On Sunday, March 21, the New Waterford population got a little lighter with the passing of our beloved mother, Pearl Marie Gillis. Mom passed away peacefully and without complaint at Harbourstone Enhanced Care, Sydney. She was just 85 years young.
Mom was born in 1935 to Stephen and Rose (Ross) Oravecz in her hometown New Waterford. Mom being the eldest child excelled at leading and was happy in her role as Big Sister to younger brothers Sonny and Larry. After her family moved to Rock Elm to start a life of farming, Mom decided she wasn’t having any of it as Big Town life was calling her back to New Waterford. She worked in Roseland Tea Room (very posh) as well as Ropek's Corner Store where she first locked eyes with Dad. She later worked at St. Agnes Convent and New Waterford Hospital.
After seven years of courting, Mom finally said yes and her Dad got married on August 31, 1959. It wasn’t long after we came along, all six of us.
With that, Mom’s career became us. Mom held Honorary Degrees in Effective Communication/Leadership, Financial Planning, Food Sourcing/Meal Prep/Baking, Housekeeping, Psychology and Nursing especially in the prevention of worms and we’re pretty sure there was an Army Sergeant Major influence as she worked tirelessly to keep us instep.
With six kids, Mom never drove, except once and the poor cow whose life almost came to an abrupt end was never the same. Dad thought it best he drive and Mom was happy to be chauffeured around while educating Dad on Best Practice and Effective Driving as to avoid obstacles on the road!
Mom made up for her lack of driving skills with baking; hands down the best bread maker in town! She made the best tea biscuits, bread, and cinnamon rolls, the house always smelled of a bakery. Sadly for us, Mom would ration the baked goods instead opting for puffed wheat (before sugar puffs) and powdered milk, her logic for this was simple, “Too much sweets and bread will give you worms”. To be honest, we always found her secret stash of baked goods as well as her Hot Toddy Mix, sorry not sorry Mom! We are also happy to report we never got worms.
Mom was much loved by us and although we may have contributed to her “grey hair”, sadly, Clairol Hair Dye lost one of its longest and most loyal customers. We sincerely hope color 6A/114 Light Ash Brown sales will rebound after this devastating blow.
Mom is survived by us, her kids; Jimmy(Kim), Johnny(Nan), Wayne(Patricia), Carolyn(Stephen), Darren(Phuong), Sharon(Mark); 15 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; brother, Larry; sister, Sandy; many nieces and nephews and her cat, Frisky.
Besides her parents, Mom was predeceased by her husband, (our Dad) of 60 years, James Gillis; brother, Sonny; stepmother, Annie and her cats, Fluffy, Frisky, Fluffy, Frisky, Fluffy, and Ginger.
A visitation will be held to honour our Mom on Saturday, March 27, 2021 from 10 a.m.-12 noon in V.J. McGillivray Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 380 Smith Street, New Waterford. Masks and social distancing are required. A private Funeral Mass of celebration will be held in the Parish Church of St. Leonard with Father Peter McLeod officiating. Burial will be in Mount Carmel Cemetery at a later date.
Mom’s family wishes to thank family and friends, medical staff at Harbourstone Enhanced Care and the VON for their many years of care and compassion to Mom; she truly cherished your thoughtfulness, care and company. Donations in her memory may be made to the Nova Scotia SPCA-Cape Breton Shelter. Online expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at: www.vjmcgillivray.ca.
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, March 27, 2021
V.J McGillivray Funeral Homes - New Waterford Location