Agnes Corbett

Obituary of Agnes Corbett

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The world is short one angel today. It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Mary Agnes Corbett (nee Chisholm), 96, Monday, September 4 th , 2023 at the Caritas Residence in Halifax. Born in Havre Boucher, NS on July 12, 1927, to Daniel Chisholm and Margaret (nee Chisholm), she often spoke with fond nostalgia about her upbringing, even though life was disrupted during the war years when all the young boys from the village enlisted and went overseas. Daily prayers at school were a constant reminder of the sacrifice. There is a famous family photo of her and two friends displaying the front page of the Halifax Herald when “Victory in Europe” was declared on May 8th , 1945. She always spoke of the relief and happiness she felt when the war was declared over, and this treasured family photo is a glimpse of that happiness, tinged with the gravity of a too-grim time. When the boys returned from overseas, her father noticed at the time, “You aught to see Eddie Corbett’s son, the rig of him”, in his navy uniform. She would later joke about catching that Navy guy, Ronnie Corbett.
After finishing high school, Agnes taught in a one-room school in Torbay, Guysborough County, and then worked at the Post Office in Monastery.
She and Ronnie were married during a winter blizzard on January 14, 1948. Her soon to be father-in-law Eddie Corbett flagged down the highways plow and directed Henry Fougere, the driver, to plow the shore road down to her father’s house so she could make it to the church on time. It was a determined start to a long life together. They soon welcomed their first daughter Ronalda, followed by sons Patrick and Roderick (Lynn) and younger daughter Claudine (José Lourenço). After living in Mulgrave while Ronnie worked on the ferry to Cape Breton, the Corbett family moved back to Havre Bucher briefly and then finally to Port Hawkesbury when Ronnie commenced work at
the newly opened Canso Canal. They lived there until their final move to Halifax in 2000. 
There was a lot of music in both the Chisholm and Corbett families when Agnes and Ronnie were growing up. That love of music continued with her own family, primarily due to the enthusiastic encouragement of Agnes. It was a joy to see Agnes and Ronnie dancing together, whether at home in the living room or on the dance floor at Branch 043. Agnes could always be heard humming or singing a favourite song at any time during the day. In keeping with her Scottish heritage as a descendant of the Chisholms of Strathglass, the tea was always on and a fine lunch would appear — usually with her famous apple pie or selection of squares — whenever company came calling. She would be humming.  

When her children were in high school, Agnes returned to work. First at Woolworth’s, and later at Campbell’s drug store in Port Hawkesbury. Agnes loved to meet new people and attentively listen to their stories, something she was doing even the morning she passed. She was whip-smart, with a knack for numbers. Ronnie Corbett would always credit that to her father, Dan Chisholm. She had an ability to treat anyone she encountered as the most important person in the room. She was elegant and engaging, well-read, and could more than hold her own on any number of topics. Agnes’s faith was undaunted and only strengthened by her frequent contact with her favourite Aunt,
Sister Mary Paul (Ellen Chisholm). Her Rosary Beads were always near at hand. Her strong faith made the trip she and Ronnie took to Rome in 2004 that much more meaningful and enjoyable. She had, over the past number of years, shared a lot of local and family history.  Her deep compassion showed whenever talking about Veterans and their families or about Mi’kmaq folks she knew in her early years.
Her commitment to family was unmatched. She instilled honesty, love of family, confidence and humility, and the value of getting a ‘good education’ in her children. Her priority has always been the love and care for her children, her beloved grandchildren, and great grandchildren. These were, as she so often said, “all her little angels”.  
Nani will be sorely missed by her grandchildren Keith Sampson, Jacquelyn Corbett (Mark), Melissa Corbett-Robinson (Mike), José Lourenço (Paige), James Lourenço (Kevin) and Michaela Smith (Mark), as well as great-grandchildren Declan, Rylan, Eric, Ewan, Katie, Charlie, Hailey, Ben, Molly, Maggie, Winnie, and Willa. 
Agnes was pre-deceased by her parents Daniel and Margaret, her husband Ronnie, her daughter Ronalda — who had a voice like an angel — beloved brothers Archie (Marie, Antigonish), Hughie John (Dorothy), Roderick(Rose), her sisters Mary Ellen (“Mamie”) and Theresa (Hughie) and her nieces Debbie and Isabel, and her nephew Al. Agnes often commented that she and her sister-in-law Marie were the last of their contemporaries. Gone but not forgotten are Kay and Les, Edmond and Imelda, Bernie and Hazel, Ernesta and Percy, Emily and Emmett, close friends Joe and Audrey, John and Kaye and father and mother- in law, Eddie and Bell.  
In addition to her immediate family, she will be sorely missed by nieces Hughena, Darlene, Sandra, Imelda, Ernesta, Bernadine, Bernadette, Anne Marie, Theresa, Mary, Janie, Wendy, Wanda, and
nephews Dan (Betty Lou), Tim, Eddie and Ronnie Corbett, Ronnie Fougere, John, Claude, and Ronnie Bezanson. 

On a very personal note, our family would like to thank the staff at Caritas. Theirs is a difficult and emotional profession. We would also like to remember her unparalleled family physician, the late Dr.Lorne Marsh. His care made her last years much more comfortable.  In her later years, Mom would often ask visitors, “Are you feeling tired?”, which was her way of politely indicating she was tired, and it was time to go.
So, Mom, after such a difficult struggle these past few months, we guess it was your “time to go.” We will keep you alive in our hearts and memories. Your stories will be passed on to the next generations. 
Rest in Peace … in the Love and Comfort of Jesus.  
As per her wishes, she was cremated. Interment will take place at St. Joseph Parish Cemetery Port Hawkesbury on Saturday September 9 th, 2023 at 11:00AM, Deacon Berkley Guthro officiating.
Following interment, there will be an open house and luncheon at 142 King’s Road, Pleasant Hill. Please no flowers. Memorial donations may be made to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43 Poppy
Fund or to a charity of choice.  Arrangements are under the care of Dennis Haverstock Funeral Home, Port Hawkesbury.  Words of comfort may be forwarded to the family at

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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Dennis Haverstock Funeral Homes - Port Hawkesbury
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Agnes Corbett

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Agnes Corbett

1927 - 2023

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