Olive (Lewis) Thibault
On December 10, 2021, our beautiful Mom and Grammie passed peacefully at her cabin, just as she wished. For most of her final year of life, she spent her days enjoying breathtaking sunrises and sunsets on the lake, the wondrous changes of the seasons, fabulous food, and being loved and cared for by her three incredible grandchildren - Alyssa, Skye and William. She also enjoyed the continued chance to keep her three children, Tammie, Louis and Chris, as well as her son-in-law Mark, all on their toes by supervising her care with the same quiet strength, no-nonsense attitude and dry sense of humour that she always exhibited throughout her life.
Born on February 7, 1944 to Reginald and Beatrice (Haight) Lewis, Mom grew up detesting school, working hard on the family farm, hunting, fishing and spending tons of time in the great outdoors. She was the best spotter of wildlife and one of her very favourite pastimes was driving around Nova Scotia with her family, spotting animals. This phenomenal gift of being able to see and appreciate the world around her is one that she has passed along to all of her grandchildren.
As a young adult, Mom used her innate patient, caring and kind personality to take care of older people in their homes. Her love and respect for seniors is another valuable gift she passed along to her children and grandchildren.
In 1965, Olive married Louis Thibault (deceased 2014) and for 49 years they worked together and supported each other to create an amazing life for their children. Together, they also shared a desire to be kind and helpful to others at every opportunity. Shortly after they were married, Dad left for the Arctic for six months to pursue a career he loved with the Canadian Coast Guard. Mom, never one to just sit around, picked up a hammer and some nails and proceeded to get to work building their home in Ashmore.
With lots of time on her hands while Dad worked at sea, Mom decided she needed a hobby. From this need, she became a passionate trailblazer in the recycling / save-it-from-the-dump movement. We estimate that in the over 50+ years she bought and resold antique / vintage / slightly used or even “junk” items, she saved several football stadiums worth of stuff from polluting our environment. We all grew up yard sailing, going to auctions and flea markets, and lugging things home to “the shop” - Grandma’s Collectibles. We will forever cherish the fun times we shared together doing this.
In doing what she loved, Mom also created a place that was so much more than just a shop. To those who love the shop and the impressive woman behind it, it will forever be known as a place where people could escape illness, sadness and the challenges of parenting / caretaking for a little while.
A place where people could confide in someone who was a thoughtful, compassionate and non-judgmental listener. A place where women could come for part of a great girl’s day out. A place where a mother, daughter and granddaughter could make cherished memories together. A place where a father and son could bond over a shared passion for a found treasure. A place where a quilt could start its journey as a treasured heirloom. A place where young people could kindle their creative passions for collecting, painting and photography. A place where Mom always encouraged and supported others to grow their businesses or fuel their creative endeavours. A place where people could experience the fun of bargaining for a much desired item to add to their beloved collections. Most of Mom’s customers became cherished friends. Nothing made her happier than making people happy in her shop. Thank you so much for adding joy to Mom’s life.
Mom also celebrated Nova Scotia and all the gifts it offers to both locals and tourists alike. We jokingly called her the Ambassador of Nova Scotia because she was so proud of her home and was always telling people what to see and do while visiting the area, even when she traveled. The title, Ambassador of Nova Scotia is most deserved for her willingness to welcome busloads of tourists into her home from 2000 to 2004, and treating them to some of her cooking specialties - râpure, mustard pickles and blueberry lemon cake. At the end of a two week tour of New England and the Atlantic provinces, guests were asked - What was the best part of the tour? The visit to Mom and Dad’s home usually ranked 1st or 2nd, along with Peggy’s Cove. That is perhaps the best testament to the warmth, kindness and hospitality our parents always shared with others. They loved nothing more in their younger years than hosting large family get-togethers, and celebrating Christmases, birthdays, anniversaries and weddings with marvelous food and relaxed comfort. Mom, we will remember you with much joy every time we eat strawberry shortcake, especially if we lace the whip cream.
Despite being a reluctant traveler, in December of 1987 Mom and Dad threw their three kids into a van that sported an unanchored, seat belt-less school bus seat and managed to safely drive us to Florida and back for the trip of a lifetime. In her later years, wanting to give her grandchildren extraordinary memories, she embraced travel a little more and loved being able to share an Alaskan cruise with her entire family in 2014. She was also able to spend time with her grandchildren in the Caribbean and Îles de la Madeleine.
Mom was also a remarkable quilter and highly gifted in the craft of embroidery work. Over the course of her life, she created and made hundreds of quilts by hand, most of which were gifted to others or used for fundraising. Her hand quilting was exceptional. One of her proudest moments was in the summer of 2020 when she hand quilted the very intricate Dear Jane quilt in only 6 weeks.
Olive is survived by her brother, Hantford (Anne) Lewis and sisters-in-law, Carole Wright and Barbara Horton, as well as several much loved nieces and a nephew.
Thank you so very much Mom / Grammie for all the amazing gifts you gave to us. As you would have wanted, we will strive to make our world a better place by following your outstanding examples of love, kindness, compassion, listening and accepting people just as they are. In your memory, we will snuggle lots of puppies, go fishing, love the great outdoors, cook and share fantastic food, overdo Christmas, continue to save treasures from the dump, and love and be there for each other. Our lives are so rich because of the love and true sense of home you and Dad gave to us. Forever and always we will love you.
Donations in Mom’s memory may be made to the Riverside Baptist Cemetery in Weymouth North, NS. Cremation has taken place under the care and direction of the Kaulbach Family Funeral Home, Annapolis Royal. A private graveside service (immediate family only) has taken place with the hopes of having a Celebration of Life at a later date. Online condolence may be made at www.kaulbachfamilyfuneralhome.com