DeBeck, Myra King

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DeBeck, Myra King

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1890-1979

History

Myra King DeBeck (nee Ellison) was born in Vernon in 1890, the third child of Price and Sophie Ellison. She attended school in Vernon, going on to Havergal Ladies College in Toronto in 1906. In 1907, she entered McGill University with her sister Ellen. Myra graduated in 1911 with a BA in Economics. She continued her education at McGill, attaining her MA in Economics in 1913. She returned to Vernon and taught physical education at St. Michael's School. During her school years, Myra had taken two significant trips with her father, the first in 1910 to survey Buttle's Lake Park, the first B.C. provincial park, and the second in 1913 to Prince Rupert to study the potential of northern B.C. Her father was a minister of the provincial government at both times. In 1920, Myra married Howard Debeck of the pioneer New Westminster family. Howard had graduated from law school at the University of Toronto in 1911, winning the Governor-General's medal for heading the class in political economy. In 1914, he articled with the firm of Billings and Cochrane in Vernon, going on to enter a partnership with Hugh Heggie, also in Vernon. The partnership lasted until 1925, when Howard decided to practice on his own. He died in 1929 at the age of 39 years. Myra and Howard had two children, Howard Donald and Myra Eileen. After her husband died, Myra moved back to the family home on Pleasant Valley Road to live with her mother, sister, and brother. During the depression, Myra supplemented her income by working part time at the Vernon News. She was a life member of the Alpine Club of Canada, served as president of the Women's Canadian Club of Vernon, and was an active member of the University Women's Club, the North Okanagan Girl Guide Association, the North Okanagan Naturalists, the Okanagan Historical Society, and the Anglican Church. By 1977, she had moved to Victoria. She died there in 1979, but was buried in the Vernon cemetery.

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