Verna Jean Batenchuk
February 7, 2023
BATENCHUK, Verna Jean (née Williamson) – Peacefully and surrounded by her family at the Louise Marshall Hospital on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 in her 96th year. Beloved wife of the late William “Bill” Batenchuk (2006). Cherished mother of Cathy Cotton and her late husband Larry (2018). Adored grandmother of Pamela (John) Cotton and Joe (Rebecca) Cotton; great-grandmother of Taryn Armstrong, Riley Cotton and Hunter Cotton; and great-great-grandmother of Blake and Jackson. Predeceased by her loving son, Michael Bain (1994) and by her brother Gordon Williamson.
Verna adored her family, friends and community; always wanting to be engaged in activities and keep herself busy. She was a dedicated and active member of Mount Forest United Church. Verna was a committed volunteer with the Louise Marshall Hospital Auxiliary for over 32 years, taking part in everything they did. She became the volunteer coordinator for many years and was so very proud of the work they achieved. Specifically, Verna organized the group of volunteers for Physician Clinics at the Hospital and was an active volunteer at the clinics herself. She was involved in palliative care visiting and helping with the Thrift store downtown in its earlier days. Verna was honoured to have been able to serve as a community liaison with the Board of Directors for the Louise Marshall Hospital.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, February 12th from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the England Funeral Home, 294 Main Street South, Mount Forest, where the funeral service will be held on Monday, February 13th at 1:00 p.m., with visitation from 12:00-12:45 p.m. Following the service, all are invited to Mount Forest United Church for refreshments and fellowship. Spring interment will take place at Mount Forest Cemetery. Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Verna are asked to consider the Louise Marshall Hospital Foundation or Mount Forest United Church.
Both Bob and I adored Verna. She was an enthusiastic, caring person who was very engaged in our community, church and hospital. We had many phone conversations in her later years when she was less able to be out and about. We are both so glad we had the privilege of knowing her and would like to extend our very deepest sympathy to your whole family on this difficult loss. We pray that your fond memories will comfort you at this sad time.
Bob and Donna McFarlane
While Verna and I have drifted apart since my retirement at Louis Marshall Hospital, I truly treasured Verna and her kind yet determined energy as a dedicated volunteer for the hospital. It was through her many years of record-keeping that we carried forward her historical records of the hospital and especially of the Hospital Auxiliary. She served on the hospital board and on the foundation board. She found resourceful ways to involve other volunteers. She was one of a kind. She thought the world of her daughter and grandkids. (from former development officer at Louise Marshall Hospital Foundation - Jane Ford)— Jane Ford, February 13, 2023
Cathy & family. What a wonderful lady with such great memories to share. Verna joined together with her Bill and an even bigger smile. What a lovely lady. She will be sadly missed by everyone. Cathy, your mom was so very proud of you & your families. It was truly an honour to have been considered a friend. Heather— Heather walker, February 11, 2023
I had the pleasure of working with Vera at the Hospital I will keep those fond memories God bless all of you at this time Prayers for comfort
Cathy,Pam,Joe, my most sincere condolences to you all in your time of grief. Verna was a wonderful lady whom I met many years ago through her late son and my best friend Michael. Those memories of will be forever with me. Sending hugs to you all.
I am so sorry to hear of Verna's passing. I spent a lot of time with Verna over the years, doing stories for the local newspaper. She was lovely lady, and so proud of her family, her daughter's position at the longterm care home where she worked, her grandchildren and her volunteer time at the Louise Marshall Hospital, especially with Dr. Morris and then "young Dr. Morris". She will be missed but she has left quite a legacy. I am honoured to have known her.
It is so heartbreaking to contemplate Verna's passing. She was a ray of sunshine, a woman of deep faith who told the best stories that could always make me laugh. She was so proud of her work with the Louise Marshall Hospital and of her family. She will be deeply missed.— Sheryl Spencer, February 9, 2023
What a truly lovely lady in all respects. Verna was always a very important part of the Louise Marshall Hospital Foundation, and always put a smile on everyones face. Heart felt sympathy to all of Verna's family.— Brian Plume, February 9, 2023
I met Verna in 1978 working at what was then Austin's Nursing Home in Shelburne. She was cheerful and hard working, always willing to help. Our paths would cross a few times over the years and we always enjoyed catching up. Last year we were at Champs in Primrose along with Cathy and another dear friend. She was always upbeat and we shared laughs and memories. She was a generous lady who worked continuously to bring others comfort and good will. Her family,friends and the community will miss her.
Verna was a special lady and her husband Bill was fun man who had nasty health issues. Verna was his private nurse and he adored her. We had the privilege of meeting Verna and Bill when we worked together at the Mount Forest Food Pantry. It was love at first sight. As mentioned in her obituary, she was very active volunteering at our Hospital. She had a big smile and hello when we would meet. She loved her family and when asked about them she lit up like a light bulb. Our sincere sympathy. Now she is with her dear Bill. You will treasure your happy memories. Bob and Mary McIntee— Mary and Bob McIntee, February 9, 2023
Sorry to note the passing of a very nice lady who was a great supporter of Louise Marshall Hospital. My condolences to her family.
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Cathy and all of the extended family. I had known Verna for many years at the Mount Forest United Church and through meetings with her when she was involved with storing some of the hospital's archival material with us at the Mount Forest Museum and Archives.
Our birthdays were just 2 or 3 days apart with her being one year older than I was. We'd always call each other and have a long chat at that time. My goodness! This has been such a shock since we had our birthday "visit" just two weeks ago. Now, you and Bill will be together again. Bless you, Verna!
Verna's "birthday pal"-
My sincerest condolences on Verna’s passing. She was a beautiful lady inside and out. I always loved her graciousness and her wonderful sense of humour. Whether it was on the Seniors bus, which she was so great at supporting, or when doing grocery deliveries to her apartment, she always had something wonderful to say. I loved our chats and am honoured to consider Verna a friend. I am sure she is happy to be reunited with Bill. She loved her life!
Former owner Mount Forest Foodland
My condolences to Verna’s family. It was an honour to be apart of her hospital family for 20 years. She was kind and full of life. She always put a smile on my face when I saw her. She was one of the most positive person I knew. She will be greatly missed but will always be remembered. An amazing woman and friend. Rest in peace Verna. I hope you and Bill have a beautiful life together in your new life.— Lori Roefs, February 8, 2023
Patty and I met Verna & Bill shortly after moving to Mt Forest in 1989, through the United Church. We have fond memories of how welcome Verna and Bill made us feel. Verna was very PROUD of Mt Forest. She was involved in many aspects of life here in Mt Forest. Her greatest work was her time with the Louise Marshall Hospital Auxiliary, and the Louise Marshall Hospital Foundation. Verna made sure that the Hospital Foundation applied on an annual basis to her husband's former employer for a sizeable donation to the Hospital. She LOVED our Hospital. No one was more pleased than Verna with the renovations to our hospital. Verna, we'll miss you.— Rick & Patty Sinnamon, February 8, 2023
I will remember Verna fondly as she volunteered with the Hospital Auxiliary . Also for her willing service to the Mount Forest United Church. A pleasure to have known Verna. You will be missed.— Russell and Marilyn Rogers, February 8, 2023