Residents of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL) have lost one of their champions with the passing on January 26 of Maria de Vries, 74, at the South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater.
The former councillor for what is now District 9, de Vries served on MODL's council from 1976 to 1991.
"She was passionate with caring for the elderly and she was always passionate that there was money for those in need," commented Lee Nauss, the councillor for District 3.
A former warden who has served in the region since 1967, Nauss worked with de Vries her entire 15 years on council.
"She represented [her constituency] in a way that if people called her and went to her, she made sure that it was brought forward to council. And if there was anything that she could do at the meeting, or in any other way, then she would carry it out," he told LighthouseNOW.
Nauss described deVries as amiable and hard-working.
"Never appeared to carry a grudge. When it was over, it was over, and she dealt with it. And if she was on the losing side of the vote, it was okay. Then she supported what the motion was," he said.
Born in Holland, De Vries was the daughter of the late Captain Claar van der Harst and Geertruide Streefland. She and her husband immigrated to Canada in 1963 and settled in Lunenburg, where they had three children and de Vries started a nursery school.
In 1971, they moved to Kingsburg, where they bought an old hobby farm.
"According to some wags, it was like two foggy minds moving out into the fog," quipped de Vries's obituary.
De Vries went on to represent Kingsburg and area as its municipal councillor. She served as a school board chair person, and board member and chair person of LaHave Manor. She was also an active UCW member and Girl Guide leader.
"All this while her husband was skylarking out on the ocean more than half the time," continues her obituary.
Among her immediate survivors are her "devoted husband of 55 years," Cornelis (Casey) de Vries, sons, Marc and Derrick, daughter, Nicolette, five grand children, her sisters, Clara and Marianne, and brother, Leen.
"Maria's bright star was dimmed too early by the clouds of ill health. Her passing has made our world a little poorer. Still, we were lucky to have known her and loved her," concluded her obituary.
A memorial service was planned for February 1, 2018 at the Dana L. Sweeny Funeral Home in Lunenburg, with interment at a later date at Lakeview Cemetery, Kingsburg.