Aileen Williams

Obituary of Aileen Williams

Claire Aileen (Crawford) Williams passed peacefully on October 8, 2023 at St. Martha's Hospital in Antigonish after a year-long battle with cancer. She was a bright light to all who knew her, and you would always look forward to seeing her mile-wide smile.

When asked to describe Aileen in one word, her loved ones would say she was: Vivacious, vibrant, hilarious, spunky, funny, loyal, welcoming and bubbly.

Aileen grew up on Hawthorne Street in Antigonish and was the sixth of ten children. Always practical (and at times irreverent), she had little patience for school. She was a true child of the 50s and spent her free time bowling and socializing, listening to the jukebox. She married her sweetheart Barry Williams at 19 years old; they recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary. The young couple moved to Ontario for work and raised their family in Mississauga.

She was dedicated to her family her entire life. A blue collar worker, she scrimped and saved to give her family the small luxuries in life: a ski trip, a special meal, a summer vacation in Malignant Cove, a precious Christmas gift. When eventually her grandchildren came along, she would often fly home to spend time with them, going to all kinds of sports and school events to support them, and she loved cooking a big meal for her family on holidays on her way to and from Florida.

In the winter, Florida's beaches and shopping centers were a haven for her. She couldn't resist a deal, and would spend hours in stores with her daughters and sisters, gleefully searching for the perfect item to complete an outfit or add the next finishing touch to her home.

Aileen and Barry retired home to James River in 2001, where she spent countless hours on her passion project: building her garden. It called to her over the winter and she always looked forward to returning to get her hands dirty again in the spring. She operated an unofficial hummingbird sanctuary on her back deck, and would happily entertain guests while listening to the beach party on the radio.

There was never a dull moment when Aileen was around. She loved spending time with people and you couldn't help but feel special in her presence. She had a way of telling stories that would leave you in stitches. We will remember her admiring her garden from the deck, laughing, surrounded by hummingbirds, swirling a giant glass of white wine.

Aileen is survived by her husband Barry. She was a loving and dedicated mother to her children Ted (Susan), Terry, Carrie (Jim), and Shelley (Brendan). She was a doting and attentive grandmother to her grandchildren Jack, Sam, Abbey, David, Michael, Mary, and Loic. Her siblings Joan, Doug (Harriet), Tom (Lorraine), Karen, Terry (Gina), Minna (Jim), George, David (Joan), and Ronnie will miss her dearly. Her dozens of nieces and nephews are holding her in their hearts. 

We are deeply grateful to the VON Antigonish care team for keeping Aileen comfortable at home for as long as possible, and to the Palliative Care Unit at St Martha's Regional Hospital for their compassionate and knowledgeable guidance in her final days.

Visitation will be held from 2-5 pm on Friday October 13, 2023 in MacIsaac Funeral Home, 61 Pleasant Street, Antigonish. Funeral Mass 11 am Saturday in St. Ninian Cathedral, Reverend Donald MacGillivray presiding. Burial in Glen Bard Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to VON Antigonish or St. Martha's Regional Hospital Palliative Care Unit.



2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Friday, October 13, 2023
MacIsaac Funeral Home
61 Pleasant St
Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
(902) 863-3414

Funeral Mass

11:00 am
Saturday, October 14, 2023
St Ninian's Cathedral
121 St. Ninian St
Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada


Glen Bard Cemetery
591 Hwy 4
Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
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