Age 90. On April 16, 2021, Viola passed away peacefully in Bridgewater, after a brief illness, with her loving children by her side.
Her husband of 58 years, Donald Gow was waiting for her, predeceasing her in 2010. She was a devoted wife to Donald, proud to support him in his community involvement and many volunteer endeavours. Giving back to the community came naturally to them both.
Viola had four children, Donna (Ken) Burke, Bill Gow (Margaret Campbell), Jeff Gow, and Julie Gow (Kevin Chisholm), however many people considered Viola their surrogate Mother. Her family expanded when she became “Nana/Nanny” to her grandchildren Sarah (Andy) Selig, Joseph (Vanja Krajina) Burke, Nicole (Kevin) Roach, Hannah Wilkie, Noah Wilkie, Ben Chisholm, William Chisholm, and Abbie Chisholm. She would also tell her grandchildren’s friends and partners not to worry about remembering her name, to just call her “Nana/Nanny”. In her role of great-grandmother to Charlie and Peter Selig, and Elliott Roach, she did not skip a beat, and she was overjoyed to offer many meals, chocolate bars and fudgsicles to a fourth generation.
Viola was born in in New Albany, NS, and was the youngest of six children. She is predeceased by her parents, William “Archibald” and Vida (Veinot) Medicraft; brothers Marcel and Gordon; sisters, Hilda and Lynn; sisters-in-law, Geri Medicraft, Shirley Gow, Phyllis Gow , Winnie Gow and Jean (Gow) Fielding and brothers-in-law, Andrew Gow, Ken Gow, Frank Gow, Walter Gow and Everett Bagnell.
She is survived by her sister, Elva Bagnell; sisters-in-law, Rossie Medicraft and Evelyn Gow, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Viola is also survived in the memory and hearts of many nieces and nephews who she loved and stayed connected to.
Being Mom and Nana/Nanny Gow were her favourite job titles but not her only careers. She worked outside her home at White Star Pharmacy, Maritime Tel &Tel and retired from the family business- Gow’s Furniture and Appliances on King Street in Bridgewater, where she worked alongside her husband and children. Viola and her beloved sister, Elva, were a package deal. They attended every family milestone and community event together. They were well known to “their girls” at Waves restaurant in Bridgewater, where they went several times a week. In recent years if you met her out in the community, after you received a hug, you were no doubt shown a picture of “Oliver”, her faithful Scottie-Poo. He was her newest pride and joy, and they loved each other dearly. Any community organizations using the Kinsmen Field, remember the duo as they would take walks on the field together, stopping to share a smile and chat with the organizers and patrons of the events that were held there.
Viola’s last days were spent telling any of the staff who were caring for her at the SSRH how beautiful and kind they were. She also made quick friends with other patients, often asking them about themselves. This was indicative of her entire life, she was genuinely interested in every person she met and if she felt they needed love, compassion, or kindness she would deliver without hesitation. Viola did not seek acknowledgement or attention for the unconditional love and kindness she offered, nor for it to be reciprocated. She was happy to make someone’s day better or have them pass it along to another person in need. She will be impossible to replace, but because she never missed the opportunity to let those in her proximity know they were valued and loved, she did indeed make the world a better place.
Our family would like to give a special and heartfelt thank you to Dr. O’Neil, Dr. Robertson, Dr. Gowan, Dr. Johnson and all the nurses and staff that cared for Mom during her time at the South Shore Regional Hospital. She was delighted with everyone she encountered while she was there, and it gave us as her family, great peace to know she was treated with such kindness and compassion.
In lieu of flowers donations in Viola’s memory can be made to South Shore Hospice Palliative Care Society, Canadian Cancer Society, or a charity of your choice. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a private memorial service will be held at Bridgewater United Church, and a private committal service will be held at Brookside Cemetery, Bridgewater, Angela Clifton, officiating. Arrangements entrusted to Sweeny’s Funeral Home, 35 York Street, Bridgewater, where on-line condolences and tributes may be made by visiting www.sweenysfuneralhome.com.