Neila Sullivan

Obituary of Neila Sullivan

The family of Neila Florence Sullivan is deeply saddened to announce her passing on Thursday, May 16, 2024, at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. On what would have been their 65th wedding anniversary, Neila rejoined Eddy, the love of her life, providing us with the comfort of knowing that they're reunited after 8 years apart. Neila was born and raised in Florence, Nova Scotia, by her loving parents, Neil MacGillivary and Mildred (Nicholson) MacGillivary. Growing up, she shared special bonds with her dear brother, Dr. William "Billy" MacGillivary (Sandra), of Fredericton, NB, and her cousin, Charles “Chuck” MacAulay (Gayle), of Brighton, ON. Bright, proud, and a trailblazer, Neila attended the Halifax Business College at the young age of 16, making her one of the first women to do so. She went on to have a fulfilling career, starting in the offices at Nickerson & Sons and Woolco, and later spending 35 years in the ticket booth at CN/Marine Atlantic. Neila and Ed raised their family in North Sydney and, later, Georges River, where she cherished the beautiful views of the Bras D'Or Lakes. Neila leaves behind a legacy of love with her surviving children: Allan (Kim), Kimmy (Paul) Denney, Kelly (Doug) Carter, and Neil (Jennifer). She was a cherished grandmother to David (Michael), Billy (Kat), Douglas (Lacey), Nolan (Liz), John-Cameron, Connor (Martina), Myles (Kristine), Mitchell (Brittany), Jonathan, and only granddaughter, Madison. Neila was also blessed with six great-grandchildren. Neila is also survived by her sister-in-law, Sandra MacGillivary, nephews Sandy and Timmy, and her brother-in-law, Hap Sullivan, aunt, Anna Mac Gillivary and many cousins. Neila's creativity and love for handiwork were evident throughout her life. She was an avid sewer and quilter, with her quilts adorning the homes of family members across the country. She also enjoyed working with ceramics and, in her later years, took up painting, favouring farmhouse-style scenes. Neila remained active by participating in chair yoga and swimming. Alongside summers in Baddeck, Neila was a dedicated shopper, finding joy in her trips to The Bay, another one of her “happy places”. She made a habit of “spoiling” at least one of her children or grandchildren—or herself—on every trip. We would like to thank her friends, Pauline, May, & Sylvia, who offered her companionship for many years & right until the end. Neila's love for Eddy was unwavering and profound. Their 57 years of marriage were a testament to a beautiful partnership filled with shared dreams, deep affection, and mutual respect. In the 8 years since his passing, Eddy remained a guiding presence in Neila's life. Neila was predeceased by her beloved son, Billy, whom she has missed for over 30 years, her brother Bill, whom she always spoke about with great affection, and her parents who were so dear to her. Cremation has taken place under the care and direction of T.J. Tracey Cremation and Burial Specialists, 6 Churchill Drive, Sydney, NS, 902-539-7175. In accordance with her wishes, there will be no public services. A private family interment will be held at Lakeside Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to the Terry Fox Foundation, the CNIB, or the Canadian Diabetes Association in Neila's memory. Neila's life was a testament to love, creativity, and strength. She will be profoundly missed by all who knew her, and her memory and quick wit will live on in the hearts of her friends and family. To leave words of condolence, please visit
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