Gwendolyn Labrie. People on Salt Spring Island have known her as Betty since she moved here in 1992. Betty lived life with great flair and often appeared larger than life to others.
She lived in London during WWII and was engaged for a time to a Battle of Britain pilot. She auditioned and was considered for the lead role in “National Velvet”, which eventually went to Elizabeth Taylor. After the war she married her first husband, Richard “Dick” Neville, with whom she lived in London, New York, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic during the reign of the infamous Trujillo, whom she claimed to have met.
When her first marriage ended, Betty returned to Vancouver to live with her parents. It was at this time that she suffered a fall down a flight of stairs and partially severed her spinal cord. After spending a year on a rotating board, her back healed and she was able to walk with a back brace. It was while wearing this back brace that she met her second husband, Wilfred Charles Dring, in Vancouver.
She gave birth to two sons in the early ‘60’s. She also appeared in some daytime television that aired on local Vancouver stations. For a short period, she was co-owner of a small art gallery in North Vancouver. The family moved to Montreal in 1966 where Betty stayed until the passing of her husband in 1990. Tiring of life in the big city, she sold her condominium and on a whim bought a house overlooking Ganges Village, while visiting a friend there in 1992. It was the home previously owned by Dr. Ernie Jarman. Betty had decorative flair and was proud of her home and its Japanese garden. She had a variety of interesting friends and would enjoy entertaining them.
She is survived by a son, Brian Randle Dring, and daughter-in-law Katherine Sebastian Dring, of Waterford, Connecticut, a grandson, Sean-Patrick Dring, a college student at the University of Connecticut, a brother, Peter Labrie, 91, of West Vancouver, BC, as well as nieces Chardon Labrie, Mary Labrie Egan, Christina Cleary, Kathryn Brown and nephews Tim Labrie, Shaun Labrie and Peter Labrie. She is predeceased by a son, David-Patrick Dring.She was also predeceased by brothers Patrick Labrie, Michael Labrie and Brian Labrie.
A memorial service was held Wed. Apr. 29th at the Community Gospel Chapel
Donations in Betty’s name can be made to the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation, 135 Crofton Road, Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 1T1