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Elizabeth May Short 1931-2004

Category Articles
Date April 22, 2004

Dr Ben Short was Geoff Thomas’ room-mate at Westminster Theological Seminary in 1961. Ben is now the pastor emeritus of the Orthodox Christian Reformed Church of Cambridge Ontario. His wife, Elizabeth, has recently passed away and this is one of the tributes that has been paid to her:

Elizabeth was born in North Vancouver to Elizabeth and Edward Fraser Latta. The times were those of the Great Depression. She attended Sunday school as a little girl at the Holiness Pentecostal Church to which her parents belonged. There she heard about the Lord Jesus and the need of salvation. As she grew up she attended school in North Vancouver and upon finishing High School she entered the employ of the Bank of Montreal. It was about this time that she was converted to Christ.

The financial world however did not satisfy her so she decided to enter the nursing profession. About this time Elizabeth began to worship at Granville Chapel in Vancouver, which was a Plymouth Brethren Assembly. It was there that she first met her future husband who had moved to Vancouver from Toronto.

Elizabeth, after hospital nursing, went to the University of British Columbia and received a diploma in Public Health Nursing. She then began to work for the Victorian Order of Nurses. Because she had been helped financially by the VON she was obligated to work for them for a year. She ended up in Cornwall, Ontario. After spending a year in Cornwall she returned to Vancouver. She had decided to go to Guatemala as a co-ordinator with Wycliffe Bible Translators for a year. This involved doing clinical work amongst the Indians in the interior of the country. A few weeks before leaving for Guatemala she again met her future husband and at that time she was introduced more fully to Reformed Doctrine. Reformed views were not entirely unknown to her, for she had been introduced to them at Multnomah School of the Bible where she had studied for a year in anticipation of doing some kind of Mission work. She went to Guatemala but did not remain for the year due to the sudden illness of her mother who died shortly after Elizabeth returned to Vancouver.

Elizabeth and Ben had been corresponding during her sojourn in Latin America, and upon her return to Canada they courted and were married in October of 1966. The next career for Elizabeth was not only that of wife and mother, but a Pastor’s wife. In that role she was a great encouragement to her husband and a bright testimony to her Lord. The role of pastor’s wife was embraced with dedication and quietly fulfilled. Elizabeth had a great concern for God’s people, which she manifested in thoughtful ways. She was concerned to know what was going on in their lives, but she was never intrusive.

In whatever place God led the Shorts in the ministry, Elizabeth was loved and admired for her quiet, godly and gentle way. If anything characterised Elizabeth it was that she loved and served people. She thought of others before herself. She returned to nursing both in hospital and the VON. Her love for Christ was paramount, and that manifested itself in her devotion to her family, her selfless love to her children, and her husband.

The price of a virtuous woman, says Proverbs, is more than that of rubies. Elizabeth was that kind of woman. In her last terrible suffering she maintained her gentle spirit. She did not complain or murmur concerning the way she had to go. She quietly accepted God’s will. The hardest thing for her to do was to let go of her loved ones because she knew they needed her.

She will be greatly missed and the memory of her will be sweet.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

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