Obituary Notice for the late Dawn McCourt

From Drop Box

After a very short illness with cancer, Dawn Edna McCourt, age 59 of Beaver Harbour, Nova Scotia passed away Tuesday, 29 November 2011 at home with her husband and daughters at her side.

Dawn was born 14 August 1952 in Clinton, Ontario, the daughter of Donothan Shirley Smith who survives her and Thelma Ruth Smith who predeceased her.

Always living up to her name, Dawn was a life force filled with a vibrant energy and a sunny smile. She will be remembered in every new dawn by her husband Brian Denis McCourt, her daughters Patricia Dawn McCourt and Dana Elizabeth McCourt, and her son Kristofer Brian McCourt. Dawn’s granddaughters Breanna Emilienne Muise and Payten Elizabeth Muise, knew her as Nanny. Nanny always had time for them, providing her ever-flowing encouragement, just as she did for everyone she came to know.

Dawn and her siblings Alan Smith, Rick Smith and Susan MacGregor grew up as airforce kids, living throughout Canada from Whitehorse and Vancouver to Clinton, Ontario. She became a “mountie’s wife” when she married her childhood crush, after he joined the R.C.M.P. Moving from Antigonish, to Truro, Regina, Inuvik, Yarmouth, to Tantallon, Maple Ridge and Vancouver, finally to their retirement home in Beaver Harbour, and recently becoming snowbirds with a winter home in Palmetto, Florida…

Every where Dawn went she made fast friends and instantly became involved in her community. She made and kept connections everywhere, believing that the bonds of friendship would outlast any distance between friends, sisters, fellow artists and family. While often apart from those she cherished, at every reunion with Dawn it was as if no time or distance had ever come in between.

Even as cancer overcame Dawn’s body her beautiful, radiant spirit shone through. She was someone who found the good in every person and situation. She lived with no regrets, and appreciated everything her life had provided her.

Dawn loved to laugh, was at times silly, and often funny – bringing the healing of laughter to those around her. She has been described by many as warm, sweet and loyal. She was a talented artisan, with a vast number of mediums that had become her craft. She was a seamstress, a painter, a decorator, a flower arranger, and more.

Ever the diplomat, Dawn chose her words carefully, yet wished to always express her thoughts, feelings and opinions to those around her. Her determination to live and love life shone through during her final days as she found joy in the simple things of companionship, love, laughter, sunrises and sunsets, and the incredible surroundings of the home she and Brian created on MacLeod’s Cove, just as she had in good health.

Dawn always put her family first, making time for long goodnight rituals with her grand-daughters, to send countless supportive emails and phone calls to her children and siblings, and putting aside her personal comfort to provide for the needs of everyone she cared about.

She loved to travel, often with family and friends joining her. She could name the highlights of every family vacation, journey with her soulmate, and trip with friends as if each and every one were her absolute favourite place to be.

Dawn had such a love for people and was known to be the most honest, down to earth, genuine and caring person you could meet.

On behalf of Dawn her family wishes to thank the community of Port Dufferin and Sheet Harbour who have provided countless meals, words of support and encouragement and more during a very difficult period. The depth with which Dawn has touched so many lives is evident in the sheer number of cards, emails and supportive gestures offered by so many. She was loved and respected by so many more than could have ever been imagined.

The church memorial funeral service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10th – 11am at St. James Anglican Church, Port Dufferin, with Rev’d Kay Knott officiating. Reception to follow at noon at the Sheet Harbour Lions Centre, Sheet Harbour.

A private family internment will follow at Memorial Gardens, Dartmouth, 3:30pm. Reception to follow at Atlantic Funeral Homes, Dartmouth.

Donations may be made to: Canadian Cancer Society, Liver Foundation of Canada, or Canadian Diabetes Association.

Online condolences may be made at: www.atlanticfuneralhomes.com

About Trish

family legacy curator, social justice advocate, blogger, amateur photographer, reader, cyclist, runner & swimmer, mom of two

25 Comments
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Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

The hardest writing exercise I’ve done to date. My mother’s obituary.
Next: her memorial eulogy.

Angela
Angela
10 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Beautiful words about your Mom, Trish. xo

Sharon Osvald
10 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Again, I am thinking of you Trish, I am losing my mom slowly to dementia- losing a mom is a tough blow. I didn’t realize your mom grew up in Clinton. I grew up twenty minutes drive from there. Know you are in our thoughts and prayers xoxo

Lynda Rice
Lynda Rice
10 years ago

Dear Trish. I am so sorry to hear of your Mom’s death. The obituary is beautiful and even though I never met her, her vibrancy warm nature shines through. My heart goes out to you and your family. Take care, Lynda

Naomi
Naomi
10 years ago

The obituary is beautiful, Trish, and I know the eulogy will be too.  You are so brave.  xo

Hmackenzie
Hmackenzie
10 years ago

This is wonderful… Wish I could be there today.  Thinking of you guys…..always…xox

Lesley
Lesley
10 years ago

What a beautiful tribute to your mother. I am thinking of you and your family.

Patrichardson
Patrichardson
10 years ago

These elequent words describing “OUR” wonderful Dawn have captured the very essence of her. She had a gift of sharing joy that made everyone  “just feel better, great, happy and fabulous”.  We will miss her smile and all the laughter that was Dawn.

