This was no ordinary LIFE. This was a life well-lived and well-loved. A life that will be deeply missed.
It is with heavy hearts that the Hovan family announces the passing of our beloved family Matriarch on the 27th of October 2018 in Courtenay, BC. She was kept comfortable at home and knew she was not alone with her daughter Marguerite beside her. Maud’s love of family, gratefulness and nurturing personality persisted to the end. She had, however, become too weary to carry on and simply let go of the effort of keeping alive.
The family thanks all the caring professionals, particularly Dr. Jo Collins, all the Palliative Care Nurses and Home Support caregivers: Loreena, Lori, Sarah and Alana who helped make Maud’s final journey as pleasant and dignified as possible.
Maud was an only child. She and her parents lived an idyllic life together on their farm beside the Old Man River…just downstream from Lundbrick Falls, Alberta. Her beloved father died when Maud was 8. They moved to Milk River in 1935. There she met the love of her life and future husband of 60 years, the yet to be Dr. Norman Hovan.
In 1945 Maud graduated as a registered nurse at Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. She kept lifelong friends with her nursing buddies, particularly Nan and Ethel. She and Nan, moved to BC to live and work as was her childhood dream. She might have stayed in BC but she married Norman in 1947 and returned to live in Edmonton where he could continue his medical studies at U of A. Their plan was for Maud to be the breadwinner until her husband qualified as a doctor. It wasn’t long before their first baby, Gwendolyn was born in December, 1948. Back then a nurse couldn’t work once visibly pregnant. There were 8 more babies in the course of next 16 years (no twins) but every child was a welcome addition. Norman graduated in 1952 and they moved to Daysland, to set up a solo country medicine practice. Maud was a very busy at-home mom with at least 3 in diapers at any given time.They moved to Tacoma then to Lethbridge in 1958. Maud kept all healthy, well-fed, protected, supported, on schedule and transported. She hoped they knew they were well loved too. A mammoth task even for this amazing mother who loved babies, kids, her man and the fortunate life they had together. She also loved music, dancing, laughter, holidays and shared family feasts.
Maud and Norman loved their family life and their many celebrations through the years. They travelled extensively and remained in their family home until they downsized moving to the Sunrise Village Seniors residence in Lethbridge in 2002. She was finally able to retire too and admitted that, although she was very good at it, she had never enjoyed cooking and housekeeping all those years. Following her “one and only” and best friend, Norm’s passing in 2006 Maud remained with her friends in Sunrise. In 2011 she moved to Courtenay to stay with her daughter Marguerite in her home. Her health improved and she remained, active, independent and thrilled to be finally living in BC, away from Alberta Winters. Their home motto was “You can do whatever you want…or not”. They became friends as well as mother and daughter sharing travel adventures in Coastal BC, across Canada and in sunny Mexico. They hosted and attended many family and friend get togethers. Their daily routine was peaceful and easy. Maud enjoyed keeping up with world events, dinners out, the company of three little dogs and cat, her lovebird Chico, the wild songbirds at their feeders and, of course, the relaxing effects of daily chats, laughter and a glass of wine in their overgrown tropical back garden.
Maud believed she would be greeted by all the loved ones she had said goodbye to over the years. She was predeceased by her parents, Charles (1930) and Ruth (1983), her brother Jack (1924), her darling husband Norman (2006), her two children Gwen (2001) and Bobby (1969). Her brother and sister-in-laws, all but one, had already passed away. She also mourned the loss of her dear friends who all went on before her: Nan Findlay, John and Myrna McDonnell and Dr. Ted Crapnell . At 96 she had outlived most of her generation of family and friends. She was ready to go.
My Light is Out
My light is fading, muscles spent
Please hold my hand and be content As my light leaves please do not grieve. You’re in my heart – a new light starts Remember me as joy and laughter
I’ll wait for you in Ever-After
Elaine Avery Maud is survived and deeply missed by her remaining 7 children and their spouses: Jack (Brigitte), Pat (Marjorie), Marguerite, Norman, Richard (Josefina), Penny (Denis) and Bill (Brenda)…her 17 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. She also considered her many nieces, nephews and cousins as important members of her family. What a legacy! Each had their own special bond and memories with this amazing mother, grandmother, great-grand mother, aunt, cousin, Matriarch and friend over the years.
There will be a small Springtime gathering of family and close friends in Alberta to honour the life of Maud Elizabeth (Mitchell) Hovan. This will be followed by carrying Maud and Norman’s urns “back home” to be buried beside her family in Cowley country cemetery. Dates, times, location and directions yet to be arranged. This information will be shared in the new year.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to the seniors program of your choice to promote respect, understanding, compassion and support for our elderly.