Valerie McKenna – It’s with great sadness, to announce the passing of our mother, suddenly early on Jan. 20, 2019. Born on June 2, 1936 in London, England. She loved art, writing and gardening from an early age, and would later receive a scholarship to a London art school, but would give this up to immigrate to Canada, with her parents and sisters in 1952, with no regrets. They would settle in Vancouver, B.C. where she would later marry in 1959, have five children and live in British Colombia, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In 1994 after living on Gabriola Island B.C. for 24 years, where she raised her children, she would move back to Nova Scotia with her daughter Sharon and settle in Pictou. She would go from being an artist with a brush to an artist with flowers, becoming a talented self-taught landscaper and shared this knowledge with others. She loved working at West River Nursery and Pictou Lodge. She was also hopelessly addicted to Genealogy. The hunt of finding her own ancestors and the ancestry of others was a true passion right to the end. She had unconditional love for her children and many pets. She always encouraged us to follow our dreams, passions and to use our gifts that were given to us. It would be her strength of character, patience, English sense of humour with a ready smile, that would help her climb the many mountains in her lifetime. She was a true survivor, at least to the last mountain where she got to fly. She is survived by her children Sharon McKenna, Pictou; Melodye (Richard) Earl, Raymond, Alberta; Celia Pink, Pitt Meadows B.C.; Heather Hagen, Terrace, B.C.; son, James (Dyenna), Sechett, B.C.; 13 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren; her sisters Celia (Ian) Corral, Surrey B.C.; Diane Jensen, Peterborough, Ont., and her beloved cat, Farley Meowit. Pre-deceased by her parents Thomas and Margaret (Frauchiger) Blackman; older sister Jacqueline who died in infancy. The service will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints at 384 Abercrombie Rd., New Glasgow on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 3 p.m.