Mary Josephine “Jo” (Robertson) Eisenhauer, age 95, died peacefully at home on July 28, 2020.
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Jo exemplified kindness, humility and grace. She was part of a generation of strong Lunenburg women who helped lay the foundation and built many of the institutions and services that are the heart of our community today. Jo was giving and caring; quick to volunteer and embarrassed when thanked. She was happiest when helping others. She loved the outdoors and had an inspiring wonder for the subtle beauty of nature. A trusted friend to all who knew her, she quietly nurtured her large extended family and her wider community.
Jo was born and raised in Bridgewater, NS, the daughter of Judge James G. A. and Mary L. Robertson. Following high school, she attended Havergal College School for Girls in Toronto for one year before beginning her studies at Dalhousie University. After Dalhousie, Jo returned to Havergal to teach math and science for three years, making many lifelong friends. She then moved back to Nova Scotia in 1948 to begin a remarkable, loving and supportive, 62-year marriage with her soul mate Andrew Eisenhauer.
Jo’s love of sports and the outdoors were enduring passions. She excelled at many sports but her summers spent sailing as a young girl on the waters of Prince’s Inlet, family picnics on the islands of Mahone Bay and cruising with Andrew and her family, were some of her happiest moments. Even in her last years, Jo never tired of watching sunsets and the boats sailing by her home, overlooking the waters she knew so well.
Jo began her involvement with the Girl Guides of Canada as a young girl, where she promised to “Lend a Hand”. She kept that promise for life. She led by example and taught us through her generosity of time and concern for others, young and old alike. Jo showed her dedication to community through her commitment to Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital (where she was a former Board Chair and a driving force behind the iconic Dutch Oven cookbook), her devotion to St. John’s Anglican Church, her commitment to girls and women through the Girl Guides and her passion for the arts at the Lunenburg Art Gallery, among many other activities. In recognition of her endless hours of volunteering in Lunenburg and beyond, Jo received the ‘Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers’ awarded by the Governor General of Canada in 1996 as well as the “Beaver”, the Girl Guides of Canada’s highest award for “exceptional service to the organization”.
Despite Jo’s busy community life, she always put family first. She and Andrew were models of love and support for their five children, Gretchen (Kit McCurdy), Jim (Heather), Susan (Denis Connor), Janet (Larry Creaser) and Tom (Nancy). Jo was the proud ‘Gamma’ to 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren always following and supporting their many endeavours.
Even as Jo’s health declined, she continued to make new friends with some wonderful women who had an extremely positive impact on her life. Jo’s family wish to give particular thanks to Anne, Annika, Jessica, and Joan, as well as Lynn Key and her team, for the outstanding care they gave her and the way they enriched her life. Her family will be forever grateful.
Jo was predeceased by her husband Andrew (2010), her sister Janet (Robertson) Bennett, brother-in-law Graham Bennett and brother-in-law, Martin Eisenhauer.
Our family and our community have lost a kind, gracious and giving woman.
A private family service will be held to celebrate Jo’s life. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. John’s Anglican Church Lunenburg at www.canadahelps.org, Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital at www.healthservicesfoundation.ca or a charity of your choice.
Friends are invited to greet the family at an outdoor visitation to be held Monday, August 3rd at 7pm on the wharf at Adams and Knickle Limited at 128 Bluenose Drive, Lunenburg - COVID-19 restrictions will be observed.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the Dana L. Sweeny Funeral Home, Lunenburg www.sweenyfuneralhome.ca.