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It is with heavy hearts and profound sadness that we, her family, announce the passing of our loving mother and grandmother, Gaye MacDonald. Her children by her side, her brave and valiant battle with a lengthy illness ended on March 19th, 2023 at the Cape Regional Hospital. Born in Sydney, NS on September 26th, 1945 Gaye was the eldest daughter of the late Leonard & Agnes (MacMullin) Martindale.
She grew up in the Townsend Street area and experienced its diversity, good and bad times, cherishing their memories and lessons throughout her life. On August 8 th , 1964 she married Ken MacDonald and together they had three children Kenny, Kelly and Tracey (Darren) Cook. They raised their children in Brampton, Ontario until Ken’s untimely passing in 1990. Gaye had an amazing career with Air Ontario/Air Canada that began in 1974 and lasted until her retirement shortly after Ken’s passing. Gaye loved to travel and was fortunate enough to visit many countries around the world with her husband, children and friends. Her recollections of her work and the people she met through it made clear the respect and admiration she had for both. Her retirement took her home to Cape Breton settling in Marion Bridge on the beautiful Mira River in the early 90’s. That retirement was, however, short lived and after one long winter she looked for something to occupy her time. She found employment at the Albert Bridge Volunteer Fire Hall, Gaye worked at the fire hall for many years, meeting many who became close friends during her time there. In 1993 she met Albert Mombourquette with whom she shared her life with until his passing in 2009.
Gaye’s greatest joy was being Grammers to her 6 grandchildren, Jordyn (Alex), Madison (Mario), Michael, Kenny, Sandy and Parker (Jasper). Just this past October she welcomed a great granddaughter Quinn. She was the much adored Aunt to Joy, Tony (Diane), Glenn (Brandee), Adrian (Valarie), Kari (Chris), Brent, Mark (Amber), Brad (Arla), Parker (Katherine), Tracy (Carl), Jimmy, Glen, Brenda and Phyllis.
Gaye was predeceased by her loving sister Anne (Wayne) Simpson and survived by her adoring sister Barbara (Mel) Caravello and sister-in-law Valery MacDonald. Later in life, Gaye was thrilled to become a sister to Len Keizer (Catherine) and Dave Hamer (Marlene). She will be missed by all her cousins and distant family.
She was loved and close to so many friends throughout her life. Her Marion Bridge home was a “town square” of sorts. There people would gather, most often crowded into a small corner in the kitchen. It was a place for discussion, advice, generous hospitality and a feeling by all present of comfort and “being at home.” For those who knew her, it was commonplace after a day’s work, day of trouble or celebration to hear one say, “Let’s go up to Gaye’s.” One always felt better after dropping by. She had that effect on people.
Gaye would often say ‘there is nothing you can’t achieve in this country if you work to achieve it.” She had great respect for those who, day in and day out served the public in a variety of sectors. This included the health sector where she praised our system of public healthcare. Following what would be her desire, we wish to thank the physicians, nurses and staff of the Cape Breton Cancer Centre for their tireless efforts on her behalf. There are no words which can adequately express our gratitude for all you did for her. We encourage people to make a donation to this Centre in her memory.
In keeping with her wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will celebrate in true Cape Breton style and have a party this summer to honour her wonderful life “After the blackflies are gone”. Until then we can all picture Gaye sitting on her deck enjoying the view and enjoying a New York Times crossword. We thank you dear lady with an unbounded love and limitless affection that shall never diminish.
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