Cover photo for Rachel Summers's Obituary
Rachel Summers Profile Photo

Rachel Summers

Rachel Summers died suddenly on September 4, 2021, at the age of seventy-three, in the South Shore Regional Hospital, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. She leaves behind her sisters, Sarah and Catherine Canright, cousins John and Ingrid Clark, nephews Gates and Gareth Clark, her cat Henry, and many friends who loved her immensely. She was predeceased by her brother Peter Canright and by her parents Constance and William Canright.
For almost twenty years Rachel lived in what once had been the lighthouse keeper’s house on Long Cove Road in Port Medway, Nova Scotia. The house is on steep and remote cliffs overlooking the Atlantic. Rachel had an eclectic and diverse collection of devoted friends – neighbours, fellow artists, community gardeners, art show organizers, members of her knitting group, volunteer fire department colleagues, cat lovers, kayakers. She had a robust sense of humour, a big smile, an enchanting full-throated laugh, a huge heart, a generous temperament, and the best head of hair in Queens County. Rachel was not a “joiner” in the traditional sense. She was fiercely independent, and nothing stopped her vociferous expression of strong and sometimes challenging views. She often used fruity language.
Rachel was a woman of parts. She was an excellent artist. She was a fine gardener. She had been an emergency room nurse in New York at Bellevue and Lennox Hill hospitals. She was a Port Medway first responder. She was ready to be chucked into the ocean wearing a wet suit when the volunteer fire department practised rescues at sea. She kayaked along the shore by herself in the morning fog. She was a dedicated swimmer. She knitted sweaters. She read books. Her lamb stew and fruit pies were excellent. She liked a martini.
Rachel was born in Chicago on June 24, 1948. She spent part of her childhood in Guam, a place where she was happy. She graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Later she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from New York University. She lived in New York City for thirty-five years, and loved it for a while, but eventually didn’t like what she thought the city and its society had become. She decided to leave the clamorous life and divisive politics she found increasingly unpalatable. In 2004 she moved to Canada and became a Canadian citizen. She quickly developed strong opinions about Canadian affairs.
It was a long and unusual road from Chicago to the lighthouse keeper’s house on Long Cove Road in far-off Port Medway. Rachel made this journey with style, grace, and humour. It was a joy to know her.
Cremation has taken place under the direction of Chandlers’ Funeral Home, Liverpool, NS. Online condolences may be made to In celebration of Rachel’s life, there will be an exhibition of her art in Seely Hall, Port Medway, in early summer 2022, followed by a memorial service and the scattering of her ashes at sea.


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