Agnes McAvoy (nee Dillon), a resident of Chesterville for the past 35 years, passed away at the Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Tues., Oct. 11, 2011. She was 97.
Agnes was born in Sydney Mines, Cape Breton, on March 10, 1914, to her parents, James and Janie Dillon (nee Fortune). She lived there until the start of her working career in Montreal at the age of 19 when her Uncle Dan Fortune found her a job with an insurance company. She met Jack, her life partner, a few years later in Montreal, where they both worked. They married in December 1940, and home was east end Montreal for the next 36 years, where they raised their family. Agnes was a devoted family person throughout her long life. Early years in Montreal saw a number of sisters (two), brothers (two), and first cousins (three) from home in Sydney Mines pass through the McAvoy home before establishing themselves in Montreal. Frequent care packages were sent to her younger siblings who thought of her as their rich older sister who acted like a second mother (socks and mitts with a quarter inside, chocolates and candies, were the typical care package items). These were not items found in the pantry of a coal miner in those days.
War buddies became life long friends and, with family, kept the children awake every New Year’s Eve with the gala party of singing, dancing, piano playing, and of course, the occasional drink or two!! Agnes worked in the home until all her children were in school, and then started her career as a grade school teacher. These were exciting years and helped financially with their retirement to Chesterville in 1976.
In retirement, Agnes got involved with church groups serving the community, CWL, and delivering Meals-On-Wheels. She was an avid card player, and certainly appreciated the many rides she got to the various events. Agnes did not ever steer a car, but did all the driving from the right hand side of the vehicle, including frequent braking motions. These years saw the discovery of golf as a great past time, and allowed for increased dedication to her family, in particular, her grandchildren. She adored and spoiled them in many different ways. She patiently (well, sometimes, not so patiently) awaited the arrival of great-grandchildren, finally being blessed with the arrival of many.
She was a beloved Mom, Grannie, and Great-Grannie who will be missed immensely by all of her family and friends.
Agnes is survived by her children, Jim McAvoy (Dulce Juvet) of Ottawa and Patricia Henderson (the late Dick) of RR #1 Chesterville; her daughter-in-law Marilyn McAvoy of Avonmore; and her siblings, Theresa Dickson, Eileen Wagner, Detta Bousquet, and Joan Rankin (Ray), all of Halifax, Jack Dillon of Kemptville, and Leo Dillon (Marie) of Brampton. She was a proud Grannie of Wendy, J.P., Michael, Katherine, Andrew, Nancy, Stephen, Dean, Natasha, Mac, Al, and Kent, and proud Great-Grannie of Jack, Jaime, Molly, Carmyn, and Ronan. She was predeceased by her husband, Jack McAvoy, her son, Gary McAvoy, her sister, Mary McKenna, and her brothers, James and Dan Dillon. She is also survived by nieces and nephews.
Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home in Chesterville on Thurs., Oct. 13. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Mary of the Presentation Catholic Church in Chesterville, on Fri., Oct. 14 with Father Cosmas, Father Gillis, and Father Shim officiating. Interment followed at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Chesterville. The pallbearers were grandchildren Stephen Henderson, Andrew Henderson, Nancy Henderson, J.P. McAvoy, Michael McAvoy, Katherine McAvoy, and Wendy Chapman.
Donations to the Winchester District Memorial Hospital or the Lung Association would be gratefully acknowledged by the family.