We, the children of Violet French, are deeply saddened to announce our Mom’s passing peacefully in her sleep on July 22, 2020, in her home in Harbour Grace. Mom was in her 103rd year; born on January 4, 1918, the only daughter of Robert and Margaret Bray. At the early age of fourteen, Mom witnessed Amelia Earhart’s stop over on her solo journey through the Harbour Grace Airport. In 1940 Mom met the love of her life, Silas, and they married in 1942. Mom was a hands-on stay at home Mom who raised her six children and then tended her sick husband until his death in 1992. When most people think retirement in their sixties, Mom began an administrative career with the SW Moores Memorial Stadium and the Harbour Grace Council, being mentored by Dick Power and continued working well into her seventies. Mom loved nature, walking three km per day up until her 96th year when she had to cut back to a shorter route. Mom loved her garden where she tended her lilac trees, her rhubarb plants and her flowers. Daily she kept watch on the activities in the harbour from her vantage point overlooking the ocean. Mom’s calling in life was to be a mother, family was paramount and special occasions were planned around family events where tradition was the rule of the day. While Mom was very independent and embraced her life, she gained much solace through her faith and her regular attendance at St Paul’s Anglican Church.
Mom was predeceased by her late husband, Silas the love of her life; her parents, Robert and Margaret (Hibbs) Bray; three brothers: Grant (Margaret) Bray, Ernest (Sadie) Bray and Ross (Floss) Bray; grandson Gary Savoie and special niece Cynthia (Max) Piercey.
Mom is survived by her six children: Sandra (Colin) MacPherson, Dartmouth, NS, Lorna (Aaron) Poole, Summerside, PE , Robert, Soldier’s Cove, NS, Carol Ann, Markham, ON, Gary (Clara), Happy Valley, and Elsa (Don) Penney, Springhill, NS; eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and a number of nieces and nephews.
While there are many wonderful people to thank, we especially wish to thank Mom’s primary caregivers: Muriel Griffin who oversaw and organized Mom’s private care workers, Carol Newman, Bev Pike, Jane Hunt, and Betty Payne; her family physician, Dr Megan Hayes, who attended Mom on call with tenderness and compassion; her dear friends Linda and Aubrey Saunders, Eileen Sheppard (with her weekly treat bag), the late Joan Crocker, the late Pam Neil, and the late Christine McCarthy.
Following government legislation due to Covid-19 there will be limited visitation at Noel’s Funeral Home and funeral service at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Harbour Grace by invitation only.
Family flowers only. In lieu of flowers, as an expression of sympathy, donations may be made to St. Paul’s Anglican Church, P.O. Box 28, Harbour Grace, NL, A0A 2M0 or a charity of your choice.
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