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Margaret "Eileen" Beaton

BEATON, MARGARET “EILEEN” - Margaret “Eileen” Beaton, 92, of Halifax, formerly of Oromocto, NB passed away peacefully at Arbourstone Enhanced Care on Thursday, August 25, 2011. Born in Port Hawkesbury on Cape Breton Island, Eileen was the daughter of the late Alexander and Mary “Lillian” (MacDonald) Beaton. Eileen was a graduate of the Halifax Infirmary School of Nursing class of 1941. During the war years she was a nurse on the Foreign Merchant Marine’s Ward. Later she was a public health nurse in the Halifax area, prior to joining the Royal Canadian Medical Corps in 1956. Eileen’s passion was nursing and she was grateful for all the opportunities the army offered her; the training for excellence, the team work approach based on strong leadership, getting the job done right with compassion and often humour, comradery and professionalism of the forces. She thrived in this environment. Eileen travelled all over Europe and Canada and rose to the rank of Captain. She became the senior nurse (the Matron) of the Gagetown Base Hospital and later the assistant director of nursing at the Oromocto Public Hospital. Between 1962 and 1963 Eileen’s older sister Rita MacLean and her husband died leaving one child and three teenagers. Eileen acquired an instant family. She assumed complete responsibility of “the kids,” Rita, Mona, Dave and Mike. So there we were, Eileen and the four MacLeans on Scouller Street, Oromocto. No challenge was too daunting for Nursing Sister Beaton. They say as God closes a door, He opens a window, so Eileen’s private life and the sports car went out the door, the “bigger” second hand Hilman to carry “the Kids” to church and hockey practice appeared in Eileen’s driveway on Scouller Street. Through not with out its challenges (and Eileen always said she loved a challenge) she often said these were the best years of her life. She had a profession, a full time family and the best neighbours in the world, and yes she always looked after her neighbours and those dear people watched out for Eileen too. After Eileen retired from the forces in 1979 she was appointed the Head Nurse of Women’s Medical Surgery at the O.P.H. She continued making life long friends at the hospital. What a wonderful group of friends she found there. The “Kids” were gone, the cats were replaced by the firmly entrenched Bassets and Eileen was on the road for reunions, dog shows, card games, and senior bus trips, she was never home. Eileen and her sisters always made a point of getting together. Laney reunions, trips to North Sydney, or the “shack” in Neil’s Harbour and the condo in Halifax, the Beaton sisters never lost touch. Eileen was often on the phone to her brother Ernie and his family in Coquiltlam, BC. The statement “the family is forever” was not just a sweet expression on a greeting card, it is part of the Beaton sisters legacy. Eileen moved to Halifax in 1998. The years caught up with her and her health began to fail. The golden years were not so golden she would sometimes say. But as Eileen’s world became smaller the bonds of family and friendships grew stronger. Through it all Eileen never gave up her quiet dignity. God took her away quietly, she was not alone, she was not afraid. Eileen was predeceased by her sisters, Rita (Frank) MacLean, of Sydney, NS, Frances (Paul) Laney of North Sydney, NS and her brother J. Ernest Beaton and his former wife Hilda Beaton of Coquiltam, BC and David MacLean formerly of Sydney and Oromocto, NB. She is survived by her loving sister T. “Mona” Beaton of Halifax; her niece Mona MacLean of Halifax, Rita MacLean (Alan) Laney of Toronto and nephew Michael MacLean (Margaret MacKinnon) of Toronto.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, August 31st from 2 to 4pm in Cruikshank’s Halifax Funeral Home, 2666 Windsor Street. Funeral mass to be held Thursday, September 1st from St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Oromocto, NB, Rev. Ken Weir officiating. Interment in St. Joseph’s Church Cemetery, Port Hawkesbury at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Oromocto Food Bank or the Nova Scotia Alzheimer’s Society. A very special thank you to the staff at Arbourstone Enhanced Care for their wonderful care of Eileen. As well thank you to Dr. Marilyn Bell, Solange, Annette and most especially Paul Laney. To view or place an online message of condolence please visit


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