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Bessie Mae Spark

December 8, 1934

August 7, 2023

Bessie Mae Dunseath was born on December 8, 1934, to David and Ethyl Dunseath in Carrot River, Sask. She grew up on the family homestead alongside her six siblings, where she held the position of the third oldest. On July 26, 1954, Bessie married John Andrew Spark, one of the Spark Twins (Art & Andy) from White Fox, in Rosetown. Following their wedding, the couple relocated to Calgary, where they raised their three sons, Douglas, Randall, and Wade.

After the birth of their youngest son, Bessie found a job taking care of children at the paddling pool of Killarney Pool, which was located nearby. During this time, she also pursued swimming classes and quickly attained her National Lifeguard Certification along with the Award of Merit and Distinction. For three decades, Bessie built her career as a Lifeguard and Swimming Instructor at Killarney Pool. Additionally, she actively participated in various activities, such as being a devoted hockey mom, an enthusiastic bowler, and an avid bingo player. Hailing from Saskatchewan, Bessie formed connections and cherished friendships with countless individuals.

Bessie and Andy were deeply committed to supporting their children’s hockey endeavors and shared a mutual love for cross-country skiing and camping. They also enjoyed spending their time with loved ones, engaging in coffee sessions and savoring black russians. Tragically, after 46 years of marriage, Andy passed away from cancer in 2001. Seeking solace, Bessie acquired a condominium in Radium, BC, a place where she and Andy cherished camping trips. For the subsequent two decades, Bessie split her time between Radium and Calgary. Throughout her life, she demonstrated a remarkable sense of humor and embraced her passion for travel, visiting countries like Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Fiji, Colombia, Guatemala, and various destinations within the United States.

In late 2021, Bessie experienced a cardiac event that necessitated the use of oxygen, bringing her traveling adventures to an abrupt halt. Gradually, her mobility and health declined, leading to her hospitalization in mid-July of this year. Sadly, Bessie suffered a stroke on the morning of August 7, 2023, which claimed her life. However, her unwavering spirit remained intact. As she often expressed, “Don’t feel sorry for me, I’ve lived a great life, and if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing!”

Left to cherish her memory are her sister Beatrice (Dave) and their two children in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, as well as her three sons (including Trevor Gadd) and their families, residing in Calgary. She was adored by her six grandchildren. In honor of Bessie, contributions can be made to the STARS program or the Alberta Wildlife Society. Alternatively, one can simply enjoy the Sunday afternoon pastime of playing bingo, which Bessie held dear.

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