Mildred Evelyn (Downes, Prime) Brydges passed away surrounded by her loving family at Bobby’s Hospice on September 22, 2022 after a brief illness. Mildred was born in Montreal in 1933 to parents Kathryn (Rooney) and Nelson Downes. With Mildred and her sister Marion in tow, their mum returned to her native Saint John after the sudden death of Mildred’s father when she was six months old.
Mildred attended St. Peter’s Girls’ School and later Saint John Vocational School, and then worked at NBTel where she met her husband, Ralph Prime. They married in 1957 and were transferred to Campbellton in 1960 where they met many lifelong friends and raised four daughters, skiing as a family in winter and enjoying Salmon Festivals and camping adventures in summer. In 1974 the family moved back to Saint John, where Mildred worked as an administrative assistant at the University of New Brunswick until her retirement in 1990. After Ralph passed away in 1987, she later married Bill Brydges and moved to Rothesay where they enjoyed 22 happy years together, until his passing in 2012. Mildred moved to Brentwood the following year, where she met many treasured new friends who brought companionship, laughter and fun to one another’s lives.
Mildred will be dearly missed by her four daughters (whom she affectionately referred to as “my darlings”) and her cherished sons-in-law: Barbara Prime (Jean-François Fauteux), Caroyn Shepherd (Scott), Laura Hendry (Jim), and Andrea Titus (Steve), and by her 9 grandchildren, who were her pride and joy: Bennett and Alexander Jovaisas, Carter and Julia Shepherd, Eric (Jen) and Jillian (Sam) Hendry, and Allison, Lauren and Claire Titus. She was very much looking forward to welcoming her first great-grandchild, due in November. Mildred is also survived by her dear sister Marion Fitzpatrick and her nieces and nephews and their families: Brenda Prime, Ken, Stephen and Eleanor Fitzpatrick, Geoffrey, Gayle and Janice Howard, and by Bill’s children, Bill Jr. and Linda and their families. In addition to her parents Kathryn and Nelson, and husbands Ralph and Bill, she was predeceased by her brother Fred Howard.
Mildred brought such joy to those around her. Her beautiful smile and sparkling blue eyes lit up the room. She had a quiet strength that sustained her through adversity, and was a brilliant role model in how to live and age gracefully, without complaint. She appreciated the simple pleasure of a stunning sunset, a spin on the dance floor, a good game of bridge or Scrabble, a beautiful garden, a treasured find from the Hospice shop, a great book or movie, time with family and friends, and more recently, gazing at the tranquil beauty of Passamaquoddy Bay from her daughter’s patio in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea. We had hoped to spend much more time with Mum enjoying that beautiful vista. A memorial garden will be created there as a place to reflect on the wonderful memories we made together. In her final weeks she mentioned many times how happy it made her that this lovely seaside home would draw her family together in beautiful New Brunswick.
Mildred valued kindness above all other qualities, and believed that the purest measure of the human character was how we treat others and how we make them feel. She was a shining example of that in her own life. Mildred was also possessed of a keen wit - despite her failing health in recent weeks, she shared many good laughs with her family. She wished to thank the kind staff on 4BS and 4CS at Saint John Regional Hospital who go above and beyond to care for patients under challenging conditions, Dr. Don Andrew, Drs. O’Brien, Wildish and Hemmings of the Palliative Care team, and of course the living angels at Bobby’s Hospice.
To honour Mildred’s memory, her daughters encourage you to visit your loved ones and give them a hug, plant a tree or flower, dance like nobody’s watching, send someone a handwritten note, share a favourite book, attend a concert, volunteer your time, or enjoy a stroll in a beautiful garden. For those who wish, a donation to Bobby’s Hospice or the charity of your choice would be appreciated.
Visitation will take place on Wednesday, September 28, 2022 from 2 - 4 p.m. and from 6 - 8 p.m. at Fundy Funeral Home (646-2424) at 230 Westmorland Drive. A private memorial service will take place at a later date.
385 Dufferin Row, Saint John NB E2M 2J9