MATHESON, Bertha Sweet (nee MacHattie)

Pictou Advocate Obituaries

MATHESON, Bertha Sweet (nee MacHattie) left a long life behind. She started in rural Antigonish County, a farm girl, daughter of George William MacHattie and Alma Lorana MacHattie. With good grades in hand, she finished secondary school in New Glasgow, then business school in Truro. She left for Toronto to work and start a life. Introduced to James Gordon Matheson, a fellow Nova Scotian, she began down a path that led to marriage, joining Gordon in the moving life of an Air Force man – Ottawa, ON; Halifax, NS; Zweibrucken, Germany (including travels through Europe and Great Britain); Churchill, MB; Clinton, ON; Shelburne, NS; Newport Corner, NS, then retirement. The friends they made along the way lasted a lifetime, and the hundreds of 35mm slides illuminate that life. Retirement to Poplar Hill, NS began another life with their two boys, and many new friends in the surrounding rural communities. Bertha, a lifelong member of the United Church, quickly became a very active part of the church, teaching Sunday School, reading, singing, eventually becoming an elder, and playing an active role in the UCW. She was a leader in 4-H, an active part of the Meadowville Community Hall, a canvasser for the United Way, The Canadian Cancer Society, and other charities. She gave her time to seniors in the community and in nursing homes every week. She was an avid quilter, knitter, crocheter and many, many people benefitted from her handiwork. Gardening was also a big part of her life, with flowers of many, many kinds. Growing their own vegetables and fruits, and harvesting wild berries, they fed themselves year round, and the bountiful garden was a remarkable sight to behold. A stay-at-home Mom and homemaker are terms that do little to describe her contribution to the lives of her family and community. She was a devout Christian in a very active sense, not evangelically, but by fully living a Christian ethos, and setting an example of kindness, charity, understanding, and seeing the best in people. Her faith carried her in great stead through the loss of many loved ones, including her husband to cancer in 2004. She lived out the rest of her life in Truro, NS, where First United Church and the local quilting group became regular destinations. It was a good town in which to live out the last years of her life. Cremation has taken place under the care and direction of Colchester Community Funeral Home, 512 Willow St., Truro. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, May 20 at 2 p.m. in First United Church, Truro, Rev. Valerie Kingsbury officiating. Interment at a later date in Riverside Cemetery, Toney River, Pictou Co. Donations in Bertha’s memory may be made to the Parkinson Society or to the Canadian Cancer Society. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.ColchesterCommunity.com.±