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Marla Rafuse

Marla  Rafuse

Passed in: Lower Branch
Passed on: January 14th, 2016

RAFUSE, Marla Gail – age 59, of Lower Branch, Lunenburg Co., formerly of Waterville, Kings Co., died peacefully at home Thursday, January 14th, 2016 with her life partner, Gayle Ogilvie at her side. Marla was born and raised in the Annapolis Valley and was the daughter of Harold Rafuse and the late Lena (Lutz) Rafuse, Waterville. Throughout her career, Marla was an awesome educator, holding many positions with the South Shore Regional School Board (SSRSB) including teacher at many levels, guidance counselor, vice principal, principal and coordinator with the SSRSB. Following her retirement in 2012, Marla did some contract work with the SSRSB and the Department of Education and finished her career as a school counselor at the elementary level. She delighted in working with the young students. Marla had a unique relationship with students at all levels and was well respected by both students and colleagues. She truly “made a positive difference in the lives of others”. Apart from her love of education, Marla loved athletics and early in her life was active in sports. Her other passion was music. She was involved in choirs, drama productions and with Gayle sang at church services, weddings and funerals in many locations throughout Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Over the past couple of years, Marla was unable to participate in these areas personally due to her health, but her interest continued. Marla had several admissions to the South Shore Regional Hospital over the past year. She was recently cared for by the staff on the Surgical Unit. Gayle and Marla’s family would like to thank the nursing staff there and Dr. Beth Llewellyn for the excellent care provided. We would especially like to thank Dr. Tony Nestel for his commitment to her health over the past two and a half years. Marla came home from hospital on January 12th and received further excellence in care from Palliative Care and VON. We would particularly like to thank Noeleen Reilly RN for her compassion and visits to the home over the last two days of Marla’s life. Special thanks to Dr. Dave Abriel for his valiant efforts and commitment to assisting us with Marla’s end of life transition. We will be ever indebted for his dedication. A special thank you also goes to Gayle’s mother Kit, who came from New Brunswick to help Gayle care for Marla in her end of life and to Marla’s father and brother for their diligent visits to support her through her illness. Marla will be deeply missed by her partner of nearly 36 years, Gayle; her father, Harold, Waterville; brother, Don, Cambridge; many aunts, uncles and cousins and her extended family in New Brunswick. Besides her mother Lena, Marla was predeceased by her brother, Stephen. As per Marla’s wishes, there will be no visitation. Cremation has taken place and arrangements are in the care of the Middleton Funeral Home, 398 Main St., toll-free 1 (855) 825-3448. There was a memorial service at the Waterville Baptist Church, 1243 Mill St., Waterville, at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 20th, 2016, Pastor Christina Bigelow officiated and a reception followed at the Waterville & District Volunteer Fire Hall. A second memorial service will be held for the celebration of Marla’s life at 2:00 p.m., Friday, January 22, 2016 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 78 Alexandra Ave., Bridgewater, with The Venerable Reverend Brent Ham from the Anglican Parish of Riverview, New Brunswick officiating. A reception will follow in the church hall. Family flowers only. Any donations may be made to the South Shore Palliative Care Service through the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore office or on-line at www.healthservicesfoundation.ca. On-line guest book may be signed by visiting: www.middletonfuneralhome.com or www.sweenysfuneralhome.com


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