We know you will share in our sadness over the loss of our lovely Brenda (Sutherland) MacLean, cherished wife, mother, grandmother and lifelong resident of Sydney Mines. Born on June 1, 1944, she was the daughter of the late Bessie (MacDougall) and George Sutherland. With a smile that could brighten your day and a twinkle in her eye that was always warm and loving, Mom approached each day with a positive outlook and an unwavering love of family, friends and community that carried through until her passing on March 22, 2022. In her own words “I loved every day of my life.”
Mom graduated from Nova Scotia Teacher’s College and dedicated 33 years as an educator, mainly at Notre Dame Elementary, in a calling she truly loved. Mom was known as a wonderful teacher, with former students approaching her decades later to say, ‘thanks for believing in me’. She was an amazing role model, with a commitment to both career and family and such a sense of kindness and humanity.
One of mom’s greatest pleasures in life was traveling; she and dad visited many Caribbean destinations over the years, forming long-lasting relationships with people young and old. They would take to the dance floor, sharing a love of music and the spirit of Cape Breton. Soon after arriving in Nassau, her happy place, she was recognized by tourists and staff for her kind and friendly manner and her eye-catching fashion and of course, the dancing. Whether on the beach or at the grocery store, she was a lovely lady with a keen sense of style. She loved to explore the quaint local shops and converse with local people along the way, making her way back to the beach, where she would bury her feet in the sand and soak up the warmth of the sun.
Once she retired, Mom was living her best life as grandmother to her adoring grandchildren. Family was always first, with Mom often bringing us together for a wonderful meal made with love. Mom celebrated every occasion both big and small and had a gift for making everyone she met feel special.
Mom was a faithful member of Holy Family Parish in Sydney Mines, where she was a lector for many years. She lived with an overwhelming gratitude for all her blessings, and she made a point to give back, supporting charities and those in her church community in times of need.
Left to remember is her loving husband of 55 years, Hector MacLean, children Kathie (Richie) Day, Debbie Hendriksen, Donnie (Laura), grandchildren Michael, Morgan, Lydia, Meredith, Lauren, Timmy and Sharon. Known as little nanny Brenda to great-grandchildren Aiden, Hunter, Adelaide, Cecilia and Harper.
Mom will be missed by her siblings Anne (the late Arnold) Davis, Colleen (Brian) MacNeil and Roddie (Bonnie) Sutherland, sister-in-law Linda and many nieces and nephews.
Besides her parents, she was predeceased by son Christopher and brother Frank Sutherland.
Special thanks to Mom’s dear caregivers and friends, Anne Marie, Kathy, Taylor, and Diane, who lovingly cared for her this past year. Thanks to Dr. Andrew Wawer and Dr. Alexander Wawer, the amazing care team at Northside General 4W and to the VON for your dedicated service. Many thanks to Dr. John Ritter and Danny MacDonald of the Palliative Care team, as well as Kelly Daley from Continuing Care NS for her ongoing support and compassionate care.
Visitation will be held at JM Jobes Funeral Home on Friday, March 25th from 2-4pm and 6-8pm with a Funeral Mass to follow on Saturday, March 26th at 11 am in Holy Family Church in Sydney Mines.
Donations to the Canadian Cancer Society or the Alzheimer Society of NS or a charity of your choice. Words of comfort may be forwarded to her family at www.jmjobesfuneralhome.com
To send flowers to Brenda's family, please visit our floral store.