Mary Lou "Louise" Courtney

Passed 06/28/2022


Obituary For Mary Lou "Louise" Courtney

Courtney, Mary Lou (Louise) – Halifax, Age 88

Following a long dance with dementia, Mary Lou died on June 30, 2022 in Ocean View Continuing Care Centre, Eastern Passage. She will be lovingly remembered by nephews, Michael (Deb) and Peter (Joanne) Courtney, Patrick Landry (Shelly Meider) and niece Mary Lou Landry (Lauchlin Meagher); the Antoft family: Nick (Tracey), Asta, Susan and Tim. Mary Lou was predeceased by her parents Basil E. and Margaret O. Courtney; husband Kell Antoft; brother Gerald Courtney; sister Colleen Landry; nephew Christopher Landry and niece Barbara Jean Courtney.

Mary Lou was born in Halifax and attended Saint Thomas Aquinas School and the Convent of the Sacred Heart School where she made life-long friends. Following her graduation from Dalhousie University, she worked as a social worker at the Children’s Aid Society until she was recruited to teach at the Maritime School of Social Work which eventually amalgamated with Dalhousie University. She taught at Dal until her retirement in 1994.

Mary Lou enjoyed the social connections to her colleagues at Dal and found many friends and travelling companions in the community. It was at Dal that Mary Lou connected with Kell Antoft who would become her husband in 1980. Kell introduced Mary Lou to a world of non-stop adventure and civic involvement that the two of them thrived upon. Their time spent building their log house at Fancy Lake was balanced with winter ski trips and their calendar was routinely marked with travel dates for Kell’s board meetings and political work. Their life together was a full one.

Mary Lou had an unwavering family loyalty and a fierce love for her brother and sister, Gerald and Colleen. She expressed herself with great generosity which extended to her entire family. She constantly looked for ways to meet a need or delight someone with a surprise or a gift. At Christmas, the tree was barely visible after Mary Lou had made her deposit of gifts and she anticipated the unwrapping with the glee of a 5 year old.

Independence and self-sufficiency meant a great deal to Mary Lou and the family is grateful to the companions and friends that allowed her to remain in her own home for the last few years. Her wishes were made possible by Karen Smith, Cindy Bishop, Paulette Poirier, Karen Kennedy and Janet Carney. Many thanks to Dr. David Tilley for support and guidance. We would also like to thank the incredible team at Geriatric Ambulatory Care Clinic especially Terri Buckland, Catherine-Anne Murray and Dr. von Maltzahn. Thank you to all at Ocean View for caring for Mary Lou in her final months. Donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Society Nova Scotia or a charity of your choice.

Cremation has taken place. There will be no funeral service at Mary Lou’s request. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

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  • 08/17/2023

    Mary Lou was a dear friend and esteemed colleague of my mother, Jean Duplisea, at the MSSW, Dal. She was a family friend and Kell too of course. I am so lucky to have been influenced by this marvellous, wise, kind and remarkable person. Christmas in Copenhagen with her, Kell, Joan Gilroy in 1984 is a memory I cherish. Along with many wonderful visits and discussions. Belated but most sincere condolences to her loving family. - Rachael Duplisea

  • 07/08/2022

    Our condolences to Nick and family on your loss. Glen and Sandra Fry

  • 07/07/2022

  • 07/07/2022

    The first person I met at the School of Social Work was Mary Lou. She was a kind , generous, wise woman ,who lived her life with grace and a strong sense of fairness. Socially , she was always up for a party, meal, or simple get together with friends or family. She made life better. My condolences to her family and friends.

  • 07/05/2022

    Condolences to Mary Lou's family on their loss. She was a colleague of my late father (Dan O'Brien) at the Maritime School of Social Work (Dalhousie) and I remember her as a friendly face through my childhood and beyond. Peter O'Brien

  • 07/05/2022

    My sincere condolences to 'Lou's' niece Mary Lou and family members. I was blessed to be a part of Lou's last chapter of life as her companion. Her dance with dementia was entertaining and sad and her zest for life was amazing! Lou was selfless, generous, gracious and a wonderful lady. I will miss her sense of humor and many shared lunches of veggie fries and butterscotch sundaes! Lou has earned her angel wings and big halo so fly high Lovely Lou!

  • 07/05/2022

    Sad to learn of Mary Lou's passing. She was my social work professor many years ago. She made quite an impact on me as a young woman and social worker. Always questioning but never mean or harsh. Patient and understanding. Looking to understand all the factors that resulted in certain outcomes, behaviours. And so positive, always positive and able to see the good in others. My sincere condolences to her family and friends.

  • 07/04/2022

    My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mary Lou. She was a wonderful neighbour and friend over the past 30 years and I shall miss her. God speed!!

  • 07/04/2022

    My deep sympathy to all family and friends of this wonderful woman. What a rich, abundant and meaningful life she had; one lived with spirit and joy and purpose. And you, Mary Lou, wear her name well. She set so many bars high, and if there is anyone who can live up to them, it is you...her beloved niece. I was very happy to know her. Sending love, V & B x

  • 07/04/2022

    This woman held a special place in my heart and just recently went to the Food Court to see if she was there. MSSW grads will know the profound difference she made in all our lives. I am a better person in having known Mary Lou.RIP Mary Lou

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