Ann Therese Halstead (nee Mais)
died peacefully at home on April 3rd 2013 surrounded by her loved ones. She is survived by her twin daughters Megan and Shani, her husband Jim Hunter, stepchildren Eric, Christina and Katie, grandchildren Alisa, Rachel, Riley and Samuel, her remaining nine siblings John, Peter, Richard, Patrick, Mary, Martin, Joan, Carmen and Jackie and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
Ann was born June 13th 1948 in Kingston, Jamaica, the 6th child of Reginald and Carmen Mais. At the tender age of five, Ann lost her mother and having grown up in a close knit Catholic family, her father instilled a strong bond between all the siblings to always look after one another. Ann spent a few years boarding at her mother’s alma mater, Convent of Mercy Alpha Academy under the care of nuns until her father married Cilda and the family was reunited. After graduating from Alpha, Ann’s passion for learning led her to attend Servite College, Brown’s Town, Jamaica for her A levels, followed by college in Kansas, then a final year in Madrid to complete her BA in Spanish and Religious Studies.
Ann returned to Jamaica to begin her teaching career at Knox College in Spaldings.
While there, she met and fell in love with Donald Halstead, then followed him back to Canada where they married and lived on Halstead Farm in Merville. After the birth of her daughters, Ann went to Simon Fraser University where she completed an MA in Education.
Until taking early retirement in 2005, Ann taught French Immersion at Comox Elementary and Ecole Robb Road. She was a devoted, gifted and caring teacher, loved and remembered fondly by many of her students.
The sudden death of her husband Donald in 1995 led Ann to move away from Halstead Farm to settle in Comox where she became more intensely involved in community work.
After retiring from teaching she was able to transition from a volunteer position with World Community Development Education Society to a paid position doing marketing and sales. She also dedicated herself from 2007 onward to supporting her daughter Megan in re-establishing Halstead Farm.
Ann found love again and in the spring of 2008 she married fellow teacher and long time friend Jim Hunter. In this next chapter of her life, she was able to be more committed to her many causes and to lend support to new community projects that meant so much to her. Ann also increasingly threw herself into her passions for tennis, walking, gardening, dancing and reading. Always a vibrant, energetic and loyal friend, Ann’s selfless generosity also extended to the many charities she supported. Her kindness encompassed her family, friends and the community to whom she was always devoted.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the World Community Development Education Society and the Canadian Red Cross will be gratefully received.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Comox United Church on Saturday, April 13th at 1pm followed by a reception.