338 - 4th Avenue North | Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 2L7
Obituary of Betty Sherdahl
To watch the recording of the service, click this link:
January 29, 1934 - July 29, 2023
It is with great sadness the family of Sylvia Elizabeth Veronica Sherdahl (nee Szabo) announce her passing on July 29, 2023 at Oliver Lodge Special Care Home at 89 years of age.
Betty was born in Melville, SK and resided there until June, 1936 when her parents Julia and Steve Szabo and her older sister Margaret moved to homestead 6.4 km (four miles) NW of Mistatim, SK. Betty was home-schooled until she was 11, when the family decided to buy a place closer to a school, finding a quarter section 4 km (2-1/2 miles) NE of Mistatim, moving there in the fall. Betty received her high school diploma via correspondence.
In 1952 Betty went to Tisdale for training for Licensed Practical Nursing LPN at St. Therese Hospital.
It was during this era of the polio pandemic that she contracted the Poliovirus. In September, 1953, at age 19 she was transferred to the City Hospital Isolation Ward, Saskatoon, SK. One of the most transformative experiences of Betty's life was at Camp Easter Seal, Manitou Beach, Watrous, a place that held a truly magical and life-changing significance for her. She faced numerous challenges from polio which resulted in paraplegia but never allowed her circumstances to define her spirit.
On June 28th, 1958 Betty married William (Bill) Gilmore Sherdahl in Mistatim, SK, setting up their family home in Saskatoon. Following the residency of Bill at the Sunnyside Adventist Care Centre in 2004, Betty resided at Luther Heights for 16 years moving there on March 2, 2005. Betty lived with her daughter Julia (Douglas) in 2021, moving to Oliver Lodge in 2023. Betty made many friends with staff and residents at both Oliver Lodge and Luther Heights and was very fortunate to have these experiences. The family wishes to thank the staff at Oliver Lodge for their care and support, all her physical therapists and occupational therapists and Dr. McKinney, Dr. Whalley, Dr. Brunet, Dr. Abbas, Dr. Hauck, and Dr. Yatsina.
Betty loved playing several instruments by ear, playing cards, painting, sewing, crocheting, knitting, tatting, embroidery, cooking, reading mysteries and poetry, writing poetry and was an accessibility advocate. Betty supported children in schools who may be cold over the winter months and made mittens and toques to donate to the school system for years. Betty received an award for her poem “Thunder.” She played wheelchair sports such as wheelchair basketball and throwing javelin and shotput. Throughout her life, Betty remained a steadfast advocate for inclusivity and accessibility, ensuring that others with disabilities had equal opportunities and a voice. Her commitment to making the world a better place touched countless lives and inspired those around her.
Betty played an important role for the Handicapped Civilians Association HCA, Canadian Paraplegic Association CPA now known as Spinal Cord Injury Canada, Voice of the Handicapped VOH, Sask Awareness of Post Polio and was instrumental in being a voice to have accessible curb cuts in Saskatoon, and for Access Transit to be established in the City of Saskatoon. In the early 1970s Betty was awarded Saskatoon’s Citizen of the Year for her volunteer involvement in the community. Betty worked as secretary for many years in the 1980s at Saskatchewan Crippled Children and Adults which changed names to the Saskatchewan Abilities Council [SAC] and then as dispatcher for Special Needs Transportation under SAC. During this time Betty flew to Toronto ON to attend a conference to offer insight for the inaugural planning stages of the accessible transportation system. Betty's legacy lives on through the lives she touched and the impact she made. Her indomitable spirit and unwavering determination will continue to be a guiding light for all who knew her.
Betty was pre-deceased by her parents (István) Steve Szabo (1903-1985), and (Júlia) Julia Kosa (1908-1991) her husband of 52 years Bill Sherdahl in 2010, son Jordan William in 1979, sister Margaret Rose Pogany in 2017.
Betty will be missed by family who were all the center of her universe, her Sister Jolane (Steve) Kozsan and Brother Steve Jr called Butch (Edna) Szabo; Daughter Julia (Douglas) Adamson of Saskatoon, SK, granddaughter Laura, grandson Aj (Emily); Daughter Beverly Sherdahl of Brandon, MB, granddaughter Crystal (Tyler) Devlin of Nanaimo, BC, great-grandchildren Savannah, Haleigh, Shawn, grandson Dylan Allenby, great-grandchildren Amythyst, Harley, Hazel, grandson Dallas Sherdahl; Daughter Sylvia (Robert) Konkin of Brandon, MB, grandson Nathaniel (Marie-Eve) Konkin, grandson Joshua Konkin. Betty is also remembered by her brother-in-law Dennis (Evelyn) Sherdahl, her sisters-in-law Audrey Sherdahl, and Diane Sherdahl. As well, she will be deeply missed by her friends, extended family, and all who were fortunate enough to have known her.
As we say our farewells to Betty, let us remember the magic she brought into our lives and honor her memory by embracing the same spirit of love, compassion, and inclusion she exemplified throughout her life.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to Camp Easter Seal, Oliver Lodge, Luther Heights LutherCare Community, SaskAbilities or the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. in Betty's memory, continuing her legacy of creating life-changing experiences for others.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday August 17, 2023 where we will come together to celebrate the remarkable life of Betty and bid her a loving farewell. Honourary Pallbearers are Butch Szabo, Douglas Adamson, Robert Konkin, Aj Adamson, Nathaniel Konkin, Joshua Konkin and Dallas Sherdahl. The funeral mass will be held Thursday, August 17th at 2:00, at St Michael's Catholic Church 18-33rd Street East, Saskatoon, SK (across from SK Polytechnic) with Father Clement Arthur officiating. Interment at Woodlawn cemetery by Saskatoon Funeral Home. Followed by reception at St. Michael's Catholic Church.
Rest in peace, dear Betty. Your light will forever shine in our hearts
To view a memorial video tribute please visit: https://youtu.be/XVR9316nP0Q
Dependable. Committed. Compassionate.
338 - 4th Avenue North
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 2L7
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