Nellie Williston

1938 ~ 2021 (age 82)


Nellie Williston (nee Waye)

January 25th, 2021

It is with admiration for a strong and beautiful spirit that the family of Nellie Williston, wife of Carman Williston of Baie du Vin, announces her passing, which occurred peacefully in the early hours of Monday, January 25th, 2021 at the Miramichi Regional Hospital in Miramichi, New Brunswick. 

Nellie was born on “The River” in April of 1938, to the late Robert and Ada (Hare) Waye, one of 17 children.  She loved living on the Miramichi, as well as in the comfort of her marital home in Chatham, built by her husband, father-in-law, and brother-in-law in 1965.  When Carman’s service in the military demanded that the family temporarily leave the area, to live in Ottawa and, later, outside Windsor, Nova Scotia, she did so dutifully, but always carried “back home” in her heart.  In 1974, the family returned to Chatham, and there they remained from that time on, completing 57 years of marriage.

Nellie was a great fan of “old-time” honky tonk and “country & western” music, and she loved to sing and dance.  Although she was not a fiddler herself, as the wife of a Miramichi Fiddler, she was a great supporter, and joined the troupe and clapped along wherever they went.

Travelling away from home was not really something that she aspired to, but she always enjoyed trips to visit friends and family in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia.  She and Carman made several trips across Canada in their motor home.  Her one travel dream was to go to the “Blue Hawaii” that had captured her imagination years many before at the cinema, and she did make it there; Elvis was nowhere to be seen singing on the beach, but she enjoyed that dream vacation, nevertheless.

Nellie appreciated the beauty of nature, especially birds and their song, and often commented on the activities happening at her bird feeder.  She had a soft spot for pretty things like pansies, forget-me-nots, daisies, and teddy bears.  She was interested in the old ways and traditions, as well as antiques, and she loved to admire others’ quilting and stitching handiwork and to create her own.  She made rugs and stitched pictures, and, in later years, when her hands were challenged by arthritis, she turned to colouring and to reading her favourite books – Christmas stories and biographies.  She was interested in other people’s lives and how they dealt with their challenges. 

The well-being of her own family, and that of extended family and friends, was always both a deep concern and abiding interest, and knowing they were doing well, through her regular phone calls, always gave her great comfort.  Time that she was able to spend with loved ones, especially over a good cup of tea, shared with those both near and far, always brought her joy.  She had such a great, warm, memorable laugh that others could not help but join in.  She loved to hold and rock little children on her lap and sing songs to them.

Nellie was a proud homemaker and an extraordinary housekeeper, working hard every day to a standard that most could only admire.  In the years when she was able, she loved to bake for her family and others, and produced countless delicious loaves of breads, pies, doughnuts, biscuits, and cookies over the years.

Nellie enjoyed her work at the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Chatham in the kitchen and in housekeeping during the mid-70s to early 80s.  Over many years, she volunteered countless hours for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, as well as to the Seamen’s Hospital restoration and maintenance, and to the Miramichi Genealogy Society.

Nellie was a role model for both strength of character and tenderness of heart.  She could stand on her own, and always tried her best at whatever tasks and challenges life put before her.  She was admired for her perseverance through things that she could change, and her acceptance of those things that she could not.  But she also loved unconditionally, even when it was difficult for some to understand her ability for forgiveness.  Her heart was too big for this world.

Nellie will live on joyfully in the hearts of her beloved husband, Carman, as well as four of her children – step-daughter Lynn (Roger) Trueman of Kingston, Ontario, step-son Steven (Colleen – d.) of Bridgewater, daughter Wendy (Kim/Lex) Williston of Nanaimo, BC, and daughter Sandra Williston of Miramichi; her grandchildren Dale (Amanda) Trueman, Lisa (Dean) Smith, Carla Williston, Johnathan Williston, Kyle (Fulvia) Williston, Victoria (Shelly) Williston, Sara Williston, Melody (Chris) Barta, and Levon (Destiny) Barta ; her great-grandchildren MacKenzie Trueman, Peighton Trueman, Autumn Trueman, Hudson Withers, Nolan Withers, and Jake Smith;  her sisters Verna a.k.a. Joan (Fred) Goode, Marilyn a.k.a. Pat (Bruce – d.) O’Brien, Clora (Frank – d.) Cortes, and Wanda, and her brother Robert a.k.a. Bobby; along with her many in-laws, nieces and nephews.  Her niece, Valorie Druet Walsh, and her friend Beth Murray, were like two adopted daughters to her.  She will also be fondly remembered and deeply missed by dear friends Donna and Jerry Wade, Thelma and Blair Carroll, and Ethel (and Gordon - d.) Barta.

In addition to her parents, Nellie was predeceased by her step-son, Mark (Wanda) Williston; infant twin grandsons Jeremy and Joshua; sister Beulah (Joseph – d.) Druet who was like a second mother to her, and sisters Audry (Vincent - d), Irene (George – d.) Rolph; as well as brothers James (Joyce – d.), Perley (Helen), Earl (Della – d.), Carl, Mervin (Freda), Ernest (Marjorie), and two infant brothers Leslie and John. 

A PRIVATE visitation was held at Adams Funeral Home Ltd., 140 King Street, Miramichi on Thursday, January 28th from 6:00 – 8:00 P.M.  A PRIVATE funeral service was held at the same location at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, January 29th with Rev. Charlene Maguire MacKnight officiating.  The musical selections for the service were recorded music:  “Go Rest High On That Mountain”, sung by Vince Gill and “Amazing Grace”, sung by daughter, Wendy Williston.  The eulogy was presented by daughter, Sandra Williston.  

A Celebration of Life for Nellie will be held later when family members from out of province can attend.  The date and time will be announced. 

As expressions of sympathy, donations to either Cystic Fibrosis Canada Atlantic Region, or to BREATHE: The Lung Association would be appreciated by the family.  People may also wish to plant a tree this spring in memory of Nellie, providing shelter for her beloved birds.

Arrangements were entrusted to Adams Funeral Home Ltd., 140 King Street, Miramichi, telephone (506) 773-3492, or messages of condolence may be sent to

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