Esvelda Newton

Obituary of Esvelda Olivia Newton

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Age 92, of Halifax passed away 11 April 2024. Born in St Marys, ON she was the daughter of Ines and Saverio Pennacchietti originally of Porto San Giorgio, Italy. Esvelda’s story is a book of many chapters. The story opens with immigrant parents, war, and the great tragedy of an industrial accident that maimed her father. It is a tale of austerity, hard work, and gratitude for freedom and opportunity in Canada. A new chapter unfolds as a newlywed, forging a community of friends in the unfamiliar culture of the Royal Canadian Navy, first on the west coast and then on the east. She shouldered the demands of a Cold War service spouse and raised five healthy children with discipline and strong work ethic. The absences of her deployed husband in an era when family supports were non-existent, and money scarce tested her confidence. Out of necessity, she devoted long hours to sewing and knitting family clothes. This evolved into an income stream as she worked craft shows and nurtured a loyal clientele; many reading this will think of Esvelda as they unpack their stained glass creche next Christmas. Sock money was augmented by the surprise development of a career as a dental assistant that broadened her horizons. Her many friends could write their own chapters. Her community expanded ever wider from the shores of the Bedford Basin, radiating through the Catholic parishes of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St Benedict and through the good deeds of the Catholic Women's League. Her faith never wavered. She was the matriarch of the community Bridge Club and played until her last month. Her life-long passion as a gardener saw her home feature prominently on the Halifax tour circuit. Our thanks to Rick Hebb, her faithful garden assistant. Fittingly, a registered rose bred by a friend is named “Esvelda Newton.” Winters in the Wentworth Valley wrote a chapter of contentment built on the fruits of hard work. It brought her fitness into her 80s, the warmth of a cozy chalet, teaching her grandchildren to ski, and a rich social scene. The final chapter returns to hardship and resilience as Esvelda re-established her balance following the loss of her beloved husband. She faced down blood cancer and outlived her prognosis. Her family were privileged to support her wish to remain at home through her last years of chronic illness. No matter her own trials, she acted as an anchor to many in her family and circle of friends weathering their own storms of life. She enjoyed more than anything witnessing her 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren grow and thrive, her living legacy assured in this next generation. Her presence in family events will be greatly missed but her story will continue to inspire us. Survived by her children, Paul, Lynette, Julie (Paul), John (Tara), and Sarah (Rory); sister, Evelyn Jackson; grandchildren, Laura and Erica Newton, Ezekiel Hagar and Alysia Churchill, Cecilia, Lucy, Angus, Olivia, Celeste, and Anthony Newton, Nelson and Alexandra Luxmoore; great-grandchildren, Zane Hagar, Xavier Sutcliffe, Wynne Tighe, Wyatt and Logan Churchill, Theo, Thomas and Claire Beck, Libby and Anna Bishop, with 3 more great-grandchildren on the way. Predeceased by husband, John Douglas Newton; sister, Ilsylvania Butcher; brothers, Quido, Giacamo, and Antonio Pennacchietti; and sister, Eva Leonard. A Funeral service will be held Wednesday, 24 April 2024 at 12:15PM at St Benedict Parish, 45 Radcliffe Dr, Halifax, NS. Reception following. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Salvation Army. A special thank you is extended to Esvelda’s health care team including Dr Sue Robinson and Hematology Clinic staff, family doctor Valerie Lewis, and many other helping hands of her closest friends of many decades who assisted with transportation, home care, wellness checks, and grocery runs. The family thanks Lynda Tyler and Beth Guptill who assisted in spiritual, physical, and medical supports too numerous to mention.