Rita Helen Stilwell

July 31, 1921 ~ March 10, 2018 (age 96)

It is with sad and grateful hearts for a life well-lived, the family of Rita Helen (nee Flood) Stilwell announce her passing on Saturday, March 10th.   She was born in Saint John, NB, in 1921 and was the daughter of the late George and Claire (Theriault) Flood.  Our mom spent her entire life advocating for her children, her family and her community of Renforth, where she and her husband, the late Joseph Stilwell, lived their lives.  They were active in their community, and both worked tirelessly to help develop this small village into a thriving community.   She was fiercely proud of her seven children.  We grew up playing ball, biking, skating, and swimming, always with the knowledge that if we weren’t home by the time the street lights went on, we’d have Mom to contend with.  Mom’s artistic talents filled our homes and the homes of many of our extended family; she proudly claimed to be a Happy Hooker, having hooked mats worthy of any gallery or hearth. She loved to paint and knit, and made dozens of quilts for grandchildren’s weddings and great-grandchildren’s’ cribs. The artistry most enjoyed by many, particularly her sons, were her pies: apple being the most favoured. After sending off her last child to Grade 1, Mom filled what could have been a few stolen relaxing moments by running a kindergarten for local children in the dining room of our home. This she did for more than ten years, sending out into the world future police women, doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. Her world was a small one, but her influence has been enormous, as evidenced by all who attended the Friday night get togethers in her home. A devout Catholic, there were many successful examinations; university acceptances and safe arrivals home in snow storms credited to the rosary in Mom’s hands. As an active member of the CWL, Mom was always ready with pies for church suppers, and willing to lend a helping hand whenever called upon.   Her faith was important to her and she took great pride in making sure that her seven children attended Sunday Mass.  She is survived by her seven children, Terry (Heather Friars);  Suzanne (Perry) Doig; Mary; Frederick (Cecily vanOorshot); Graham; Theresa (Al) Dohaney; Shawn and daughters-in-law, Linda Stilwell and Patricia Farren, and  her youngest sister Joanne McDonald (Dicker).   Rita boasted twenty grandchildren and eighteen great-grandchildren. Besides her husband, she was pre-deceased by infant son Anthony; granddaughter, Laura Stairs; and siblings, Inez, Ting, Theresa, Bud and Arthur.  The family wish to thank the staff of Maple House of Loch Lomond Villa for the wonderful care provided their mother and kindness shown to the family. 

Visitation will be at Fundy funeral Home, 230 Westmorland Road, Wednesday, March 14th, 2-8 with a Mass of Christian Burial to be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Rothesay, Thursday at 11am.  Reception to follow.  Memorial donations may be made to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church Building Fund, Loch Lomond Villa Foundation or the charity of the donor’s choice.

Donations may be made to:

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church
14 Almon Lane, Rothesay NB E2E 5E4
Tel: 1-506-849-5116

Loch Lomond Villa Foundation, Inc.
185 Loch Lomond Road, Saint John, NB E2J 3S3, AB
Tel: 1-506-643-7170

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