Eva Nellie (Beetham) Hyatt

December 19, 1920November 23, 2018
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At 97 years, passed away on Friday, November 23, 2018 at Riverside Place in Windsor. Beloved wife of the late Clarence Hyatt (2004). Loving mother of Brian (Linda) Hyatt and Kathy (the late Kit) Rousseau. Dear grandmother of Geoff Rousseau, Holly Rousseau (Eric Clark), Dawn Rousseau, Jeff (Amy Beth) Matteau, Sandra (John) Thompson, Steve (Tiffany) Matteau, Todd (Cindy) Amlin, Sherri Amlin (Joel Ledoux) and the late Tricia (the late Rob) Morneau. Great-grandmother of 16. Survived by her sisters in law; Shirley Gentry and Joyce Dodd as well as several nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her sister Doris Waldron and her brother Leonard Beetham. Eva was a longtime member of the UCW at the Leamington United Church.

Family and friends will be received on Thursday, November 29, 2018 from 10 until 11 a.m. at the Walter D. Kelly Life Celebration Centre, 1969 Wyandotte St. E. (519-252-5711). A Memorial Service will be held in the chapel at 11 a.m. with a celebration of Eva’s life to follow. Interment will take place at Evergreen Cemetery in Leamington. If desired, memorial donations made to the Downtown Mission would be appreciated by the family. Online tributes may be made at


  • Memorial Visitation Thursday, November 29, 2018
  • Memorial Service Thursday, November 29, 2018

Eva Nellie (Beetham) Hyatt

have a memory or condolence to add?

Susie Gay

November 26, 2018

I will always remember your mother as peaceful and kind.

Such wonderful childhood memories of my neighbours the Hyatts. Your Mom would keep watch at the kitchen window, while we raced around. (Probably thinking Im going to break Brians leg every time I tripped him while playing ball), and Kathy always laughing and chatty.

So lucky to have you all in my memories where Talbot and Russell Streets met.

Thank you, Susie

Helen Minovski

November 26, 2018

I am so sorry to hear of Mrs. Hyatt’s passing. She will forever hold a special place in my heart. I always enjoyed our visits and I will always remember her kindness. She was a great lady and I hope that fond memories will provide you comfort in the days to come.


Hazel Beetham and Laura Del've - first cousins. Eva is sitting on the right in Hazel's lap (6 months old).


Four generation picture of Eva, her mother (standing behind her), her grandmother Agnes Bratt (standing beside Hazel) and her great-grandmother Mrs. John M. Sellars (seated).


Eva - wedding attendant for her cousin Merna Beetham's wedding - 1941.


Eva Beetham - 1942.


Eva and Clarence Hyatt - March 2, 1946.


Clarence & Eva's wedding - 1946. Claude Penfold and Doris Waldron as Best Man and Matron of Honour.


1946 - 25 years old in an orange grove in Florida.


I was born December 19, 1920, to Ray and Hazel (Bratt) Beetham - at their farm on the 8th Concession of Malden Township. Doctors made house call then and I presume our doctor performed the delivery. My sister Doris was born December 22, 1923 and brother Leonard was born January 1, 1926. When they arrived, it was night time and it was announce to me the next morning.

For several years mother's kitchen had no built in cupboards or sink. She had a tall, big black walnut cupboard (which Holly now has), a drop leaf table to work on and a big iron stove with a heating oven above, regular oven in the middle, and reservoir at the end to keep filled to heat water. On washdays water would be carried to fill a big copper boiler - tank type container placed on the stove to heat. It would have to be poured into the washer, and rinse tubs for washing. There was a washroom off the kitchen where work clothes, the washer and sink with a pump to fill pails with water were kept.