Bonny Keirstead
Bonny Keirstead
10 years ago

a very loving and beautiful obituary Trish.. my thoughts are with you all..

Jen McGrath
Jen McGrath
10 years ago

This is a wonderful expression of how your mom touched so many lives and lived hers to the fullest.  She will be forever missed by all who loved her, and though we never met personally, her caring and generous attitude is evident in her family and shines through every day.  Love to you all at this most difficult time. 

Jerrygoodeill
Jerrygoodeill
10 years ago

McCourt family: it was with a heavy heart that I opened an e-mail from Brian the other day, an e-mail I knew would be coming at some point in time, but far too early for any person or family to have to deal with.  Donna & I share in your loss.  We have lost a life long friend & you have lost a truly remarkable family member.  One of my greatest joys in life was passing on your mother’s address and phone number to a young RCMP officer who was making his way to his first posting in Halifax.  “And the rest is history'”  Our world changed when your mother passed away but a new world will be created filled with the memories which will remain fresh in our minds and hearts.  (Jerry & Donna)

Sherry
Sherry
10 years ago

What a beautiful tribute to you mother, Trish…..You have truly captured every aspect of her – she would have been SO proud of you!!

Norma
Norma
10 years ago

Wonderful words that truly express Dawn’s love and caring. She was a dear friend and truly enjoyed her time with us as a Red Hat Group. We will all miss her smile and Loving ways. Our sympathy to Brian and family

Rachel
Rachel
10 years ago

Trish, these words truly capture your mom. She was a wonderful person, who I will always remember for her warm heart and welcoming ways. She always made us feel so at home and welcome when we overtook her house as teenagers. I am so sorry for your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time.

Gina
Gina
10 years ago

Trish, my heart goes out to you and your family. This is a beautiful tribute to your mom. Take care. Hugs.

Ollie Douma
Ollie Douma
10 years ago

Dawn was one of the most genuine people I have ever met. She was a fellow artist and Red Hat sister when I lived on the eastern shore. When I had to return to Ontario with my husband for family reasons she gave me a huge hug and said,  “even though I will miss you dearly I know the most important thing in life is family and that is where you need to be. We are Red Hat sisters and that is a life long bond. We will always be friends.” I didn’t see her again for two years but when we did see each other just a little over a year ago it was as if we had never been apart. I know she is in a beautiful place now with no more pain and I also know we will see each other again. She will be waiting for us all with a big hug and a beautiful smile. It is time for you to rest now Dawn…..you have a very special place in my heart and you will never be forgotten…..my love and prayers are with you Brian and your children and grandchildren……..Ollie Douma
 

Elaffin
Elaffin
10 years ago

What can be said has been said better by others.What is felt is felt no deeper. Don.Evelyn,Brain.Dana>Trish.Kris.Al.Rick ans Sue; Iknow what you are feeling from experience.Know well that Dawn. in her own special way. touched so many people in so many ways that she will live on in our hearts and minds,My love to you all and whatever ids needed . be it an ear to listen and shoulder for tears or just a hug is here when required. She was unique and special.

Val Flowers
Val Flowers
10 years ago

Brian, I am truly sorry to hear of your wife’s passing.  I did not know Dawn but after reading Trish’s  tribute, I really feel like I missed out.  Sounds like she will live on through your children though.  God Bless you all.

Shirley & Allan Jay
Shirley & Allan Jay
10 years ago

To McCourt Family –  Cheryl (King) told us about Dawn during a visit 4 weeks ago.  So sorry to hear of Dawn’s illness and passing.  Our sincere condolences to you all –  Brian, Trish, Dana & Kris.  A wonderful description of Dawn.  Trish – We still have our Antigonish baby photos of you and our daughter (same age!).  
 Love and Prayers to you all. Friends from the ’70’s in Antigonish.Shirley & Allan JayPrince Edward Island

Juanita Centanni
Juanita Centanni
10 years ago

Our love and prayers for Dawn’s family.  Dawn was such a pleasant and vibrant lady, with her outgoing personality.  It was a pleasure knowing her and she will be remembered as a wonderful neighbor. Juanita Centanni, Country Lakes Village, Palmetto, Fl. 

Hope Riera
Hope Riera
10 years ago

Dear Trish, Dana, Kris & Brian,
 I am so saddened to hear of your Mom’s (and wife’s) passing. You are in my thoughts and prayers during these very difficult days.

Jody
10 years ago

Trish, this must be so tough…I just want you to know that I’m thinking of you.
{hugs}
Jody

vicki
vicki
10 years ago

so sorry to hear of Dawns passing. Dawn was a wonderful person and will be missed by so many…thinking of you and praying for you during this most difficult time…

Ann Louise Doucet
Ann Louise Doucet
10 years ago

To Brian and family – so sorry to hear the sad news of Dawn’s death.  I know you will miss her a great deal, she was such a lovely lady.  I will always remember the laughter we shared after discovering that we were both military brats and Smith’s to boot.  Someday the memories that you find painful today will become your comfort and joy of things you shared.  May God bless you all and give you the comfort you need so much. Take care of each other always.  Ann Louise (Fulde) Doucet – 

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