MacInnis, Mary ‘Alanna’ - Port Hawkesbury. With great sadness we announce the death of Mary ‘Alanna’ (MacDonald) MacInnis, who passed away peacefully on January 8, 2024 while surrounded by her family following a long and bravely-fought battle with cancer. Born March 31, 1948 to the late Allan Francis MacDonald and Mary Ann (Beaton) MacDonald, she was the oldest of ten children. She will be missed by her husband of 52 years, John James, and her children, Ashli, Allan (Heidi) and Matthew (Jason). She was also a proud grandmother to Ewan, Will, Lola and Zadie.
It’s difficult to overstate the impact Alanna had through her work as an educator. A graduate of both the Nova Scotia Teachers College and later St. F. X., she taught at SAERC before serving as its Vice Principal and then Principal. She retired from Richmond Academy in 2002 and continued to tutor students privately for nearly two decades. We will never forget the image of Mom at the dinner table each evening, marking assignments or tutoring students who traveled for miles to see her.
She made people feel valued. She saw their potential. She brought out their best. It was her gift. While sifting through her keepsakes, we found a letter from a former student: “Your encouragement and support to students, parents, and teachers is a most welcomed gift. For the results of it are lifted spirits, increased self-worth, and a hopeful future. Mrs. MacInnis, this is what you have imparted on all of us.” This was our Alanna.
But it wasn’t all work. She baked a killer butterscotch pie. The fiddle brought her feet to life and filled her with contagious joy. (Shopping also seemed to have this effect!) She was a force to be reckoned with in tennis and in golf. She was dedicated to her family, organizing the annual ring-toss tournament that brought us together every summer. She loved her winter's in Florida with friends, and adventures with John, her partner in life.
She served as a lector, a Eucharistic minister, and a member of the Council at St. Joseph’s Parish. Her faith guided her through life until the end, with guidance from St. Anthony, who always helped her find her way. (And her keys.)
She is survived by her brothers Alex, Angus, Bernie (Janice), Kevin (Margie) and Stanley (Catherine), her sisters Betty and Margie, and many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Mom knew she would continue her journey in Heaven where she’d join her sisters Anne and Joan, along with her parents and siblings-in-law Brenda (Angus), Marjorie (Alex) and Wayne (Anne). There is a receiving line of fiddlers and angels welcoming her there.
There are far too many people to thank for their friendship and support of Alanna, but we would like to acknowledge her Palliative Care Support team. We deeply appreciate the comfort you gave her.
Visitation will be held in Dennis Haverstock Funeral Home, 724 Granville St., Port Hawkesbury on Saturday, January 13 from 6 - 8 p.m. and then again Sunday, January 14 from 2 - 4 and 6 - 8 p.m. Her funeral will take place at 2 p.m. on Monday, January 15 in St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Port Hawkesbury with Father Joby Augustin and Deacon Burkley Guthro officiating. A reception will imediately follow the mass in St. Joseph Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers, Alanna would be pleased to have your donations directed to St. Joseph’s Parish Cemetery Fund or Strait Richmond Palliative Care Society. Words of comfort may be forwarded to the family at: www.haverstocks.com