The washer, which was rolled into the kitchen for use (also the churn) were round wooden tubs, with paddles inside, and a rod outside attached which had to be pushed back and forth by hand to move the paddles inside. Rinse water was placed on a portable rack with tubs creating much lifting, and clothes were all put through a hand wringer. After hydro was installed, mother eventually got an electric wringer washer. Clothes were then hung outside to dry, and often had to be brought in and put on racks in the house to finish drying. There was also a cream separator which was kept in the pantry. Any excess milk was put through it to reserve the cream for butter, and we had lots of milk to drink.

We had a wooden telephone on the wall from my earliest recollections and there were 7 or 8 neighbours all on the same line - each with a different ring, so one could tell whose phone was ringing by the number of rings, and if some were long and short rings.

When I was very young the school teacher at the red brick school nearby boarded at our place. Mr. Andy Grieve came first, and all teachers were referred to us children as Mr. or Miss. At Easter the year I was six, I started school, but had problems with a growth on my neck and had to go into town for some sort of treatments. Eventually I had my tonsils out and that cured it, but I missed my first year of school. Mr. Grieve moved to Harrow and a new teacher came to live with us, and I started school in September with Miss Florence Ulrich. She remained 3-4 years, and eventually married Mr. Grieve, and they moved to Sudbury, where they continued to live their entire lives. My folks and I took on the job of keeping the school clean - we had to sweep every night after school, moving the desks back 1 space, to cover all the floor, then put them back where they were. Dad mowed the yard 2-3 times a year. There was an outdoor pump for drinking water, and outhouses for "relief". There was a big pot-bellied furnace in one corner to heat the school, and we would have to start the fire before Monday mornings.

I brought home all childhood diseases - whooping cough, mumps (which I gave to my dad) and chicken pox. Doris had chicken pox, whooping cough and pneumonia all at once - a very sick girl, but she survived. Mother insisted on regular attendance - a cold was no reason to stay home. Consequently I received a book award almost every year for perfect attendance!

I can remember when electricity was installed down our road. I was about 5 or 6. No roads were paved. No. 18 Highway was rebuilt and paved before our road was paved.

My folks were devout church goers and we all went every Sunday. Most of our neighbours were United Church people too, and our neighbourhood and church activities rounded out our family lives. We might have company or go to another home on Sunday, but there were no Sunday movies. Dancing and cards were also taboo on Sundays. Our church was at the end of Concession 8 and #18 Highway, and has been a landmark since 1892. It was taken over by the Catholic Church several years ago, and only recently they find they don't have enough priests to keep this church open and at the time of this writing the talk is that they may tear it down. When I was young, there was a parsonage beside the church, and the minister often stopped in. Mother had a piano and could play some, but had little time for it. In my teens, I fingered away on it and learned to cord for some of dad's fiddling for a few home square dances. I later was able to play a bit by ear, but that has faded into obscurity, by not keeping at it.

Mother was also a very good seamstress, and made most of our clothes, much of it hand-me-downs which she would rip apart and remake into our dresses, etc. She also made Doris' and my wedding gowns and the attendants' dresses, plus a coat for my 'going away'.

Dad had a general 50 acre farm where he grew hay, wheat, oats, corn, tomatoes (tried tobacco a few times, but didn't care for it), and garden foods. We had long rows of black raspberries and strawberries. We children helped pick them. I remember picking strawberries (in my early teens) and we delivered them to town for 10 cents per quart. For a couple years in summer holidays, we children would clean up vegetables, and deliver them to cottagers along the lake road, by horse and democrat (a light weight farm wagon that usually had two or more seats and was pulled by horses).

