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Saturday May 25, 2013

Nina Olive Maclennan (nee Barry) died at home on May 17 at the age of ninety-seven. She was briefly hospitalized before deciding she wanted to come home for palliative care. She refused all tests and treatments in the hospital and at one point said, ''When the patient says no, salesmanship begins.'' She was truly happy coming home and gave a triumphant fist pump as she was wheeled through the door. She passed peacefully in the house she loved overlooking the sea in White Rock, BC. Born in London, England, one of seven children, she immigrated to Canada after WW11 to marry a dashing Canadian Spitfire pilot she met during the war. She flourished in Canada, raising two children and writing. She was always proud to have had her stories broadcast on CBC radio. Her loving and witty cards and letters to family and friends were treasured.
Nina had strong views: she loved Shakespeare, Alice Munro and other great writers - but had no time for Milton or Mailer. Her greatest legacy, however, is that she gave her whole heart to those she loved. Sometimes her black Irish humour showed. Knowing of her impending death, she asked her daughter Joss to ''Look up in that thing of yours (an IPad) which king said he was taking 'an unconscionable time dying; but he hoped that they would excuse it.' ''. (It was Charles II).
As familiar with the Bible as with Shakespeare, Nin loved the line from the Psalms, ''Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning''. And she stood by that thought, arising each morning with great happiness and expectations, and going to bed grateful for the day. She is mourned by her husband of 67 years, Ian, her daughter Joss, son Bruce and daughter-in-law Lorna, grandchildren Sam and Ellie, special friend Beta, many nieces, nephews in Canada, the US and the UK, brother Frank Barry, sister-in-law Pat Barry, sister-in-law Kay Maclennan, many nieces and nephews, and the friends she made everywhere. Memorial services in White Rock and Toronto will take place at a future date. If you wish to be notified of the dates please contact bswift@centuryservices.com

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