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November 9, 1939 - October 24, 2023

Hilary Watson was born in England at the outset of the Second World War. Like so many children at that time, she was separated from her family for safety. She persevered through this early childhood trauma and faced the world with an easy smile and a love of laughter.

Upon being reunited with her family at war's end, they moved to Canada and settled on a farm near Vegreville, Alberta. It was on the prairie that she developed a soprano's voice that could effortlessly fill an auditorium, as well as a horticulturalist's flair for making all manner of plant life flourish.

These natural gifts and her strong faith were among the many ways she devoted her life to expressions of beauty and unfailing kindness.

In 1959 she met Bill Fraser, a young student minister from Nova Scotia who had come west for a summer work placement. Two years later she married the love of her life and moved to Atlantic Canada, her adopted and cherished home of more than 60 years.

She immersed herself in the many church communities in which they lived throughout New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, always active in choirs and committees and especially delighting in working with children.

Hilary and Bill enjoyed a beautiful marriage of friendship and love until Bill's passing in 2009.

As talented as she was with song, perhaps Hilary's greatest gift was mothering. Every ache, scrape and fear was lovingly soothed, and every success no matter how modest was celebrated.

When her children were grown and off on their own her instinct to protect and nourish refocused on those who slipped through society's cracks, becoming a fiercely passionate advocate for the marginalized and disadvantaged.

Hilary will be remembered for her smile that would light up the room and her generous and caring spirit.

She will be greatly missed by her children, Graeham, Bruce and Ruth, and their families; her siblings, nieces, nephews and extended family; and the many friends whose lives she touched with loving kindness and laughter.

Memories can be shared online at

In lieu of flowers, offer your smile to a stranger. Hilary would like that.

Castlegar Funeral Chapel

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