When wheat and oats were ripe, cut and stoked, a man would come with his threshing machine. Neighbours would come with their team and wagons to help bring in the sheeves, and throw them into the threshing machine. It would blow the straw into a huge pile, and the grain would be saved and put in bins. Mother and a couple neighbours or relatives would have to prepare meals for 10 - 12 hungry men - usually 2 or 3 meals. Sometimes we would have a hired man who lived at our house to help with the farm work. Dad always had hogs and milk cows and we were on a milk route. I remember once dad's hogs became ill -- they had cholera. According to law, he had to kill them all and bury them, as it was quite contagious. He seemed to feel the pigeons brought the disease from somewhere. That was a big loss for him. Mother was responsible for the chickens, and in the early years, we had incubators in the house and raised baby chicks. Consequently we had lots of eggs to eat and had to clean them to put in crates for sale. Usually an "egg man" would come along to pick them up. There used to be a regular "bread man" to deliver bread, but often mother would make bread. Dad would grow some cane and in the fall after it was cut, would take it to Kingsville to have someone press out the juice and then make sorgum syrup for us. When most of the work was done in the fall, we would have some neighbours in for the evening to play cards, etc. Mother would serve fresh baked bread and sorgum syrup. Was that good!

Before my brother Leonard was born, mother had appendicitis. The doctor wouldn't operate until after he was born, but said, "No more children until you have the operation." It was several years later before she had her appendix out. I have class pictures of my school, and the year I graduated from high school.

Dad had a second hand car, from my earliest recollection, but he wasn't much of a mechanic, and sometimes it was hard to keep it running and on the road.

When I started to go to high school in Amherstburg, there were 5 from our area going the 9 miles to school. Sid Thomas lived half a mile north and would pick up Bunny Atkin and me, and go on to get Helen Sellars and her cousin Robert Sellars. On our day to drive, Sid would drive our car, an old high top Model "T" with centre door and during the depression years, it was hard for my folks to find a quarter to buy a gallon of gas to get us there and back. We always took our own lunch as there was no cafeteria at school, although some went downtown. I took the secretarial course and graduated in 1937. During my last year, the principal, Mr. Sidey, asked if I would take my spares in his office to do odd jobs and answer the telephone. Mr. Sidey also taught some. I was in his office one day when Jack Waldron was called to the phone. It was Hiram Walkers calling him to come to work. He went and worked there until his retirement. I was astonished, but happy, when Mr. Sidey gave me $50.00 and a box of chocolates at Christmas and a bit of money at years' end for helping there. They had no other office staff then.

Bunny (Atkin) Soper lived 2 farms north of us, and Helen (Sellars) Burns lived across from the Waldron Farm. They were distant cousins, but my best friends too and we were back and forth to each other's places. We were all involved with choir practice, Sunday school and youth groups at our church. June Del've, another cousin in Detroit, was also close. Her mother, Laura, was a cousin of Mother's and they were close. June and I were 3 months apart in age. We would visit each other in holidays and June's brother Ralph also came over to visit Len often in the summer. Although June married, later moved to Northern Michigan, then to Florida for retirement, we always visited whenever we were near.

I went to a church sponsored summer camp when I was about 17. It was at Oxley. Many came from all over Southern Ontario. Along with having a great time, the leadership in the daily devotionals made quite an impact on my Christian beliefs. I often think back to my time at camp. I am reminded of God's Holy Spirit. We may not be able to see the Spirit but if we listen, we can hear it and if our hearts are open, we can feel it. I came away from camp with a greater understanding of the Holy Spirit's reality in my life. God's powerful Spirit is available to us, in the bright times and the dark times. It's as real as the air around us. We must listen with an open heart.

I found it difficult to get work after I graduated, but by autumn of 1939 Mr. George Sellars, an Insurance Agent in Kingsville (and related to the Malden Sellars) came to see if I was interested in working for him to drive him to clients, help in the house, write up policies, where I would do written work. It paid $5.00 a week, with room and board. I decided to take it. They lived about 5 blocks from downtown, and 3 blocks from the United Church , so convenient to everything. The Runstedlars (my cousins) were living in Kingsville, along with Eileen's sister, Beth Deneau, so I had people to see and do things with. I had visited Uncle Lester Deneau's north of Leamington during my years after high school, and living at home. I met several people in that area, including Clarence. He came to Malden occasionally and once I went to Kingsville, Clarence and I started to date more regularly. Beth and I were together often and would take in many shows at the theatre, as Beth's special friend worked there. The shows were about 35 cents for a ticket then. Beth worked at the drug store. Her folks had moved up to Northern Ontario. She eventually married the man from the theatre, John Sanford, but we double dated often for those years, when Clarence came to town.

