Pearl Edith Steeves, the wife of Walter Herman Steeves, died on 11 December 2017 at Loch Lomond Village, after a long battle with dementia. As a believer in Jesus Christ, she has passed beyond death and is now free from all tears and crying, mourning and pain. She died in the midst of the holidays, her favourite time of the year, and has gone to her heavenly home to be with her Lord for Christmas.
Born in Newcastle, NB on 16 April 1929, Pearl was the daughter of the late Austin Steeves and the late Susan (“Susie”) Steeves (née Colpitts). She was the last survivor of her generation, having been predeceased by brothers, Lloyd, Ivan and Allen, and sisters, Susie and Shirley.
Pearl married Walter on 8 August 1949, and they had four children: Gary, Brian, Susan (“Sue”) and Kevin — with Gary and Kevin dying in infancy. After brief periods of residency in Newcastle, Bathurst, Woodstock and Nashwaaksis, the Steeves moved to Saint John in 1964, where they became a fixture at 84 Mountain Road, Forest Hills for more than 50 years.
Though dementia significantly reduced the quality of her life in her final years, Pearl lived a full life, marked by devotion to Christ and love for her family. Wherever she lived, she assumed an active role in her church — since 1964, Forest Hills Baptist Church, in which she served as a member of the choir, Woman’s Missionary Society and the Willing Hands. She was also committed to the ministry of prayer and assisted with the church’s prayer network.
Pearl’s family were exceedingly precious to her, from Walter down to the youngest great grandchild. Her son-in-law, Rick, and daughter-in-law, Gail, were regarded as her own children. She convened her family often over the years, as holidays were marked and birthdays celebrated. And, of course, the Steeves cottage on Washademoak Lake was the scene of much family activity.
As mentioned, Pearl loved Christmas. She was a consummate shopper and always the first to have her cards in the mail. Christmas dinner with all the trimmings for large family gatherings was one of her specialties. And the Boxing Day party for the children and grandchildren at 84 Mountain Road was an annual custom for many years — later becoming the Boxing Day breakfast at Cora’s.
On top of all this, Pearl managed to find time for knitting and crafts, membership in the Y’s Menettes for a number of years, and, after Walter’s retirement, a number of road trips with King and Audrey (Walter’s brother and wife) to such places as Florida and British Columbia. Pearl was also known for her ready hospitality, the door to her home always being open to family, friends, passers-by and strangers.
Besides her husband Walter, son Brian (Gail, née Corey), and daughter Sue Taylor (Rick), Pearl is survived by 6 grandchildren — Esther Steeves (Jarrod Bayne) of Edmonton, AB, Rachel Bryant (Charles) of Saint John, Angela Marshall (Peter) of Quispamsis, Meredith Reicker (Tony) of Sussex, Matthew (“Matt”) Taylor (Sheri) of Oromocto, and Emily Taylor of Calgary, AB — and 11 great grandchildren — Alexander (“Alex”) Bayne, Charles (“Carl”) Bryant, Lillian (“Lily”) Bryant, Nathan Marshall, Hannah Marshall, Abigail (“Abby”) Marshall, Brayden Reicker, Zachary (“Zach”) Reicker, Benjamin (“Ben”) Reicker, Clara Taylor, and Kaitlyn (“Kate”) Taylor.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, December 13 at Forest Hills Baptist Church, with Rev. Roger Graham officiating. Pearl’s family will receive visitors at the church during the hour preceding the service (10-11 a.m.), and a reception will follow the service. Interment will be in the spring at Steeves Mountain Cemetery, Steeves Mountain, NB. Suggested recipients of memorial donations are Forest Hills Baptist Church and the Alzheimer Society.
Charitable donations may be made to:
Forest Hills Baptist Church
36 Mountain Road, Saint John NB E2J 2X1
Alzheimer Society Inc. Saint John
221 Ellerdale St., Saint John NB E2J 2M1