With broken hearts the family of Bessie Comeau announce her passing on April 29, 2021 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Proud military wife and mother, and proud of the fact that her three sons were born in three different countries.
Bess, daughter of the late Clark Curwin and Delia Daigle, granddaughter of James Curwin and Bessie Clark and of Sylvestre Daigle and Elmire Hebert. Survived by her husband Edmond Comeau, Warrant Officer Ret’d, of St. Ignace, NB and sons: Marc, Maj. Ret’d, and his wife, Christina, grandchildren Zachary and Elizabeth; Brian, Warrant Officer Ret’d, and his wife Shirley Cann, Sgt. Ret’d, who brought to our family Samantha Conrod (Briere) and her wife Nicole and daughter Alissa; and Darren, a Prince Edward Islander and his wife Charlene, a Cape Breton Islander and their daughter Elise, another precious grandchild.
She is survived by her siblings: Bill Curwin (the late Corrinne) of Halifax, NS and their children, William, Mike, Carolyn, Lynn and Joyce; Robert Curwin (the late Claudette) of Richibucto Village and their two sons, Gary and Greg; Raymond Curwin, wife Anna of Richibucto and their two sons, Bobby and Dwayne; Ida Curwin and Jean Guy Goguen of Moncton and their two children, Gerard and Nathalie; and Alfred Curwin and wife Linda Harris. She is predeceased by her sisters Loretta Curwin and late husband Alfred Thompson, and are survived by their children Gordie, John and Joanne; Viola Curwin and late husband Kenneth Stewart and are survived by their children Ronnie, Roland, Karen, Sheila and Dean.
Bess loved all the interesting dynamics these people brought to the family.
Bess, a graduate of Richibucto High in Business, married Edmond Comeau in Vancouver in 1963, just after he had signed on with the RCAF. They promptly set off to Europe, first to 2 Wing in France for a year and then off to 4 Wing Germany for three more years. While in Europe, the two older boys were born. First came Marc in France, followed by Brian in Germany, and Darren arrived in PEI, Canada.
Arriving back in Canada, Bess and Ed had many moves including Summerside, PEI; Bagotville, QC; Trenton, ON; Edmonton, AB; CFB Gagetown, NB which was her favourite, and Ottawa ON, for a total of 13 different addresses. Bess saw moving as an adventure and took it in stride. Besides raising three boys, who all played hockey, and in Bess’s words: "Hockey was pretty much our life. They all played, and Ed coached." – she also worked at different jobs as the family moved across Canada, including at the CANEX, Woodward’s in Edmonton and at Canada Post in Ottawa and Rexton, NB.
Her fellow military wives in every place she lived were a big influence on her life. Bess got the best education from her friends in Europe and across one end of Canada to the other.
She was an active volunteer in all the communities she lived in. Bess was involved with the Catholic Women's League (CWL) for 25 years, and she worked as a correspondent for the base paper for both minor hockey and the CWL. Bess volunteered for ten years with Canada Post’s "Letters to Santa" program in Rexton, writing responses to each letter that were unique and special. She volunteered on community councils and school boards. One of her biggest achievements was being a founding member of the Military Family Network at CFB Base Gagetown, NB.
She felt everyone should see both the mountains and the sea. Bess’s favourite trips included visiting Brian on Vancouver Island when he was stationed in Comox, BC, visiting the Black Forest while living in Germany, and she was especially fond of a 50th wedding anniversary vacation to Cape Cod with all her children and grandchildren.
No matter where her kids lived, or where they were travelling to, Bess always needed to know that they arrived safely. Bess was always so caring that she would worry whenever anyone travelled, be it just a short distance or a flight across the country, she could never really feel at ease until she got a phone call, email, or text that they arrived safely.
She and Ed retired to Rexton, NB in 1989, where they enjoyed spending time with good friends and family. Bess and Ed attended weekly dances in St. Ignace and St. Louis-de-Kent. Bess loved dancing and she was always beautifully dressed. They also enjoyed playing many games of cards and entertaining friends.
Then the call came for a babysitter for three-year-old granddaughter Elise in Fredericton. Bess enjoyed the next 13 years taking Elise to school, TNB practices and baking at the condo. It is here, Bess and Ed found their forever home.
Bess’s greatest joy was her family, in particular her grandchildren, whom she regularly told she loved more than anything else. She was immensely proud and happy to celebrate each and every school and sport milestone, theatre production, graduation, and achievement of each of her beloved grandchildren, Zachary, Elizabeth, and Elise. She was also blessed to have a grandchild (Samantha) by marriage through Brian. She was extremely excited to attend Samantha’s and Nicole’s wedding last year in Nova Scotia while the Atlantic bubble was open.
Everyone who met Bess had a kind word to say about her caring and compassionate nature. Charlene’s nieces, after visiting Bess and Ed at their house in Rexton, asked their mother if Bess and Ed could be their grandparents. Bess was always in touch with her many friends and family who lived near and far, interested in what was happening in their lives. She was a wonderful cook and loved nothing more than to sit down with friends and family to enjoy a good meal, and conversation. Friends and neighbours were an important part of her life; she enjoyed sharing coffee and stories as well as playing cards and dominoes.
Bess had a great sense of humour, which she shared with her husband and partner in life, Ed. Quotes from Monty Python could often be heard in the Comeau house, resulting in great laughter. Bess loved to read and went through books at a rapid-fire pace. While she may not have had a college education, her lifetime of reading and keen memory for facts made up for it. Bess also liked to decorate and was proud to make the home she and Ed lived in look like a page out of a magazine. She was the neatest person around, and if you were ever silly enough to leave your glass on the table or anywhere else, it was in the dishwasher in short order.
Bess lived a life that was full of love, caring and compassion; and left an impression on all she met, even those who only knew her for a brief time. We are wondering how we will overcome her loss and we will follow her own advice on the subject: "You just do. Remember them forever."
Bess will be interned at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa, Ont. at a future date. For those wishing to donate in love and remembrance, please do so to the Canadian Cancer Society, the New Brunswick Heart and Stroke Foundation, Diabetes Canada or the charity of your choice. Please leave your condolences, warm wishes and fond memories, so we may continue to celebrate Bessie’s wonderful life.