HIRTLE, Rex Leland


After a full life, it is with much sadness that the family of Rex Leland Hirtle, 95, of First South, announces his passing on Friday, January 12, 2024, at his daughter’s home in Lower Branch.

Born in Bridgewater, Rex was the son of the late Hugh and Mildred (Eisnor) Hirtle.

Rex began working at a very young age picking strawberries at Hebb’s Farm, then helped build tugboats at Atlantic Shipbuilding in Mahone Bay for the war effort. He joined his father and brother Donnie to establish and operate Hirtle Woodworking Ltd in Blockhouse and was later employed at the Lunenburg Foundry. He began his grocery career with Bob Mosher in Western Shore, then with K.E. Crouse in Lunenburg and finally with Atlantic Wholesalers.

Managing and growing the thriving grocery store at Scotia Trawlers in Lunenburg became his passion from 1965 until his retirement in 1994. The store outfitted much of the offshore fishing fleet and provided the community with quality goods and services.

Rex worked tirelessly to support his family throughout his life, whether by driving taxi or helping to build and renovate their homes. His presence on the job site in his later days earned him the title of “the inspector”. He took great pride in all of his family’s accomplishments.

Rex loved working in the woods, sharing a game of cards with neighbours, and watching curling or baseball with his beloved Viv. His workshop was full of activity as he worked on various projects for himself and others. Annual hunting trips and Sunday fishing trips with friends and family were highly anticipated. He enjoyed every moment spent outdoors or near the sea. His RV trip across Canada with Vivian was a highlight of his retirement. Rex’s grandchildren often found him napping under a blanket of newspapers, in attendance at their many special events, or “sneaking” treats to pets under the dinner table. He was a lifelong supporter of Grace Lutheran Church, serving on council for many years and helping with church building projects.

Rex is survived by children, Christopher, Northwest; Andrew (Barbara), First South; Nancy (James) Grandy, Lower Branch; Judith (Jeffery) Wagner, Stonehurst, Mark, First South; grandchildren, Sabrina, Cory, Candice, Jennifer, Josh, Robin, Jonathan, Kathryn, Leah; great-grandchildren, Tristan, Arrabella, Ciara, Ethan, Jacob; sisters, Shirley Richardson, Bridgewater, Catherine Wynn, Kentville, Mona Diggins, Bridgewater.

Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his wife, Vivian (Langille), brothers, Donald, Douglas, Vance, Vernon; sister, Audrey Harlow; brothers and sister in infancy Eldon, Calvin, Elizabeth; daughters-in-law, Bernadine and Sherri.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Dana L. Sweeny Funeral Home, 11213 Highway 3, Lunenburg, where a visitation was held Wednesday, January 17, 7 to 9 p.m. Memorial service to celebrate Rex’s life was held on Thursday, January 18 at 2 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, First South, Rev. Rick Pryce and Rev. Vivian Moores, officiating. Reception followed. Interment for family at First South Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to First South Cemetery, Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital, Lunenburg, Grace Lutheran Church, First South, or to any other charity.

The family would especially like to thank those at LCHS and VON, Anna Veinot and June Robar, and everyone at Pelham Medical Services for their great care given to Rex for so many years.

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