Cover photo for Mary Henrietta “Etta” Gow's Obituary
Mary Henrietta “Etta” Gow Profile Photo

Mary Henrietta “Etta” Gow

Gow – Mary Henrietta “Etta”, age 91, of Liverpool, Queens County, passed away peacefully on August 4, 2018 at Saint Vincent’s Nursing Home, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Etta was born on November 1, 1926 in Louisburg, Nova Scotia, the second daughter of Annie (Fader) and Charles Dickson. She graduated from Victoria General Nursing School, Halifax in 1948. Her first nursing job took her to Grand-Mere, Quebec, where she met Gordon Gow. Gordie and Etta were married in Ottawa in 1952 and lived the first years of their married life in Varennes, Quebec, where Jim and Heather were born. They moved to Brooklyn, N.S. in 1957 and a few years later to Liverpool. Soon after expanding their family to include Pamela and Sherri, Etta started nursing at Queens General Hospital, where she eventually served for many years as Director of Nursing until her retirement in 1986.

Etta will be fondly remembered for her love of life. She was a free thinking woman with a keen sense of adventure and an eagerness to try new things. Her positive and vivacious spirit very often made her the life of the party. Rumor has it that she once danced the highland fling on a picnic table and she was known to have ignited at least one or two impromptu campfires on her front lawn – she was no stranger to a glass of scotch! She was a loving and caring person, enjoyed spending time with friends and was always up for big gatherings of all sorts. Everyone felt welcome in her home. She thoroughly enjoyed playing cards and board games. Whether it was a game of Backgammon with Gordie, a riotous game of Mexican Train with friends and family or a game of bridge with the ladies at Bridge Club, her competitive side shone through, but always in fun and with lots of laughter. She was an avid ice hockey fan with a particular attachment to “big” Jean Beliveau captain of her favourite hockey team – the Montreal Canadiens. Etta enjoyed getting “gussied up” and going out to “live it up a little”. She loved singing and dancing with Gordie and oh, how they could harmonize and glide across the dance floor! In her retirement, Etta and Gordie were regulars on the golf course at White Point Golf Club and they enjoyed traveling, especially cruising. For many years she was an avid quilter, enjoying both the creative and social aspects of quilting (the annual quilters’ retreat in Caledonia was always a good time!) and making all her daughters and granddaughters a quilt.

Throughout her life Etta was active in the community. In her youth she was a Gold Cord Girl Guide; as an adult she served as Girl Guide District Commissioner for Queens County. She was a member of the Curling Club, a chorus member in The Winds of Change productions, and for many years a member of the Kinsmen and Kinettes.

She was predeceased by her husband Gordie; her sisters, Beatrice and Marguerite and her brother Charles.

She is survived by her children: Jim Gow, Heather (Robin) MacGregor, Pam (Dave) Gow-Boyd, Sherri (Gerry) Murney. She is also survived by 12 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and her cat Lily.

The family would like to thank the staff at Saint Vincent’s Nursing Home for their kind and gentle care. A Private Family Service will be held at Trinity Anglican Cemetery, Liverpool; a celebration of Etta’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the SPCA. Etta loved her cats! Condolences may be offered through


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