Obituaries

 

Joan Margaret Nunn (Gildersleeve)

07/20/1932 - 01/17/2023

Text:

Obituary For Joan Margaret Nunn (Gildersleeve)

Age 90, Halifax/Chester passed away peacefully on January 17th surrounded by family in Shannex Parkland at the Gardens, Halifax. Born July 20, 1932 in Forrest Hills, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of the late George Ulysses and Florence Ethel (Gerrard) Gildersleeve.
She was brought up and schooled in Needham, Massachusetts. She attended St. Francis Xavier University, graduating with a BA major in English. Furthering her studies, she moved to New York where she studied American Literature at Columbia University. Joan taught literature in Long Island City, New York. Joan and her sister Mary Claire spent their summers at Martha’s Vineyard.
Joan met her husband Merlin (Pipe) in the living room of her parents’ home in Needham, Massachusetts. Her mother was famous for accommodating Canadian students for Sunday dinners, and that was the start of their love. A love that spanned over 61 years.
Merlin was in Boston on a Rockefeller Grant, attending Harvard University, where he received his master’s degree in Law. Joan and Merlin were married that summer at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Needham, Massachusetts. They moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Merlin taught Law at Dalhousie University. Joan taught from grades primary to high school.
Joan and Merlin were avid tennis and golf players. They were members of the Waegwoltic Club of Halifax, Chester Tennis Club, Chester Golf Club and South End Tennis Club. Joan and Merlin settled in Halifax/Chester, where they raised their four children and build their summer home of many years in Chester, Nova Scotia.
Joan was a regular volunteer within the Catholic Church where she headed Sunday catechism in the schools. With her very good friend Marge Hallett, they started the Family Mass at Canadian Marty’s Parish, Halifax.
Joan was involved in book clubs, bridge clubs and was an avid gardener. Joan was known for the beautiful gardens and trees surrounding their Chester property. The love she had for her garden, like her growing family, never wavered. Curious about what you might have read or thought about recent events, she was interested in conversation, not just chat.
Joan was an endless volunteer through The Convent of the Scared Heart, the IWK Foundation and was on the Board of St. Francis Xavier and Dalhousie University.
Joan and Merlin were always happiest when spending time with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Chester.
Joan was kind, gentle, loving and was a true friend to many and will be deeply missed.
Joan is survived by her four children, Mary (Andrew Comstock), Alberta; Caroline, Chester, NS; Bruce (Toni Thomas), Halifax; Douglas (Carole-Anne Mackinnon), Fitchburg, Mass; 11 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; her sister, Mary Claire MacLellan, Antigonish, NS.
Joan was predeceased by her husband, The Honourable (retired) Justice D. Merlin Nunn.
A special thank you for the compassionate care given to Joan by the staff and Palliative Care Team at Shannex Parkland at the Gardens and her many caregivers.
A private funeral service and internment will be held at St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church, Chester, NS.
No flowers by request. Donations can be made to St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church, Chester, NS.

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Condolences

  • 02/02/2023

    Remembering the days at X and Joan and Mary. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Mary Jean (Keating) MacNeil (1953)

  • 01/31/2023

    Mary, Caroline, Bruce and Doug, I am sorry for your loss. I fondly remember your mother's warmth and genuine interest in others. May your many wonderful memories provide comfort at this difficult time.

  • 01/29/2023

    My heartfelt condolances to Mary, Caroline, Bruce, and Doug, and your growing families upon the loss of your mother. I have very fond memories of both your parents. They always greeted me with a warm smile and query about what I was up to. I loved to be in the midst of the flurry of activity that frequently occurred in your mom's kitchen on MacLeod Drive. From my vantage point across the street, I would often observe your mom gleefully hop into her race green Fiat to attend a tennis match or social event. She obviously adored life, Piper and her children! Nancy

  • 01/27/2023

    My dearest Mary and family, our deepest condolences to you and your family. Keep your memories and your faith close to your heart , both will carry you through this so very difficult time. Take care my friend, we are all thinking of you and your family. Kim and Rob Wereley (Alberta)

  • 01/27/2023

    Mary and family So sorry on the loss of your Mom. May you find peace and comfort in each other and in God. Knowing that your mom is wrapped in his loving arms. Take care my dear friend. We are thinking of you. Joan and Chris (Alberta)

  • 01/26/2023

  • 01/25/2023

    Mary, Caroline, Bruce and Doug, my deepest sympathies on the passing of your mom. Such a "Fielding Ave" light at the end of the street. May many happy memories bring you comfort during this sad time.

  • 01/25/2023

    Dear Mary, Caroline, Bruce and Douglas: we had hoped to see you in Chester tomorrow but weather May prevent it. We want you to know how much we have missed your parents during their illnesses. We were close friends for over sixty years and cherish many fond memories. We will keep them in our hearts and prayers. With love, Ron and Marie Downie

  • 01/24/2023

    Our most sincere condolences to the whole Nunn family on the passing of your mother and grandmother, Joan. Shirlee and Ralph Medjuck

  • 01/24/2023

    Caroline, Mary, Bruce and Douglas, my deepest condolences on the loss of your amazing Mum. She truly was one of a kind, and was the most gracious, lively and interesting conversationalist. Your parents were great friends of my parents (Professor Graham and Helen Murray), and it was a lovely circumstance that allowed me to get to know them in Chester. Enjoy your wonderful memories!

  • 01/24/2023

    When the Halifax Grammar School started up , Mrs. Nunn was my most fondly remembered teacher for her smile ,always kind to all the children.