After a couple years in Kingsville, I decided to go to night school to brush up on my shorthand, and typing. I would take the bus to Leamington for those trips in the evening. By February of 1942 I got work at the Royal Bank in Leamington, where I had to start by doing ledger work (no computers) and eventually worked up to be the Manager's secretary - working there for over 5 years.

The Second World War was on, Jack and Doris, my sister were married September 27, 1944, he in uniform. Aunt Agnes Bratt's husband Bob McCallum was also in the service, they married in 1941. He went overseas to the North Africa area, eventually coming up through Italy. I was good friends with many of the bank girls and 2 summers we took a cottage just west of Seacliffe Park, still going to work from there. One of those friends, Helen Turnball, lost a brother who was in the Air force then. My friend, Bunny (Evelyn Soper) joined the US Services as a nurse. My friend Helen married John Burns and they had 1 son before he went into service and was taken prisoner at Dieppe. He remained a prisoner of war until the end, eventually coming home, when they had 9 more children. I visited them a couple years ago when they celebrated their 50th anniversary but John has since died. Cousin Mary (Deneau) was a nurse, and along with husband Bill Cunningham, both were in the service. Bill was shot down, but got to safety. We were well aware a war was on as many things were rationed and it was sometimes difficult to find products we were used to buying. Many knit gloves and socks to send overseas and boxes of goodies were often sent. I boarded almost 5 years with Mrs. Adah Dell on Victoria St. N. where it was convenient to downtown. The Bank was where Wharram's Jewellery is now. Mrs. Dell was a widow, a good cook and friendly. When I got married she had a shower for me and gave me a hand painted cake plate and 2 "Shelley" matching china cups and saucers. I got my marble topped table at her neighbour's auction sale for $15.00. My parents came to buy it for me as I was working.

Len's wife Yvonne came to live at mother and dad's about the time I went to Kingsville. She taught at the red brick school - all 8 grades, as the other teachers did. It was only after she came to live there, that they had a bathroom installed at dad's where the pantry used to be. Leonard and Yvonne were married July 22, 1950. They moved their house in on a lot next to dad's at the farm. Von continued to teach for over 25 years, and Len decided to work at the Harrow Experimental Farm, until retirement.

Mother's family, the Hartson Bratt's, sold their farm on the 6th Concession (just North of the present town hall in Malden) and moved to Windsor while I was very young. Grandpa worked as custodian at one of the schools, and Aunt Agnes was hired in an office at the Board of Education. Another daughter, Aunt Kit (Mary Catharine) graduated as a nurse from Ottawa General. , but she came down with T.B. (tuberculosis), a lung disease. Grandpa built a porch on the back of their house on Church Street as the doctor said fresh air and rest was the best cure. Aunt Inez, the youngest daughter also started the nursing course, but also came down with T.B. and it was even more severe for her. Aunt Kit was a couple years recovering, but Aunt Inez was 3-4 years. They rested in bed on the outdoor porch off the kitchen, both summer and winter. Grandma Bratt would have to use a separate pan and wash their dishes separately, and scald them after every meal. Now some medications are a big help in fighting T.B. Aunt Inez recovered, too but was never very strong and remained at home all her life.

In 1949, Grandma Bratt and 2 other ladies went to the church to a wedding. On the way home, while crossing a street, they were hit by a car - careless driver. All three died from their injuries. Aunt Inez provided a home for Grandpa Bratt for many years and he died in 1959. Another sister, Aunt Leah was deaconess with the church, usually working at orphanages or senior retirement homes. When she retired she and Aunt Inez got an apartment together, and when Aunt Kit Richardson became a widow, the three of them shared an apartment. Uncle Bob McCallum returned from the war, and he and Aunt Agnes made their home in Windsor and had 2 daughters. One is a university professor in Halifax and the other a lawyer in Toronto. In later years, Uncle Bob's would go to Florida in the Winter and we often visited them there. Eventually they went into a retirement home, living there until they were deceased.

