Pictou Advocate Obituaries

MacDONALD, Jean Cynthia (Ferguson)


MacDONALD, Jean Cynthia (Ferguson) – Lyons Brook/ Pictou, passed away on September 26, 2016, age 74, the last surviving member of her immediate family.

Jean was born November 5, 1941 in Lorne Valley, Prince Edward Island, the youngest daughter of the late William H. and Katherine (MacLeod) Ferguson.

The family moved from the farm in Lorne Valley to Montague in 1954 where Jean attended Montague High School. Upon graduation with the Governor General’s Award she attended Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown. After teaching a year in a rural schoolhouse on PEI, Jean joined her sister Sandra at the newly built West Pictou District High School in Lyons Brook.

She began her high school teaching career as a French, then a math teacher, progressing to become a guidance counsellor for her students. Jean was a lifelong learner who studied many summers at StFX and took a sabbatical year to attend MSVU in 1977 to upgrade her teaching license, culminating with graduation from StFX in 1978.

As her professional career advanced, she took great pride in becoming the first woman to hold an administrative position at her school, as vice-principal. She retired from WPDHS in 1994 after 32 years of service.

It was on the mainland in 1962 that she spied a young hockey player from Pictou Island, Owen, who became her husband of 53 years. They settled in Lyons Brook to where they raised their four children. There were many years of camping, travelling, sailing on Naut-y-Kell (or whatever boat Owen arrived home with) and most recently watching her boys race Knot Wise in the modified fishing boat races.

Jean volunteered her time with the Rebekah Lodge where she was a 45-year member, she served as an elder for First Presbyterian Church, Pictou, and was a past Lyons Brook Women’s Institute, and Pictou Lionettes Club member.

Upon retirement, Jean loved baking, crafting with friends, lunching with her fellow retired teachers and assisting with the care of her many grandchildren.

Jean’s thoughtful, pleasant demeanor will be cherished by her husband, Owen; her son, Shaun (Paula) and their sons, Ryan, Travis and Nathan; son, Mark (Michelle) and their daughter, Emma; her daughter, Cynthia Dwyer (Andrew Robertson) and their children, Liam, Brenna, Stephanie, Brittany, and  Blake; daughter, Kelly Pidgeon (Michael) and their children, Patrick, Michael, Shannon and Lindsay. She is also remembered by her nephews, Robert (Myrna) MacEachern, Dartmouth; Douglas (Beverley) Ferguson, High Prairie, AB; and niece, Sandra (Al) Myers, Cardigan, PEI. She was predeceased by her parents; sister, Sandra (Ferguson) MacEachern MacDonald; brothers-in-law, Daniel MacEachern and Edwin MacDonald; sister, May Ferguson; brother, Stanley Ferguson and his wife, Mae; niece, Kathy (MacEachern) Sullivan; and nephew, Gary Ferguson.

A service of celebration was held September 30 from First Presbyterian Church, Pictou. Burial in Seaview Cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be made to First Presbyterian Church, Pictou, The Lodge that Gives or a charity of choice.

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