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OBITUARY

Anne Kathleen Carew Hallisey

April 21, 1934November 16, 2021

Anne Carew Hallisey 87, died following a brief illness on November 16, 2021 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Born in Halifax on April 21, 1934, Anne was the daughter of the late Kathleen (McKenna) Carew and Basil S.J. Carew. She was predeceased by her husband of 61 years, Alfred John (“Jack”) Hallisey and by her brother, Father Basil Carew.

Anne grew up in Halifax with many happy memories of summer adventures at family vacation homes in Glen Margaret and Pictou. Her foundation of a life of service to others was built through her years of schooling at the Sacred Heart School of Halifax. A proud “Convent Girl,” Anne developed life-long friendships at the Sacred Heart and made it a point to visit Sacred Heart sister schools in cities across North America that she visited over the years. She served for many years on the alumna board of the Sacred Heart. Anne returned to the Sacred Heart in later years, serving as the school’s librarian.

After graduation, Anne attended Mount Saint Vincent, earning a degree in Biology and worked in the blood lab of the then IWK Children’s Hospital. Soon, a dashing young American man, a recent graduate of West Point, visiting family in Halifax, entered her life and in 1958 she and Jack were married at St. Thomas Aquinas. Anne often told the story of emerging from her front door on Cambridge Street, directly across from the Sir Charles Tupper School playground, with her father on the morning of her wedding to cheers and clapping from the schoolchildren playing outside on recess.

The early years of their marriage were challenging as Jack was often overseas serving in military conflicts. When Jack returned ‘state-side’, he and Anne made homes on and around US Air Force bases in Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia as well as time in Ottawa. During these years, Anne developed enduring friendships with other ‘military wives’ and perfected the art of hostessing, immersed herself in volunteerism, became a skilled cook and enjoyed traveling across the United States visiting Jack’s brothers and their families.

In 1980, Anne and Jack made the decision to return to Halifax to assist with the care of Anne’s aging parents. Her father soon died from Alzheimer’s Disease and this experience launched Anne’s career – perhaps more accurately, her vocation – as a volunteer and advocate with the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia, the Dalhousie Medical School and the Geriatrics Department of the now QEII Health Science Centre. Over the decades, Anne organized conferences, fundraisers and learning sessions and provided peer support for hundreds of families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. She also assumed the role of hands-on caregiver for her own loved ones in their illnesses, providing loving and faithful care for her mother through years of Alzheimer’s, extended family members living with dementia, her brother through ALS and finally, providing tireless support and compassion as her husband lived with Alzheimer’s Disease during his last decade. Despite the heartache and fatigue of these struggles, Anne generously shared her experiences with professionals, students and caregivers so that a body of research could grow that will allow for improved quality of life for those living with Alzheimer’s Disease and those caring for them. Anne even served as a ‘Living Book’ at Dalhousie University’s Living Library of Healthcare Experiences. Her gifts and sharing of her personal experiences will serve as a legacy for years to come.

Anne was the consummate friend – evidenced by the dozens of close friendships cultivated and tended to over her nearly nine decades. She was a loyal daughter, a faithful sister, a loving sister-in-law, niece, aunt, cousin to generations of McKennas and Carews, a godmother and a matriarch to her family and chosen family. Anne was deeply spiritual and found tremendous comfort in her faith. She was fierce yet humble, and her independence, grace, humility, dignity and concern for others endured until her final days. Anne’s people and Anne’s impact on those she touched form the legacy that survives her.

A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Oxford Street, Halifax on Saturday, November 20 at 11 a.m. with Father Owen Connolly officiating. COVID RULES APPLY – proof of double vaccine and photo ID required. Burial will follow at a later date at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Halifax.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Anne’s memory to the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia or the Sacred Heart School of Halifax would be appreciated.