My father, Raymond C. Beetham had a stroke a couple years before he died in 1971. Mother remained at their home, and was fairly active for several years, going on a trip west with us in 1975. I can see her, and all her wonder, as she looked up at the towering mountains.

In 1962 we purchased a home at 104 Talbot St. W. in Leamington and we spent a couple months decorating before moving in the summer. Brian would start high school, a block away, in the fall. Grandpa (Harvey) Hyatt had been in ill health, off and on and died January 13, 1966. Grandma lived on in the house on Erie N., and was very active until she had a stroke in December 1974.

By the summer of 1969 I had been having cramps for a year or so, after eating. After other treatment didn't help, I was x-rayed and found a bowel stoppage. After surgery it was found to be cancerous. I had to go for tests every 3 months. After a year, there appeared to be more showing, and a second surgery took out more bowel. Within a month tests came back with cancer showing, so I had a third surgery. I did a lot of praying and actually had have nothing showing since. Later my sister Doris was to have the same problem but the cancer got into her liver and she died in 1980.

Mother stayed with us for a year, and Yvonne and Len helped out at Doris' as much as possible. In 1980, Mother went back to stay with Len's while we took a trip East in colour time. While there, she fell and broke her hip. They wouldn't operate right away as they felt her heart wouldn't take it, but did so about 3 months later. However, she was in such a weakened condition she was hospitalized for almost a year and died in 1981. Eventually her house was cleared out and as it was such an old building, it was torn down, along with many of the smaller sheds. Only the barn remains back of Len's house. The land had been rented out for many years. In 1994, Len and Yvonne sold the farm acreage to the neighbor to the North and now they just have their own large lot with their house and garage.

Brian's marriage, etc. is recorded in Clarence's memoires. Kathy, Kit and family lived in Leamington until Kit's work at a forging plant in Windsor was depleted. He was fortunate enough to get work through some fellow workers at Alcan Aluminum Co. in Kitimat, BC. The company moved them out in 1980 and they were fortunate to find a home to rent soon after they left. We were able to visit them a couple time while they lived there and after three years they wanted to get back to Ontario. They came back on vacation but by then Kit had already contacted a firm in Port Colborne, Ontario so they moved back and got a house in Niagara Falls. They lived there for a time, until buying their present home. Kathy worked at a day care in the parsonage of the United Church when they were first married, later doing office work at D & T. I often had the children to babysit and really enjoyed them. As they went West, she did waitressing. On arriving back in Niagara Falls she worked at Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum for a few years, and is presently working steadily in the office at Brent Canada Ltd., formerly Ardrox at Stoney Creek. Kit has continued working at the Forging Plant and is now supervisor, in charge of most everything! Their son Geoffrey attended Niagara College for 1.5 years and is presently managing an electronic game store in a mall in Niagara Falls. Holly is attending Humber College, working in summer time and hopes to be a mortician. Dawn is in her last year of high school. She recently got braces off her teeth after a couple years and that was a happy day.

Brian and Linda have a home in Tecumseh. Linda teaches and Brian is still with the Ministry of Transportation after more than 20 years. He is out of town most of the week. The four children live either at home or nearby. Jeff and Amy Beth were married in 1994. We have been welcomed at different family gatherings and are pleased with the relationship.

We remain at home more as time goes on, as years are telling! We get out for short distances and enjoy company. I keep active at church, for it has meant so much to me all my life. I'm so pleased that all family relationships have stood the test of time, and we are still happy to intermingle. We are pleased to see our own children ensconced in their own homes and wish for them the happy and loving relationship that we have enjoyed.

To all our family -- you are so important to us. We haven't told you often enough, but we love you all dearly.

Eva Hyatt
July 1995