We regret to announce the death of Marion Mary (Hamilton) Brown of New Victoria, South Bar and Sydney. Born in Montreal, Dec. 13, 1927, Marion celebrated her 90th birthday in 2017. She was predeceased by her mother, Odette Maria Stroobants Debreucq of Binche, Belgium and her father Andrew Hamilton of Linlithgowshire, Scotland. Marion was a widow for 46 years, following the death of her husband, Robert (Bert) Brown of Motherwell, Scotland and New Victoria. She is survived by her sons, Bob, Vancouver, Brian (Patricia MacIsaac), Lingan, NS, Keith (Jane Connell) South Bar; sisters, Odette (Elliott Smith), New Victoria, Antoinette (Jack Glover, deceased), Victoria, BC; five grandchildren, Lauralie Brown (Kelly Matheson), Sydney, NS, David Brown (Stephanie Warburton ), Cindy Chiasson (Joel Chiasson), Fort MacMurray, AB, Adam Brown (Katie O’Connell) Halifax, NS, Matthew Brown, Halifax, NS; great-grandchildren, Joshua Head, Soleil and Munroe Chiasson, Lincoln Brown; nephews, Cordell Smith, Andy Glover and Guy Glover. She was predeceased by a nephew, Wayne Smith.
Marion and Bert were married at Calvin United Church in 1947 and raised their three sons in New Victoria. Marion was active for her entire life. She skated on New Waterford Lake and at the Sydney Forum and when strains of the Blue Danube, On the Wings of a Snow-White Dove or McNamara’s Band drifted through the cold crisp air over Wallace’s Road in New Victoria, she would strap on her racers and glide with the music on the outdoor rink. She was an avid walker, oftentimes walking from Polar Bear, South Bar to Sydney, all over downtown Sydney and enjoyed Yoga and exercise classes at the YMCA and Club 55, into her mid-eighties.
Before Bert died, she had begun working part-time in Men’s Wear at Kmart and doing alterations and enjoyed retail and its camaraderie. The newly widowed Marion needed more than part-time work and replied to a job posting by Fashion’s Fancy in the Sydney Shopping Mall where she worked for several years. She saw an ad in the Cape Breton Post about a Certificate Program in Hospitality being offered at the College of Cape Breton and since it was during the night she could fit it in with her work schedule and enroll she did. She responded to an Ad looking for help at MacLeod’s Lodge on George Street where she was to work for several years.
The career change was not the only change in her life. Alfie LeBlanc of New Victoria entered her life and what fun they had. Alfie brought Marion a second chance at happiness. They danced, they camped, they travelled every back road in Cape Breton and many in Newfoundland and enjoyed life.
She was always the pragmatist. Whatever life throws at you, deal with it and preferably with a smile was her outlook on life. Everyone needs a plan was her mantra and she decided that at 80 one sells their house and moves into an apartment downtown. She settled in, gave up her beloved car saying I can walk everywhere I need to and thus began another phase of her life. In her eighties, she was still walking and going to exercise class twice a week saying if you don’t keep moving you will seize up. So, move she did.
As mobility and balance became an issue, she adapted to Homecare and Private care with ease and grace and was thankful for the care and companionship shown to her by Michelle, Pat and Lorraine who helped her stay in her own apartment and to keep her moving and enjoying life.
As her falls became more frequent she said to Keith one day over tea, I have decided it is time for a nursing home and this is my decision. Like all other decisions and milestones in her life she handled this one with determination and grace. First to Seaview Manor for a brief time where she was happy and wonderfully cared for and then her move in January 2016 to her last home at The Cove. Every day she would say how lucky she was to be there, how nice everyone was to her, how much there was to do and how she loved her home. Her volunteer Thursdays in the Cove Store, reminded her of her retail days.
There are not enough words to properly recognize and thank the staff at the Cove for their love, warmth and care during her stay. Every day we saw special acts of kindness that were not in a job description. Everyone greeted her by name wherever we were, and all were exceptionally kind and caring but the staff of Orchard were like her new family and their kindness will always be remembered. Through her brief illness, she was her usual stoic self and as her death approached, she greeted it with grace, poise and determination. The staff were with her constantly; loving, caring and easing her journey. The kindness will never be forgotten.
There will be no visitation. Cremation has taken place under the care and direction of V.J. McGillivray Funeral Home, 380 Smith Street, New Waterford. A funeral service will be held on Monday, May 7, 2018 at 11 a.m. in Calvin United Church, New Waterford, with Rev. Duncan Roach officiating. Burial will be in Union Grove Cemetery, Scotchtown, with a luncheon to follow at St. Leonard's Parish Hall on Convent Street, New Waterford. Donations in her memory may be made to the Cove Foundation or Calvin United Church. Online expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at: www.vjmcgillivray.ca.
A life well travelled, a life well lived and one not to be forgotten.