Marie Angelina (Ann)
May 21, 1922 – April 1, 2009
Marie Angelina Herbert (Ann) passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 1, 2009.
Born in St. Isidore, New Brunswick on May 21st, 1922, she is survived by her three daughters Merle Herbert Panico and husband Claude of Bandol, France; Margaret Herbert Timms and husband Bob of Texada Island; Marilyn Herbert Timms and husband Dan of Courtenay; her sister Yvonne Farine and husband Michael; her brother Emile Brideau and wife Lilly; grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and in-laws.
During World War II, Ann served from 1942-1943 as a member of a “Tattoo” precision drill team, raising money for War Bonds, as a drill instructor, and as a Corporal in charge of the Mess Hall.
Ann was used to travelling, as her lifelong commitment to her family meant that she followed her soldier husband all over Canada and into Germany, making a loving home wherever she found herself, taking care of her daughters and adapting to her new life including learning to speak German as well as her native French and English.
After the youngest of her daughters went to school, Ann went to work and worked as a presser, a waitress and head waitress, and ended her work career as maitre d’hotel at the 108 Mile Ranch Clubhouse, when she retired at the age of sixty. Retirement didn’t mean idleness, however, as Ann and Norman promptly departed each winter for thirteen years to spend time in California, where she learned to swim and to play golf, and made many new friends. Her summers were spent up at Bowers Lake in a rustic cabin, fishing for rainbow trout. She was adept at crochet, gardening, a competition-level archer, and enjoyed cross-country skiing in the Cariboo. She also played a pretty mean harmonica.
In her seventies, Ann went slowly blind, the result of macular degeneration of the retina, which left her, as she said, “looking at life around a black hole in the middle”. She adapted and learned to cope: memorized walking routes around the neighbourhood, the aisles of her favourite stores, and where everything was in her home. Although legally blind, she was proud of coping on her own and did so for many years. Her quiet courage and cheerfulness in the face of blindness set an example to all who knew her.
It is difficult to give credit sufficiently to this fine woman: kind-hearted, generous, hard-working, she put her family before herself and, whatever happened, her daughters and husband always knew she loved them. “Une femme brave, genereuse et courageuse”. A loving and devoted mother and wife. She will be sorely missed.
The Herbert family would like to thank the Department of Veteran’s Affairs for their support to Norm and Ann for many years, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (for aids which made all the difference to Ann’s ability to live independently), Dr. Bradley Harris for giving his best efforts to save her, and the nurses and volunteers on the 3rd Floor at St.Joseph’s Hospital for their help and kindness.
Everyone is welcome to join the family in Celebration of her life on Friday, April 24th, 2009 at 1:00 pm at the Comox Legion.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to the CNIB would be welcomed.