Cruikshank’s Halifax Funeral Home

2666 Windsor Street, Halifax, NS


Shelagh Ann McNab-Duffett

January 8, 1955June 24, 2020

It is with tremendous sadness that the family of Shelagh Ann McNab-Duffett announce her passing after a recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Born in the UK to parents, Hazel McNab (nee McLean) and the late Dr. James McNab, Shelagh loved her Scottish heritage. The family moved to Halifax when Shelagh was a wee child and she grew up in this city she loved.

As a young woman she caught the wanderlust bug and backpacked across Europe eventually landing in Greece, where she spent several months on Antiparos learning about Greek lifestyle and making friends. Upon her return, Shelagh had a successful career in media, working at ZBM studios in Bermuda, CBC, ATV and Studio East (Blizzard Island). She was a sought after film editor putting her photographic eye to all her projects.

Shelagh met her husband Thomas at the Dalhousie skating rink and they married in 1988. Daughter Hayley was born in 1990 and went on to become a talented figure skater with her parents’ support.

A devoted mother, Shelagh was involved in all aspects of Hayley’s upbringing, whether it was school functions, or extracurricular activities like Girl Guides.

Later as Hayley began to stretch her wings, Shelagh sought a creative outlet and began to paint. When she took up art as a hobby she never dreamed she would go on to host several art shows and find her pieces in homes worldwide. Her distinctive bold colours showcased the province she loved so much. Her art was sold online and also at the Halifax Seaport Market where she was a vibrant presence.

An avid reader, nature lover, photographer, cook and writer, Shelagh combined the last two passions when she published her “Nova Scotia Potluck” cookbook and more recently her whimsical feline-themed art in “Catalphabet” with Jon Mills.

Endlessly curious, Shelagh made friends easily, always able to converse with a wide spectrum of folk. Her generous nature and infectious smile will remain in our hearts forever.

Left behind to mourn her are: husband Thomas, daughter Hayley (Nick), mother Hazel, brothers Kenneth (Kathy), Ian (Colleen) and, and several nieces and nephews. Shelagh will also be missed by her cat Monty and her ‘grand-dog’, Thea.

The family wish to thank Dr. Patricia Beresford, Shelagh’s longtime family doctor and also to the staff at Hospice Halifax for their care of her during the final days.

Donations in Shelagh’s name may be made to either the “Save The Wild Blue” campaign of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust - https://nsnt.ca, or the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes - https://www.bluemountainfriends.ca.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Shelagh Ann McNab-Duffett

have a memory or condolence to add?

Susan Burbridge

July 8, 2020

Hayley... so sorry to hear of your Mom's recent illness and passing.
I was a girl guide leader with your Mom and always remember her as vibrant and full of creative ideas.
Shelagh and her friend from New Zealand stayed at out cottage a couple of years ago and she did a lovely painting of the cottage for us. It is a lovely memory to have of a gifted artist and friend.

Susan Burbridge, Chelsea and George Longaphy

Marie Goewert

July 8, 2020

I am very sad and very sorry for Shelagh's family. I only knew her via Facebook and her wonderful art (especially cat art). She made such bright and happy paintings.

I participated in her Creative Collective group that she did this spring to help give us all hope and positive tasks in getting thru this Covid issue. That was a gift. Any artist (and I know there are some) that have been sharing like this during this time are wonderful.

I had so hoped to meet Shelagh someday in the next few years as I want to go to Canada to do some genealogy location visits.
Hugs to all of you who knew her personally. Please find peace knowing she was loved and appreciated by people she never met.

Whitney Cant

July 3, 2020

Dear Hayley,

I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I cannot even imagine the grief you are feeling right now, but I hope to lessen your sadness by sharing my memories of her. Your mom was an incredibly kind and friendly person who shared her joy through her artwork and through her relationships with the people she met. I always loved running into her in the neighbourhood or at the market and spending time chatting with her and catching up. I am very sad to not get the chance to do that anymore. I am sending kind thoughts and comfort to you and hope that sadness will eventually move on and be replaced by loving memories. Thinking of you and your family during this time.


Glenna Thornhill

July 3, 2020

Hazel I was very saddened to hear about the loss of your lovely girl. I met her once when James was ill and she was bright and shiny just as everyone says. It has been too long since we have run into one another. My thoughts are with you.

Burris Devanney

July 3, 2020

I was saddened to read of your loss. I remember Shelagh very well as an excellent and very creative student in my English class at Halifax West High School in the early 1970s. I appreciated your vivid description of her diverse engagement in the artistic community of Nova Scotia, and I'm pleased to add that one of her small, smart paintings which I purchased from her at the Seaward Market a number of years ago brightens the guest room of our house. I am very cognizant of your loss.

May I also mention that your reference to Shelagh's late father, James, reminded me that for many years he was my mother's doctor, whom she greatly liked and respected for his kindness, courtesy and professionalism. My kind regards to your whole family.

Sheila Lacey

July 3, 2020

It was with great sadness I saw Shelagh’s obituary. Sadness for her passing and for not keeping in touch with your family. My years working for Dr. McNab (always Dr.McNab to me) were the best years “working” that a person could have had. Every Friday they took me to lunch and did immeasurable things for myself through our years together. When him and Hazel were in Florida and they came home to find their beloved dog had gone to rainbow 🌈 bridge when they were gone he consoles me when the tears came when I saw him. Hayley you were so small when you knocked on his office door and said James James. I know how close you all are and want you to know your family has lost a wonderful daughter, sister and mother. She had a special smile and she was always smiling. She shared the same Joi de Vivre as her father. My deepest condolences
Sheila Lacey

Peter Wallace

July 2, 2020

I was shocked to hear of Shelagh's passing. Having worked with Thomas for decades I knew her and of her work. Her visits to the field camps and departmental events were joyous occasions. I cannot imagine the sorrow Thomas and Hayley are going through, nor that of the rest of her family, friends, and acquaintances. Her art fans! Rest in peace, we will remember you.

Betsy Kennedy

July 2, 2020

I am devastated to hear of Shelagh’s passing. We used to live in Halifax and I remember spending several times with Shelagh as our daughters would play together. After moving to California we lost touch for awhile but got back in touch through FB and her wonderful paintings. I will always remember her kindness, willingness to listen and the sparkle in her eye. I always looked forward to her wonderful photos on Instagram many scenes which would feed my soul. Rest In Peace Shelagh. I’m so glad I knew you even for a little time.

Fiona MacDonald

July 2, 2020

Hayley, Hazel, and Tom, I can’t express properly how shocked and very sad I am to hear of the loss of Shelagh. She is and was a gentle, generous person who made other people feel good. She emanated kindness. That and her joyous art will be her legacy. Nearly 17 years ago she “befriended” me on Livejournal as we chronicled our lives and got to know a little bit about our worlds and our families. I met her (and Hayley, and later, Hazel) when she came to Aberdeen. My family and friends who met her here or who regularly received her lovely Cat Calendars are so sad to hear of your loss. With much love from Fiona, and the MacDonald family in Cults, Aberdeen.

Charlotte Rogers

July 2, 2020

I met Shelagh back in the 70's as we all hung out with shared friends. She lived on Clyde street back in the day. The two of us singing, playing guitars and laughing. Then life took us off on our paths but we reconnected years ago when she was at the seaport market displaying her art. Then on messenger during the covid and our shared situation of our mothers both being in lockdown. I will always remember her loving generous nature and so much positive curiosity and her smile. Always thinking of others around the world in these sad times.
I am shocked and saddened of her passing. Words don't really convey enough.
My deepest condolences to her daughter and husband and her family.