Unexpectedly, Ferne, daughter of the late Ernest “Ernie” and Minnie (Rever) Batstra, and the loving wife of Randolph “Randy” Allaby passed away peacefully at Kennebec Manor on the evening of Monday January 10th, 2022.
Born in Saskatchewan, Ferne and her family pioneered to Saint John when she was 13 to spread the word of the Baha’i Faith. She graduated from Saint John Vocational School in 1966 and married her perfect match, Randy, that same year. Ferne went on to become an RNA and worked in the nursery at the SJRH until it was time to raise her own babies. Wanting their values instilled in their daughters, Randy and Ferne found it important for her to stay home with them and in doing so she looked after many other children through the years in their Portland Place home. Moving to Quispamsis, Ferne continued her work with children during her employment at a daycare. A few years later they moved to Grand Falls, where she became a nanny for two families.
Ferne’s role of being a childcare giver was raised to an entirely different level with the arrival of her grandchildren. Ferne and Randy moved back to Saint John for this specific reason. Ferne adored her grandchildren. You were hard pressed to hold a baby if she was around – the babies always snuggled in easily with her.
Ferne and Randy, married 55 years, enjoyed a wonderful life together. To watch them together was to witness a true love affair. Ferne had the quick wit to respond to Randy’s never-ending teasing and bad jokes. They travelled out west numerous times, went to Holland together to celebrate Randy’s 50th birthday and toured the Yukon in 2011 with the whole family. They enjoyed bowling, golfing and bicycling in their early years. They also trailered for a little while and road trips were always on the summer schedule. Playing cards and taking walks were the favoured activities in later years.
Ferne dabbled in many things such as knitting, quilting, painting, jewelry making and always having her nails nicely polished. Turning 70 brought out a bit of adventurous nature in Ferne. She went ziplining, hot air ballooning and got two tattoos. One constant in Ferne's life was the Baha’i Faith which was also a major part of family life. Ferne attended many conferences, meetings, summer camps, children's classes and celebrations across Canada with her family in tow. She served on the assembly for many years and ran children’s classes for decades. She also made pilgrimage to Israel, the Baha’i Holy Land.
Along with her husband Randy, Ferne is survived by her daughter, Rebecca Doiron (Tony), daughter-in-law Carolynn Gosselin, grandchildren Molly (Jonathan) and Thomas (Zoe), as well as step-grandchildren Paul Lambotte and Christian Lambotte, brothers Derek Batstra and Lionel Batstra (Debbie), In addition to her parents, Ferne was pre-deceased by her daughter Jennifer Allaby, and granddaughter Charlotte Doiron.
The family would like to extend the most heartfelt thank you to the staff of Kennebec Manor which quickly became a warm and loving home for her. We would especially like to thank Shellie, Heather and Sarah for their loving care of Ferne. She was treated like family and words simply cannot express our gratitude for this.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Fundy Funeral Home, 230 Westmorland Road, Saint John (646-2424). Due to the current pandemic, and in keeping with the family’s wishes, the funeral service will be held by invitation only. Interment will take place in Maces Bay in the spring. For those who wish, remembrances to the Alzheimer’s Society would be appreciated by the family.
To send flowers to Ferne's family, please visit our floral store.
Alzheimer Society of New Brunswick
221 Ellerdale Street, Saint John NB E2J 2M1