Elizabeth (Betty) and Dusan (Dule) Mihailovic are a couple whose life together was perhaps un-conventional but certainly an adventure and who together have contributed greatly to our community and the land of North Bay.
Born in 1944 near Glasgow, Scotland, Betty was given up for adoption at a young age due to World War Two and then later worked as a nurse and midwife, travelling far off into the highlands to deliver and perform complex surgical maneuvers to save a baby or a mother. She prided herself in
perfecting her skills and the care she gave her patients.
Dule was born in 1939 in war-ravaged Belgrade, Serbia. His mother was left a widow after his father was killed on duty working on the king’s guard. Against all odds, Dule grew up to be a
talented musician on the piano, an accomplished singer travelling the world to perform, a dedicated soldier, and ultimately a graduate from university with an Engineering Degree in Forestry. After working in Austria, he was lured to Canada by promise of work in its bountiful
Betty came to Canada for a year to work as a midwife/nurse in Geraldton, ON, where she met Dule, fell in love and they married. They had three children in a home filled with love and laughter. Both worked in the community as well as First Nations Reservations and connected deeply with the people, ultimately moving to North Bay in 1980. Mesmerized by the forests, lakes and welcoming community, they made a home and built on it. Over the next 30 years both continued to give endlessly to the community.
Dule worked with the Ministry of Natural Resources and is a dedicated member of the Masonic Lodge. In addition to his work managing and protecting our beautiful forests, he initiated and encouraged environmental conservation through tree planting programs with local schools and First Nations reservations, fighting tirelessly to prevent development that would affect our escarpment or native forests and through small, personal challenges such as convincing the municipality to lower speed limits in areas where local school children were most at risk. His love for North Bay has always been one of his most beautiful traits and has been evident in his involvement in our community and beautiful land.
Betty worked initially as a volunteer in our schools helping to teach and encourage children with learning disabilities and later as a labor and delivery nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital, then at the St. Joseph Mother House and finally as a home care nurse with HealthCo Medical. Betty took enormous pride in her work and truly made a difference in the lives of every patient lucky enough to come under her care.
With a quiet humility, she touched the lives of the most isolated and vulnerable and always with the most gorgeous smile on her face. Her career was cut short due to health. Despite her own cancer battle, she was always busying herself with making sure all the other patients around her were comfortable. Betty died peacefully on April 14, 2011, surrounded by her family who sat in gratitude for her love.
Betty and Dule’s friends and mostly their children wish to acknowledge the love and dedication with which they have built a home and contributed to better the community of North Bay. This is in honor of them with sincere gratitude.
Honoured by Dusan Mahailovic & Family