Kathleen Gabrielle Darney

Passed 06/28/2022


Obituary For Kathleen Gabrielle Darney

The family of Kathleen Gabrielle Darney are deeply saddened by her death on June 28, 2022. At the same time, Jean, Michael and Cushla are comforted by enduring memories of a loving heart and a life well lived.

Kathleen was born in Scotland in 1920, and was to live a life marked by dramatic change, and woven through with her strong commitment to family. She met the love of her life, Henry (Mick) Darney on the eve of World War II. The early years of her marriage and motherhood in Southampton were punctuated by nightly bombing raids, blitzed apartments and sleeping overnight in bomb shelters with her new-born baby, Jean. Undaunted, she had another child, Michael, before the end of the war.

A death in the family took them to Northumberland, where Kathleen had her third child, also Kathleen, or Cushla, as her loving Granny Kate dubbed her. Mick worked in the mines and Kathleen helped out in the family pub until the idea of immigrating to Canada took root. Kathleen willingly left her familiar life and home behind to embrace this new experience. Her mother, Kate, and her brother, Sandy, joined her and Mick and the three children, leaving the UK behind in 1954.

Settling in Montreal brought many challenges, but the family persevered and prospered. Over the years the family grew and expanded, settling into life as Canadians but still remaining true to their Scottish roots. Kathleen became a business woman, running a successful daycare with Cushla. In 1972, she faced a double tragedy: Mick’s death from lung cancer, and the death of her sister-in-law, Mary, in a car accident. Without hesitation she sold her small business and moved to Lachine to embrace the role of caring for her brother and his six children, three girls and three boys. Raising another family was not without its difficulties (you know who you are!) but Kathleen’s faith, patience, love, determination and sense of humour got her through.

With her mother as her companion until her death in 1993, (and Sandy’s death in 1994), Kathleen spent over thirty happy years in Lachine forging many strong friendships. As her nieces and nephews grew, she became more involved in interests and hobbies, including joining a painting group. Although she was too modest to call herself an artist, she produced beautiful landscapes, which her family cherish. She was also a knitter and quilter, a life-long dog-lover, an avid reader, and an excellent cook and baker.

But her main interest and love was focussed on her family: her children, her nephews and nieces, her precious grand-children, great-grandchildren, great nephews and nieces and a great-great niece and nephew. Left to mourn are Jean (Richard Smyth), Michael (Diane Bishop), and Cushla (Robert W. Clarke), and Mum’s Campbell nephews and nieces, Tricia, Kathryn (Craig Norman), Sandy, Ian (Laura Sciascia), Peter (Maddy Shergold) and Mary Martha (Blake Irwin). Kathleen will be lovingly remembered by her grandchildren, Fiona (Craig Daniels), Sheila, Alix (Tony Candelora), Eva Marie, Barbara (Dallas Jaffray), the Gillis family: Kelly (Al Stewart), Kim (Peter Thompson), and Jack (Naoko Harayama). Also missing her will be her great-grandchildren, Kaitlin and Amy Jean Jaffray, Jessica and Leah Thompson, Emily, Owen and Elizabeth Stewart, and Aiyumi and Miana Gillis. Mum will also be sorely missed by many great nieces and nephews, especially the newest wee members of the family, great-great niece Mackenzie and great-great nephew Cooper Campbell.

In 2006, after Jean’s husband died, Kathleen undertook yet another adventure, moving to Seaforth, Nova Scotia to start a new phase of her life. She loved everything about her new home, especially its resemblance to Scotland. Then she adapted to a move to a condo in Dartmouth with Jean in 2010. Despite her physical frailty, her inner resilience supported her through her final years at Northwood, where she made new friendships among the residents and staff, that wonderful humour and love shining through to embrace all of us to the very end.

The family extends special thanks to the wonderful staff of 5 Centre at Northwood. Over a three-year span, their attention to Mum went beyond day-to-day professional care to offering her their support, friendship and love. This includes Roger, Barb, Carrolyn, Monica, Pamela, Ann, Troy, Mohammed, Jolene, Maria, Hazel, Dr. Claire Nowlan and many others.

As Kathleen wished, cremation has taken place. A funeral mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 7, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish (old St. Peter’s site) near Sullivan’s Pond. Her ashes will be laid to rest with Mick in Montreal later this year.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice in Kathleen’s name.

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  • 08/09/2022

    A lovely tribute.

  • 08/09/2022

    Kathleen -- Mom and I totally enjoyed meeting you in Montreal so many many years ago. I'll miss our Xmas letters. And meeting your cousin in a cafe in Kinghorn eleven years ago, what a hoot that was! You have been my connection to the land of my ancestors. Grace from BC Canada

  • 07/13/2022

    I was first introduced to Kate by Kathryn (Campbell) when I was staying at McGill University in Motreal as a Visiting Scholar in 1995. Because I live in Scotland and love dogs we hit it off immediately and, through Kathryn, we have stayed in touch ever since. She was a truly inspirtational woman - far ahead of her time in terms of progressive views and general outlook on life - and I continued to have fascinating conversations with her on the phone as recently as last year. I loved to hear about the history of her family in Scotland and love for particular locations like Glenfinnan. Mostly, however, I shall remember her as the rock in Kathryn's life and I know the loss will hit her very hard. Reading the obituary here gives me a sense of just how many other lives she will have supported and inspired which means that hers is an extraordinary legacy. Indeed, In the context of the family's mirgration to Canada in 1954 you can see how she assumed the role of a guardian figure overseeing the welfare of everyone and embodying strength and resolve in the face of tragedy and loss. Kate's fortitude, compassion and humour in the face of such challenges is reason not only to celebrate Kate's long life but also to remember her example when times are tough. She is such an inspiration. Lynne Pearce, Taynuilt, Argyll, Scotland

  • 07/07/2022

    my sympathies for the loss of a wonderful woman, the family historian, and a rock of strength. Kate, you will be missed by all of us.

  • 07/05/2022

    Our whole family is sending our deepest sympathy. I just met her a few times but her wisdom and kindness will always be remembered.

  • 07/05/2022

  • 07/04/2022

    You will be missed but your family is enriched by the memories

  • 07/04/2022

    Sincere sympathies to Jean, the girls and all the family. There may be great sadness in saying farewell but also hopefully gratitude for a life we'll lived and the blessings that your Mum bestowed on all those she loved and cherished. Thinking of you and sending caring thoughts.

  • 07/04/2022

    Kate was a beautiful soul, my time spent in conversation with her was always an absolute delight. Kate was so proud of all her family and loved to talk about them. She will be greatly missed. Much love and deep condolences to the family. Maria.

  • 07/04/2022

    I so admired Kate, her courage and unwavering commitment and pride for her family was at the core of our many conversations. My deepest sympathy to all of Kate's family.

  • 07/04/2022

    My sympathy to Kathleen's Family. A lovely much loved lady. It was a thrill to be down below her window dancing on her 100th.

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