Alexcina (Lexie) Reid, R.N., 78, North Sydney/Benacadie
It is with profound sadness the family of Lexie (MacLean) Reid announce her peaceful passing at the Northside General Hospital on Sunday, April 11, 2021.
Mourning her loss are husband of 55 years Gordon Reid, North Sydney, daughter Jocelyn (Norman) Bethune, Baddeck and beloved grandchildren, Rob, Anna and Jonathan, all in Baddeck. Her siblings Ann Daigle (Rexton, NB), Rose Dean (Dartmouth), Eileen Williams, (Salmon Arm, BC) and brother John (Karen) Sydney; sisters-in-law Marion MacBurnie (North Sydney) and Elaine Smith (Dartmouth) and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and more who will miss her sense of humour, her insight and fun. Predeceased by her parents, sisters Betty O’Neil and Marie Steele; in-laws Fred & Charlotte Reid, North Sydney; sisters in-law Gladys Ferguson, Edna Hilton, Margie Killen, Charlotte Erskine, and brothers-in-law Bert, Lloyd, Donnie (in infancy), Larry and Bob Reid.
Born in the shadow of the steel plant on Ferry Street in Sydney, NS in October 1942, she was the second oldest child of Neil Stephen (Washabuck) and Mary Anne (nee MacLennan, Benacadie) MacLean.
Lexie graduated as an RN from St. Elizabeth Hospital, North Sydney in 1964, making life-long friends. As a student nurse, she attended to a young surgery patient who was very quickly smitten. Lexie and Gord eloped in August 1965 in North Sydney; their dearest friends Earl & Sylvia Luffman, standing with them as their witnesses and only wedding guests.
Through the years, she birthed babies and cared for patients of all ages in hospitals in Sackville, New Brunswick, Amherst and Truro, NS. She returned to St. Elizabeth (Northside General) in 1971, working on the 3rd Floor, eventually settling into the ER. There, a sisterhood, formed with Drue, Ann Marie, Honorine and others. It was one filled with humour and a deep understanding of caring for humanity and the bonds lasted long into retirement.
She had a natural curiosity and loved to impart interesting snippets, sprinkling them into conversation: how to make a poultice, how intelligent crows are and the Gaelic words for: drink, bits of snow, and ‘close-the-door’. When Baddeck became part of her world, she proudly shared family lore from the Washabuck perspective and her Grandmother MacLean’s simple diary entry from February 23, 1909, marking history the day the Silver Dart flew: ‘Saw an aeroplane fly over the bay today’. These bits of knowledge connected her ancestors with her only child.
For years, Lexie & Gord’s cottage in Benacadie was the first stop on the way to the shore and she became an unofficial greeter for family and friends travelling the single lane path, once travelled by their forebearers. The cottage was filled with her artwork – abstract paintings on the bathroom door, brickwork behind the old Lorne Street oil stove as well as framed treasures (hers & others) covering the walls.
The cottage, designed by her and Gord (a benzene ring, a 6-sided hexagon) in the mid-1970’s was her happy place. Built in what was once her grandfather’s potato field, she delighted in watching her grandkids and the next generations play in the same field decades later. To honour lost family members, she planted trees. The best times there, were the endless summer days on the beach when everyone was ‘home’ and the many activities that followed.
She delighted in being a grandmother. Proudly attending every school concert, cadet ceremony, science and history fair. Joyous photos of the grandkids, many snapped by her, line the walls of her & Gord’s home, accompanied by bold and colourful artist renderings done by the grandkids through the years. Each given the respect of a masterpiece.
Lexie was a generous and sweet person. Like her paintings, she was full of bold strokes and bright colours. She had a deep sense of humour and witty, insightful comments often followed her observations. The last number of years, her mind was wracked with dementia, but those smiling eyes and quick wit could erupt with great joy, even in her final hours.
The family thanks the medical and support staff at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, specifically those in ICU who can somehow bring a gentle calmness and grace to multiple life-threatening crises daily, specifically, Doctors Butler, Classen and Brake and Nurses Shelly, Laurie, Kelsie, Wayne, Jessica and the others.
At the Northside General - the hospital where she lived & trained; met the love of her life and worked most of her career - a beautiful homecoming was provided by the medical & security staff on 5E, especially Dr. Alexander Wawer, and RN’s Victoria, Kim, Madison and Kelli and others whose names may be forgotten, but whose impact is not. Each brought a deep respect, professionalism and tender kindness to her final days and hours.
A celebration of Lexie’s life will take place at a later date.
To honour her beautiful spirit, do a good deed for someone, celebrate an amateur artist, hug with all your heart and share the beauty all in things.
Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of the W.J. Dooley Funeral Home, North Sydney.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.wjdooley.com
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