Big Bras d’Or
It is with profound sadness that we announce the peaceful yet sudden passing of our beloved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother Teresa Marie MacAulay at the Northside Community Guest Home in the early hours of January 28th, 2021. Theresa was 86 years old.
Teresa was born on July 11th, 1934 to Edna (Andrews) and Roy Thomas in North Sydney. The eldest of four children, Teresa was a caretaker from an early age; whether for her siblings, Vatcher cousins, or neighborhood children, she was always the “Mother Hen.” Throughout her life, she always took care of and protected the people she loved. Throughout her childhood, she was especially close with her maternal Aunt Hilda (Vatcher), whom she loved dearly, and her cousins.
Though her life had many trials and tribulations, Teresa always persevered with her strength and determination. She began working as a caretaker for the Bell family in Baddeck in the 1980s and continued for nearly 30 years. Teresa baked, cooked, and cared for several elderly family members on the Graham Bell Estate during her time in Baddeck and took great pride in the work she did. During her working years, one of Teresa’s greatest accomplishments was getting her driver's license at the age of 55. This gave her independence and freedom like she had never known.
Teresa was passionately committed to her involvement in the Boularderie community. She was a member of the AMS, sang in the St. James Presbyterian Church Choir, and helped out at Big Bras d’Or Fire Hall events. Wherever someone needed a hand, Teresa was always there and willing to help. She loved a few good cups of tea and always welcomed everyone who stopped in to visit.
Teresa’s happiest times were with her family. Her only daughter Cynthia and grandchildren Nicole and Bobby were the lights of her life.
As a mother, she was very involved. She enjoyed taking Cynthia to the beach every day of the summer with all the neighbourhood kids, as well as playing outside with her and baking together. She was very proud of each and every one of Cynthia’s accomplishments throughout her career with the Provincial Government and as a mother to Nicole and Bobby.
Teresa absolutely loved being “Nan” to Nicole and Bobby, who were truly her pride and joy. To Nicole, Teresa was like a second parent and would always have Nicole stay with her during school breaks. Teresa could be seen running and playing outside with Nicole and the neighborhood children and even going sledding in the winter. Teresa strongly encouraged Nicole in school, always reminding her to ask questions, to be curious, and to get a good education. Teresa always said she loved Bobby from the first moment she saw him and never stopped calling him “her Bobby.” She would often bake “Fat Archies,” his most favourite cookie. Teresa always encouraged him throughout his life.
Teresa is predeceased by her parents Edna and Roy Thomas, her beloved Aunt Hilda Vatcher and cousins Moira, Shirley and Gwen. She is survived by her only daughter Cynthia Stevenson (Nathan Landry), grandchildren Nicole Stevenson in Big Bras D’or, Nova Scotia, and Bobby Vassallo in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, her siblings Jack Thomas (Jennifer) in Ottawa, Ontario, Annabelle Thomas in Groves Point, Nova Scotia, Jamie Thomas in Ottawa, Ontario, special cousins Susie Barrlett and Nancy Guy, step Granddaughter Grace Landry as well as her four beautiful great grandchildren Meika, Jacoby, Theo and Shiloh in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Teresa will also be greatly missed by her niece Linda Collingwood (John) in St. John’s, Newfoundland, with whom she loved summer visits and Linda’s children Ian (Aliana) in St. Petersburg, Florida, Allison (Andre) in Timmins, Ontario and Jonathan (Emily) in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Teresa was also predeceased by her sister-in-law Gavinna MacKenzie, her husband Rhindress and Gavinna’s children Raymond MacKenzie and Deborah Strickland as well as Brother-in-Law John William MacAulay and his wife, the late Agnus MacAulay. She enjoyed spending time with the MacKenzie girls Joyce, Doreen, Gwen, Eileen, Leona.
We would like to express our deep gratitude to Dr. Stephanie Langley for the extraordinary care and support she gave Teresa throughout her illness and to the staff of the Northside Community Guest Home (Joseph Hall) where Teresa resided for the past year.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. James Presbyterian Church in Big Bras d’Or.
Cremation has taken place and there will be no service at this time. A celebration of Teresa’s life ceremony will take place for friends and family later this year.
Funeral arrangements under the care and direction of W.J. Dooley Funeral Home North Sydney.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.wjdooley.com
“It is not the length of life, but the depth of life. He or she who is not every day conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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