  • 01/23/2023

    Dearest Mary, Caroline, Bruce and Doug, My deepest sympathies on the passing of your dearest mother. Such happy memories I have of her joyous energy and personality that I witnessed in each of you. This has not been an easy two years for you, but find some comfort in the fact that both your parents were able to help so many people in different walks of life and they did so with such quiret generosity. Be assured you and your families will continue to be in my prayers. Sincerely, Mary Jo Mahody

  • 01/23/2023

    Condolences on the loss of your mother / grandmother. A long and productive life. Ann West

  • 01/22/2023

    To Mary, Caroline, Bruce, Douglas... It's hard to lose your mom. Sorry for your loss. It's the end of a Nunn era in a way; the newer generations now can hold on to the memories and stories of the past, to preserve them for the future. All the best. N. Bruce Nunn- Antigonish.

  • 01/22/2023

  • 01/21/2023

    It's hard to find enough positive words to describe Joan: caring, intelligent, lively, empathetic, understanding. She was always interested in other people; always a sympathetic listener. We were members of the same book club for years and neighbours for a short time. She contributed to our meetings with her knowledge, insight and experience as a student and teacher of American literature. We often carpooled; when it was Joan's turn to drive I sometimes teased her about being a "Boston driver." Snow or sleet would never slow her down. Joan will always remain in my memory as the kindest person I have ever known. I feel fortunate to have had her in my life.

  • 01/21/2023

    My husband, David Bryson was a classmate of your father, 'Piper', at the Dalhousie Law School. Class of 1957. II am presently looking at a photograph of this class taken at one of Pat Fownes Harris's class parties at her home in St. Margaret's Bay. I now live at Parkland at the Gardens. I came here in October 2021. I soon realized that your mother, Joan was a resident here. I also thought that she did not know me in better times and I chose not to try to talk to her. I am writing today to say "sorry for your losses " your parents were two beautiful people . Sincerely, Carol Chepesuik Bryson

  • 01/21/2023

    Our sincere condolences to the Nunn family.I used to babysit Mary,Caroline,Bruce and Douglas.My husband John and I would often see Merlin at the indoor tennis club.Joan always had a smile and a kind word for everyone.She was an intelligent,beautiful lady who inspired many of us with her wit and charm.John and Cathy Plowman

  • 01/21/2023

    Our sincerest sympathies go to Caroline, Mary, Bruce and Douglas on the passing of your Mother. Joan was a unique, talented and kind person. She was a good friend to us. We spent many happy times with her and Pipe and miss both of them greatly. Florence and Brian O'Brien

  • 01/21/2023

    Joan was a long-time member of our Book Club. She was one of the smartest and sweetest women I have known, wise, witty and with a broad range of knowledge that was tremendously impressive. Our group had/has members from all parts of the world, and Joan made sure that American writers were well represented on our roster. I have missed her, will miss her, and will never forget this incredible, amazing woman.

  • 01/21/2023

    My deepest condolences to all of the Nunn family on Joan's passing. I have many fond memories working with Joan prepping to read at the Family mass. Also always appreciated the drives to hockey games with Bruce in high school. Joan was a bright light.

  • 01/21/2023

    I send my deepest sympathy to the family on the loss of a Mom, Grandmother and Great Grandmother. I knew Joan from her service to Stfx especially her tenure on the Board of Governors where she was most supportive of my work and the university. She was a great Xaverian and supporter of all things X. May you all find peace and comfort in those precious memories Joan leaves behind. Tom Langley, Retd ( former VP & Secretary to the Board of Governors)

  • 01/21/2023

    Our sincere sympathy on the passing of Joan. How fortunate we are that she came to NS and made it a better place! She was a wonderful mom, and a role model for all, Sincerely, Barb Jones & Richard Gordon

  • 01/21/2023

    Dear Caroline, Mary, Bruce & Douglas, Our deepest condolences on the loss of your Mother. Joan was a lovely friend to us over the years and she always kept us up to date on all of you as she was a very proud Mother! We have missed seeing her at functions these past few years due to COVID but we remember her fondly from our conferences, tennis games and some golf as well. Joan was always interesting to talk with and she always inquired about our family too. May your wonderful memories guide you through this sad time. We send you our virtual hugs. Love, Doug & Donna

  • 01/21/2023

    My deepest condolences on the loss of your mom. She was such a beautiful lady. I will never forget how kind she was whenever I had to call her home for your dad. Cherish the memories.

  • 01/21/2023

    Dear Nunn family, Joan was a lovely person and I remember babysitting for her many years ago. Wishing you all peace, from Dominic Boyd and family

  • 01/21/2023

    No words. So many memories of my oldest and dearest friend. Growing up together in Needham, going to St.FX, working on Long Island and exploring NYC. So many adventures but the best part knowing and loving Joanie. She was a light in my life. Kay Murphy

  • 01/21/2023

    The last of a most interested and interesting couple. They wrote the book on how to live and enjoy happy and productive lives. Our condolences to the family. Marg and Gordon Tidman.

  • 01/21/2023

    Played tennis many years ago with Joan at Burnside Tennis Club. We had many wild rides getting there to avoid having to stop at red lights ! Also spent many get togethers with she & Merlin in their home . She was a trail blazer in many ways . Condolences to all the family Margi Huestis

  • 01/20/2023

    My sincere condolences on the loss of your mom. She was a lovely lady and a great mother. I want to specifically say how sorry I am to Caroline. It's so tough to lose your mother but I know you have many happy memories.

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