Mary Viola Samson
Mary Viola Samson
Mary Viola Samson
Mary Viola Samson
Mary Viola Samson
Mary Viola Samson

Obituary of Mary Viola Samson

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SAMSON, Mary Viola: 88, of Samson’s Cove, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Viola (“Viola à Raymond,” “Mama/Mom,” “Memé,” “(La) Vi,” and “Laverne” to close family) in Arichat on June 29th, 2020. Born December 22nd, 1931, she was the last surviving daughter of Louis Isidore “Louie” and Mary Emma “Alma” (née Samson) Landry. She will be sadly missed by sons Alfred Raymond “Fred” (Catherine Ann “Cathy” née Rogers) - Arichat, and Joseph Wayne (Theresa Lynn née Petitpas) - Antigonish, and daughter Mary Theresa Ann “Thérèse” Burke (Lawrence Leo “Larry”) - Rivière Bourgeois. She had seven devoted grandchildren: Tyler Jason “TJ” Burke (Lauren Joy), Steven Paul Samson (Julie Ann Ellen), Kelsey Anne (née Burke) Foran (Nicholas Joseph “Nick”), Colton Ray Lawrence Burke (Hannah Jeanine), Justin John Samson, Roslyn Lynn Samson, and Abigail Victoria “Abby” Samson. Viola had three great-grandchildren on the Burke side: Clara May Joy, Verity Anne, and James Lawrence. Viola is survived by brother Vincent Landry (Claire), brother-in-law Claude LeBlanc (late Gloria), and sister-in-law Clothilda “Tillie” Landry (late Colin) all of Paroisse Saint Joseph, Petit-de-Grat. She also had many nieces, nephews, and godchildren. Several inhabitants of Île Madame called her “Ma Tante Vi” and, due to her supportive nature, even a few that were not directly related. Viola was predeceased by her loving husband Alfred Raymond son of Étienne “Stephen” (à Cyprien) and Eugénie (née Boudreau), her brothers John “Jein” and Colin (Tillie), and all of her sisters: Edith Samson (late Lawrence), Rita Smith (late Laurie), Jean “Jeanne” Landry (late Newman), Elean David (late Paul “Paulie”), and Gloria LeBlanc (late Oscar and, afterwards, Claude). In addition, she was the last survivor of Raymond’s entire family: Willard, Théophile “Duffild” (Bertha), Julie Anne “Jean” Samson (Wilfred “Fred”), Bertha Mae Martell (Nicholas), Baptiste (Madonna), Louis “Louie” (Blanche), Sylvester “Sylvère” (Clarisse), Rose Martell (Thomas), Loretta Clannon (George), Anita “Nita” Martell (Albert), and several others who died in infancy and youth. Viola was born on Petit-de-Grat Island, a small island off the southern tip of Île Madame, itself an island off the southern tip of Cape Breton Island (Île Royale). Viola spent most of her childhood in an area called “Dans L’Anse” referring to both Samson’s Cove (alternatively Sampson’s Cove and previously Cabbage Cove) and Petite Anse (meaning “Little Cove”). Like most of Île Madame’s population, she was Acadian. In her youth she was an avid reader and loved all crafts involving textiles particularly sewing, quilting, and knitting. Many bridal parties (including her own) were exquisitely attired through her work as a seamstress; throughout the fifties and sixties she would charge between one and two dollars per dress, mainly covering the cost of materials. She once hooked a picturesque rug for the Canadian centennial that was exhibited several times, including at the Halifax Citadel. Furthermore, she regularly cut hair and did so for years as a courtesy to others. Viola and Raymond built their home midway between their parents’ homesteads, about 100 yards in each direction. Relatives flocked to her house, as Viola assisted her husband with the operation of his store and, for approximately 35 years, was the local postmistress for Canada Post (Postal Code B0E 3C0). As a federal employee, she assisted numerous friends and neighbours with government forms and business accounting. Viola also partook in cooking, baking, painting, carpentry, and gardening, as required. While working, Viola adored listening to Country and Acadian music. In the kitchen, Viola’s Acadian pâté (meat pie) was considered a delicacy! In addition, she always sheltered cats and greatly appreciated the company of her final cat, Pablo. She spent many years playing card games including Pede, Cribbage, Casino Voleur, Rummy, 45, and Auction. Viola relished any opportunity to play Bingo and, in her later years, competed in Bocce Ball with her son Alfred. Viola’s husband, Raymond, loved cars and was one of the first car owners in the area. Consequently, the family often visited different parts of Richmond County and Chéticamp, another Acadian region of Cape Breton Island. After her husband’s passing, Viola learned to drive at the age of 68 and bought two new cars, both Honda Civics, in her golden years. A devout Roman Catholic, she went on pilgrimage with family to Sainte Anne de Beaupré. In her seventies, Viola often attended Église Saint Jean Baptiste, Rivière Bourgeois. In her eighties, she attended the founding parish of the diocese and former cathedral Notre Dame de L’Assomption, Arichat. She was gentle, kind, modest, and, when she spoke, always had a loving word. Her Christian faith was perpetually important to her and she frequently listened to the Holy Rosary while driving: “Come Holy Spirit fill our hearts; rekindle in us the fire of Your love.” The family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff at the Sainte Anne Centre for their diligent care of Mama/Memé over the last two years. All arrangements have been entrusted to C.H. Boudreau Funeral Home Limited, Arichat. Graveside service will be held at 11 am on Tuesday, July 28th, 2020 at Cimetière Étoile de la Mer (Star of the Sea Cemetery), Petit-de-Grat with Père Michel Exalant officiating. Memorial donations can be made to the Sainte Anne Centre, Île Madame Food Bank, or a charity of your choice. Messages to the family may be conveyed by visiting:

Graveside Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Star of the Sea Cemetery
Highway 206
Petit de Grat, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Mary Viola Samson

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Mary Viola Samson

1931 - 2020

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