January 31, 1924 - July 25, 2021
Beret Cutler (Vik) passed away at age 97, surrounded by her children, at the Red Deer Hospice after a month-long illness. She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Charles Cutler, in 1986 and her only sibling Norman ‘Bud’ Vik in 2015. Beret is survived by: her children Brian (Charlene), Garth, Lynne Longshore (Dave) and Debbie Sissons (Cam), as well as eight grandchildren (Darryl & Vanessa Cutler; Dallas, Tanis & Jenna Longshore; Laramie, Shelby & Colby Sissons) and six great grandchildren (Denver, Olivia & Boston Longshore; Rylyn, Maryn & Kohen James). Beret is also survived by nieces Jenni & Patsy (Rob) and nephew Reg (Shelly) Vik, the Nelson family as well as numerous relatives in Norway.
Beret was born in Kleppe, Norway, to parents Tora and John Vik. When Beret was nearly three years old, Tora and the two little children made the long voyage to Canada on their own and arrived in Halifax on September 5, 1926 as John was already in Alberta. Within a year of settling on the homestead near Bonanza in the Peace River area, Beret's mother Tora's life was taken by polio. Their father was unable to cope with two young children during this difficult period so Beret and her brother were raised by their Uncle Edward's family at Craigmyle, Alberta.
Mom was a lifelong learner who completed her schooling in Craigmyle (Hanna area) and went on to receive her teaching diploma from Normal School in Edmonton. She continued her teaching education by taking courses in Seattle, Washington, after which she was hired for her first teaching job at Sexsmith at 18 years of age teaching Grades 1-8. Beret went on to teach in the communities of Hay Lakes, Foremost, Taber, Lacombe and Ponoka for an eleven year teaching career. Several past students went out of their way to thank her for being so instrumental in their lives. She was the favorite teacher of many and forged lifelong friendships with fellow teachers. While teaching in Lacombe, Beret was invited to join her colleagues Betty and her sister Winnifred Cutler for coffee. It was there that Beret met the girls' brother, Charles, and the rest is history. Beret and Charlie were married on July 21, 1954. Beret contracted tuberculosis in 1955 and spent a year receiving treatments in a sanatorium. Thankfully she recovered.
Beret and Charlie went on to have their four children. Together the couple established a thriving family farm. Like many young couples of that era, they tried to create income wherever they could with laying hens, broiler chickens, turkeys, pigs and established a purebred Hereford herd of cattle. Beret played a pivotal role in the development of the farm, both inside and outside the home. Her efforts over the years helped ensure the farm evolved into what it is today. Mom did it all on the farm from raking and baling hay, driving grain truck with the cab full of kids, calving cows, building fences, feeding work crews and still looking after a busy family.
The sudden passing of her beloved husband and partner in 1986 was heartbreaking, but Charlie's passion for family and great cattle continued under Beret's guidance. The Cutler Hereford's herd went on to gain further international recognition and hosted many successful on farm production sales and also sold top bulls at the Calgary Bull Sale winning several championships. Many friends, neighbours and cattle visitors from around the globe enjoyed Beret’s hospitality and great meals. Beret moved to Lacombe in 2005 and became more active in many seniors activities including curling, bocci, bowling and cards. She especially loved spending time with friends at Kozy Korner. Beret thrived on competition and competed in many Alberta Senior Games and various tournaments. Mom resided in the Chateau of Lacombe and thoroughly enjoyed morning coffee, game nights, cards and social events with fellow residents. Beret enjoyed travelling and was able to visit Norway and England twice, take an Alaskan cruise, a VIA rail trip across Canada and also visited San Diego, Niagara Falls and Mexico. Like her father who lived on his own until his passing at 98 years of age, Beret was also fiercely independent and lived on her own up until her hospitalization.
The family would like to acknowledge the staff at the Red Deer Hospice for their exceptional care during her stay.
Beret was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. "Forever in our Hearts" and "Always our Inspiration".
A public ‘Celebration of Life” for Beret will be held on Saturday, August 7th at 3:00 PM at the Cutler Farm, northeast of Lacombe. Directions to Cutler farm: 4 miles north of Lacombe on Hwy 2A, 3 miles east on Milton Road and 1 3/4 miles north on Rge Rd 26-0. Blue sign address:41322 Rge Rd 260.
If friends so desire, memorial donations can be made to the Red Deer Hospice Society, Kozy Korner or the Alberta Heart and Stroke Foundation.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Beret (Vik) Cutler, please visit our floral store.