Judy Mae (Dunlop) Fawcett: giver of gifts, runner of roads, teller of tales, supplier of shortbreads, perennial poet, the original tragedy tourist, and our “ditch-driving nanny” extraordinaire, has died, on August 24, 2021, at the age of 77, in just the manner anyone who knows her would have expected: in her pink housecoat, on a timed schedule, without suffering, and surrounded primarily by blood relatives.
In a final nod to our matriarch, we all made sure to arrive on scene several hours early, lest we have difficulty finding parking.
Born in Maccan, NS, to loving parents, Cecil and Effie Dunlop, Judy was one of thirteen children who grew up “playing on the train tracks,” and is thus miraculously survived by eight sisters: Mary Dunlop, Diane (Mel) Willis, Valerie (Doug) Atkins, Karen (Peter) DeLong, Lillian Farrell, Rhoda (Ron) Bugley, Irene McCormick, Kathy (Ron Boozan) and two brothers: Kenny and Ernie (Mary), as well as many nieces and nephews. Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, David Fawcett, her brothers, Michael and Charles, and by her mother-in-law, Gretchen Fawcett.
Judy leaves behind five children, who were the fifth generation to be raised on the family farm in Sackville: Cheryl (James Mosher), Carol (Andy Hebert), John (Kim Dawe; aka “The Golden Boy”, Judy’s shameless favourite, and her only child to share her love of hockey, who afforded her the proud title of “rink mom” for many years), Laura (Ian Fletcher), and Catherine; as well as five grandchildren and one great-grandchild, who (aside from John) were the apples of Judy’s eye: Matthew (Shea Lee) Mosher, Elizabeth and Isabella Hebert, Sam and Isla Fletcher, and MacKenna Mosher. A special bond was forged for Elizabeth and Isabella in particular, who were lucky enough to attend “nanny daycare” next door to their home throughout their childhood. Judy will also surely be fondly remembered by her treasured “Mount View Gang” of neighbor friends, who for many years supplied her with cherished summer visits on the front lawn. The community grapevine will no doubt wither in her absence.
Although life on the farm brought many challenges over the years, mom was fun-focused at her core, and could be relied upon to make every occasion, especially Christmas, joyful and abundant with food, gifts, and cheer. A stroke of great luck in the late 90’s only served to heighten her generous spirit, and afforded mom the surprising opportunity to travel the world with some of us during her final stretch of good health. Judy’s love of travel persisted on a smaller scale all the way through her last few weeks of life, during which she coordinated various family day-trips around the Maritimes so she could savour her favorite vistas (and treats) one last time.
Even Judy’s various grand-doggies (who when in her vicinity could often be found underfoot waiting for a corner of toast to drop) quickly intuited the real essence of our mom, which was, as far as possible, to infuse life with ease, comfort, and delicious eats, and above all, to shield her loved ones from suffering. This was a thread that was sewn into even her dying process, which she met with unwavering stoicism and bravery, at times rolling her eyes at our tears and urging us repeatedly to “get a grip.” Although she delighted in poking at each of our foibles, Mom’s greatest gift to us was her unconditional love and support. She was proud of all of us, just not usually all at the same time. She generally trusted us to navigate our own pursuits in life, with only the occasional nudge in the right direction provided by threats, such as “just wait until your father gets home from work” (spoiler alert: our father was harmless) or, when affronted, her ubiquitous refrain, echoing in our souls forevermore: “You’ll be sorry when I’m gone.”
You were right, mom: we are sorry that you’re gone, and we always will be.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Campbell’s Funeral Home, 89 Bridge Street, Sackville NB. In keeping with Judy’s wishes, there will be no funeral service. Visitation will take place at the funeral home on Wednesday, August 25 from 6-9 pm. In light of the current case numbers in the local area, the family has requested that masks be worn while inside the funeral home during visiting hours. We thank you for your understanding. A private burial will take place beside her husband at Four Corners Cemetery in Sackville, NB. If desired, donations in memory of Judy may be made to the Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Diabetes Association, or the charity of one’s choice. Online condolences and sharing of memories may be forwarded to the family through our website www.campbellsfuneralhome.com, or by visiting the funeral home Facebook page.