A 57-year-old woman killed in a bus crash in Ottawa earlier this month was given a proper Scottish sendoff on Saturday at a ceremony with roughly 60 bagpipers and drummers.
Government worker Judy Booth was one of three people who died on Jan. 11 when a double-decker OC Transpo bus collided with a transit shelter. Twenty-three others were injured, and several survivors have had to undergo amputations.
Booth served as president of the local Highland Games and drummed for the Ottawa Police Service, RCMP pipe band and Sons of Scotland Pipe Major Band.
“Everybody just wanted to do something to send her off,” said Sons of Scotland member Brad Hampson, who was among the dozens of musicians who attended the ceremony in Almonte, Ont.
Bethany Bisaillion, also a band member, said Booth “always had a smile on her face.”
“After a long day of work ... music is a great release, and she never lost sight of that,” she said.
Karen Benvie, one of Booth’s daughters, spoke of Booth as a mother who was “always there to give you a hug or some advice.”
Benvie said her mother encouraged people to embrace life and chase their dreams.
“We can’t change the fact that our mom is gone,” Benvie went on. “But we will continue her legacy by getting up and facing every day with the same kindness, courage, compassion, warmth and love of kilts she had.”
Colleague Daniel Mongeon remembered Booth as his “work mom.”
“It was -35 C outside and I didn’t have my toque and she was just looking at me and I said ‘I forgot it at home,’” Mongeon recalled. “She said, ‘I’m not happy, you better have it tomorrow.’”
Bruce Thomlinson, 56, also died in the crash. A private ceremony was held on Friday for the father of two, who also worked in government.
The third person to die after the crash, 65-year-old Anja Van Beek, was also commemorated privately. Van Beek, who worked at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, left behind two children.