For her Grade 12 year, Elizabeth Armbruster (Zacharias, 1944), known as Beth among her family and friends, decided to leave her family farm near Meadow Lake, Sask. to attend RJC (then known as the German-English Academy). She was determined to prepare herself to attend normal school to become a teacher after graduation.
During her time at RJC, Beth spent much of her time focusing on her studies. In the 1944 LINK yearbook, Beth described herself as a “weak rabbit hunter” and found much more pleasure in learning biology.
Though she only attended RJC one year, it was a very meaningful experience for her and changed the course of her life. Since there was a shortage of teachers in the province at that time, the government provided a six week teacher training course. Beth took advantage of this opportunity and began her teaching career. She taught in the Meadow Lake School Division for several years and attended the University of Saskatchewan during the summers taking classes toward her permanent certificate.
She never forgot the impact RJC had on her life. “The faith-based nature of the school would have been very important to her,” says Jim Skinner, a nephew of Beth. After growing up in a Mennonite family, Beth married a Lutheran man named John Armbruster in 1968, whom she met in Edmonton, Alta. They worked together at John’s family company, Armbruster Lumber in Stony Plain, Alta. until they sold the business in the early 1990s.
John passed away in 2017, and Beth in 2020. Though they supported several organizations throughout their lives, RJC held a special place in Beth’s heart and she made plans to support the school with a gift in her will. While a portion of the gift will go to address some significant capital infrastructure projects, the gift left to RJC will also be used to create the “John & Elizabeth Armbruster Scholarship” for new students attending the school. Beth held a particular interest in supporting students who otherwise could not attend the school due to finances.
John and Beth’s generosity will leave a lasting legacy that will significantly improve school facilities and allow future generations of students to attend.
If you would like more information about leaving a gift in your will to RJC, please contact Alex Tiessen at email@example.com or call (306) 232-4222.