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Bertha (Lawrence) Paterson (1891-1939)

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Whitehorse Pioneer Cemetery

The Whitehorse Star - Friday, April 14, 1939

Mrs. W. A. Paterson, wife of local bank manager, passes away suddenly in Whitehorse, 1939.

    it is with profound regret that we have to announce the untimely death of Mrs. W. A. Paterson, wife of the Manager of the local branch of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, which took place unexpectedly at the Whitehorse General Hospital on Sunday, April 9th, at 6 p.m.

    Although always active and apparently robust, the late Mrs. Paterson had not, for sometime past, enjoyed the best of health. Even up to and including Tuesday of last week, she was out and around as usual but the following day it was thought advisable that she enter the local hospital to ascertain whether or not there was anything organically wrong. A medical examination disclosed that an operation was necessary and this was performed by Dr. Stewart that evening. The operation was successful and the patient appeared to be making satisfactory recovery for a day or two, but in the early hours of Sunday morning she suffered a relapse. Dr. Stewart was immediately summoned to her bedside and all that was humanly possible was done both by Dr. Stewart and the members of the nursing staff. Their efforts, however, were of no avail, the patient passing away at 6 o'clock Sunday evening in the presence of her husband.

    The late Mrs. Paterson was born in Ayr, Scotland, and was married there in March, 1918, She came to Prince Rupert, B.C., in October of that year to join her husband who, at that time, was on the staff of the Canadian Bank of Commerce in that city. Later she resided with her husband and family at Matsqui, Vancouver and Whitehorse, coming here in July, 1934.

    During her residence in Whitehorse, the late Mrs. Paterson took an active interest in the social and cultural life of this community, as well as in its social welfare work. Possessed of a cheerful, optimistic spirit and winning personality her passing, in the prime of life, is not only a distinct loss to this community but also a great shock which is sadly felt by us all. As a token of sympathy and respect to her memory the stores in town were closed during the church service.

    The funeral service was held at Christ Chureh (Anglican) on Wednesday at 2 p.m. the Rev. R. W. C. Ward, B.A. L.Th., officiating. Interment took place in the local cemetery the pallbearers being Messrs. W. L. Phelps K.C., C. A. Atherton, J. Rose, G. Muirhead, Bruce Watson and Frank Wilson.

    The large attendance at the church service and the wonderful array of wreaths and cut flowers were a silent tribute to the high regard in which the late Mrs. Paterson was held here as well as a fitting tribute to her interest and activity in the social welfare of this community.