Services

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, November 20, 2021

Memories

Anne Kathleen Carew Hallisey

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Richard Carten

November 26, 2021

While librarian for the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Anne discovered hundreds of books donated by John Daniel Logan, a philosopher poet from Pictou, in the name of Laura Carten, a Sacred Heart alumna. Anne recognized the donee’s surname as her best high school friend, Sandra Fraser, was related to Laura Carten. But why the donations?

Turns out almost all of JD Logan’s significant poetry was written for Laura and contained cryptic references to her identify. As a recently converted Catholic separated from his wife, Logan knew only a platonic relationship was possible. Thus, he spoke to her through his writings. Anne unraveled their love story. In a master’s thesis written about Logan’s works, the author speculates the mystery woman might have been a nun. Along the margins of Anne’s copy is written: “No. It’s Laura.”

Anne and I crossed paths in 2018. I had learned from family about the donations. I planned a visit to Sacred Heart from Virginia that summer. Anne was prepared and waiting for my arrival. Using books, newspaper clippings, and other artifacts, she walked me through her discoveries. Her energy and excitement were inspirational. What a dynamo!

We corresponded regularly as I expanded on her work. Then, Jack died. The loss devastated her. She lived to comfort and protect him. But I think his death ultimately provided her peace. It allowed her to let go. I am reminded of a verse from a poem written by JD Logan entitled “Gone On Ahead A While”:

From the Gaelic: “The end of all meetings, parting; the end of all strivings, peace.”

“…Fair paradisal home where they who fly
Man’s mortal days live ever on
And tread
The larger ways; and there shall I
Wait, friends, for you
Till your own life be through.
But should one miss me soon, and ask if I am dead,
Let no regretful tears bedim your eye:
Just smile!
And say that I’ve gone on ahead awhile.”

Anne, I’ll visit you at Mount Olivet when I return.

Ann Murdoch

November 20, 2021

On behalf of our daughters: Jayne Murdoch Flowers and Gayle Murdoch along with ourselves offer our gratitude and condolences. Anne and Jack were our next door neighbour for many years.
Our daughters became exceptionally close to both. We last conversed with Anne at Jack’s funeral and her first questions all related to Jayne and Gayle. We will remain forever grateful for their compassion and love.
Sincerely
Ann and Tom Murdoch

Linda Bird

November 20, 2021

Anne was a volunteer with the Infoline at Alzheimer’s Society when I started working there in 2004, and still involved in our activities. She was kind, caring and passionate and helped hundreds of caregivers. She also spoke to medical students so that they would have a better understanding of what families experience. She will be missed, Linda

Joan Morrison

November 19, 2021

I was privileged to have known Anne, and her kindness, through our late dear friend Margaret Boyd.
After her life-time of sharing, she deserves to rest in peace.
Joan.

Michel and Trudy Comeau

November 19, 2021

Our hearts are saddened by the passing of Anne. She was like another grandmother to our children. As they grew up, every Christmas, she and Jack would bring 3 ornaments for our Christmas tree - each, in a lovely gift bag , carefully chosen for Jeannette, Gilles and Dominique. We are left with many, many fond memories of times spent with both Anne and Jack. They are now united in heaven and their goodness lives on in their many friends. We will miss Anne very much - another angel in heaven.

Mary Anne and Larry Nardecchia

November 18, 2021

We have known Anne for so many years; she was a beautiful soul and will be deeply missed. The Lunch Ladies have lost an irreplaceable and much loved partner. She will always be with us at the table. Our deepest condolences…

Rohini Bannerjee

November 18, 2021

When I think of Anne, I think of her glorious smile. She made me feel welcome at the library at Sacred Heart. And when I saw her out and about on Spring Garden Road, years after graduating, she made me feel special once again. Sending love and peace.

Danny Carew

November 17, 2021

Beautiful obituary for a wonderful woman. Ja and I appreciate all the love, support and hospitality you have given us over the years. We love you and you will be dearly missed.

Leanne Stymest

November 17, 2021

I will cherish the memories I have made with Anne throughout the years. A donation has been made to the Alzheimer's Society of Nova Scotia in Anne's memory.