Betty Lou Heeg (nee Marlatt) passed away peacefully in Leader, Sask, on January 5, 2021 at the age of 89. She was predeceased by her parents, Alice Mary (Blair) and Victor Ashton Abraham (“Curly”) Marlatt; her husband, Arthur Walter Heeg; her parents-in-law, Christian and Emma Heeg; her siblings Albert Marlatt, Irene (Marlatt) Strong and Jack Marlatt; brother-in-law Charlie Strong and sister-in-law Bernice (Heeg) Miller.
Betty Lou was born in Wawanesa, Manitoba but spent most of her youth in Rocanville, Sask, where she graduated High School at the age of 16. Betty Lou attended the University of Saskatchewan for two years and then Normal School in Regina. She began her teaching career as principal of the school at Estuary, Sask. where she met her husband, Art Heeg. They were married on December 28, 1954 in Rocanville and began life together in Sceptre, Sask, where Betty Lou was then teaching. Their first child, Terry, was born in Prelate hospital. After they moved to Estuary, where Art farmed with his father and brother, Bud, three more children were born in Leader hospital: Jo Ann, Blair and Lisa. In 1962, the family moved to Leader.
Lou, as she was known, was very active in the community. She was a devoted member of Leader United Church, an avid curler, a substitute teacher, girls’ softball coach (in fact, the first organizer of girls’ ball in Leader), dedicated bridge player, town librarian and Stats Canada employee for 10 years. Her interests were many and varied. She loved sports, reading, deep discussions and having company over. Lou became an excellent seamstress who sewed annual wardrobes for her children; she was a prolific artist, focused especially on oil painting.
Over the years, she saved up for her second act. When the opportunity arose to take over a local women’s clothing store in 1984, she knew that was it. Being the proprietor of Bettylou Boutique fit her outgoing personality and flair for fashion perfectly. In 1986, after Art suffered a stroke that left him unable to farm, Art and Lou moved to Regina where she opened a second store with daughter, Lisa. Reclaiming her full name, Betty Lou relished this next chapter in her life. She joined the Regina Bridge Club and began to earn points toward her Masters designation, which she attained in short order. Bettylou Boutique became known for fashion shows at the Regina Exhibition and charity events. Betty Lou thrived on challenges and being new to Regina did not slow her down in the least. She loved attending Rider football games, walking with friends around Wascana Lake and defending the beauty of her adopted home. At the store, she reconnected with past students and old friends who she was always happy to see.
Art and Betty Lou soon had seven grandchildren who loved to spend time with them. Betty Lou was an exciting ‘Gran’ to be around. Before Art’s death in 2009, the couple enjoyed trips to bridge tournaments in Canada and the U.S, an annual holiday in Las Vegas with friends and family, camping trips, houseboating on Lake Diefenbaker and a memorable trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Betty Lou was intent on having Art enjoy life to the fullest even though his mobility was limited. She kept their life together interesting and fun.
Betty Lou retired in 2003 and enjoyed a few trips without Art, as he was no longer able to travel. She lived in their downtown condo until 2014, when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and made the decision to move to College Park II retirement residence. She enjoyed her time there, meeting new friends and starting a bridge club, (of course!) Her health worsened in December, 2016; subsequently she required more care and was confined to a wheelchair. Sadly, her quality of life declined, but was enriched by visits from her children and grandchildren and the special attention she received from her friend and caregiver, Halime Turhan.
In October, 2020, Betty Lou returned to Leader where she was entrusted to the exceptional care at the Leader and Districted Integrated Health Care Facility. With great compassion, they allowed her children to be there in her final days. We are forever grateful for their kindness.
Left to treasure and honour her memory are: her brother Ernest (Shirley) Marlatt; brothers and sisters-in-law, Bud and Norma Heeg, Ron and Jeanne Heeg; brother-in-law Bud Miller; sister-in-law Rose Marlatt; along with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; her children: Terry Lou Bailey (Art Lecuyer); Jo Ann (Hugh) Williams; Blair Curtis Heeg and Lisa Jane Heeg (Brad Wenzel) and son-in-law, Terry Bailey; her beloved grandchildren: Jessica (Chad) Smith; Barbra Bailey; Julie (Honza) Dvorackova; Christian Clermont (Kelsey Chadwick); Sarah (Cody) Allin; Andrew (Jolene) Bailey and Thomas (Brittany) Williams, along with great-grandchildren: Reese, Payton & Austin Allin; Rhett & Remy Williams; Cecilia & Sylvie Dvorackova; Taylor & Sage Smith; Theodore & June Bailey.
A memorial service in Betty Lou’s honour will be held at a later date. Binkley’s Funeral Services are entrusted with final arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the charity of your choice.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Betty Lou (Marlatt) Heeg, please visit our floral store.