On December 9, 2020 at 2:00 am,
we said goodbye to a remarkable woman.
Alice Irene Irving (née Arbeau) was born in 1926 in Upper Blackville, New Brunswick, on the banks of the Miramichi River. She was the youngest of Alexander and Ella Arbeau’s four children.
Alice met her soul mate, Howard (Bud) Irving, in Fredericton, where she was working as a hairdresser and Bud was attending the University of New Brunswick. They were married in 1947, marking the start of a 68 year journey together. In the beginning they were nomads, following Bud’s forestry jobs throughout the nether regions of New Brunswick and Quebec, raising children, building houses and making a living as they ventured. Alice’s skills as a hairdresser were employed wherever they were.
In 1963 Alice and Bud put down roots in Aylmer, Quebec, where they would remain for 13 years while the children completed schooling. During this time Alice began taking courses in nursing, going on to work with the Victorian Order of Nurses, primarily in hospice care. She eventually settled into a full-time job as a medical records specialist and nurse for a prominent Ottawa doctor. And all this while tending to children and household, as Bud was working remotely monitoring and fighting forest fires throughout Quebec.
In 1976 Alice and Bud were on the move again, back to Fredericton, where Bud had accepted a job managing the spruce budworm aerial spray program. They built the house where she would live for the next 41 years. Alice had reluctantly left the dream job that she loved, but soon reestablished her career, excelling in it until her retirement at the age of 80. She handled all that came her way, including the move to computerized medical systems, with equanimity. Bud passed away in 2015; Alice continued to maintain her home until 2018 when she moved to Quebec to be closer to her daughter, Patricia.
Alice was a loving, generous and compassionate person. Her sense of humour, mischievous wit and spontaneous joy were delightful. She had an inherent strength and a fierce loyalty. She was steadfastly committed to her family and friends. She was a spiritual person who found much solace in her Christian faith. And above all she had a profound love for her husband.
Alice is pre-deceased by her parents, siblings and baby son David. She is survived by daughter Patricia (André), sons Robert (Marian), Richard (Joanne) and Thomas (Ellie), grandchildren Lisa Evans (David), Caitlin Irving-Brannan (Mike), Robyn Irving, Dustin Irving (Mia), and Jackson Irving, and great-grandchildren Jalyn Furey, Krystin Furey and Lilah Masson.
A family celebration of life will be held in New Brunswick at a later date.
Donations in Alice’s memory can be made to CVR’s SASS Foundation
or the Women’s Auxiliary of the Barrie Memorial Hospital,
28 Gale Street, Ormstown, QC J0S 1K0.
I never met Mrs.Irving, but hearing the stories and kind words from Tom and Ellie and now thru her obituary.
She accomplished so much in her personal and career life.
Being a « multiple children » Mother and Nurse myself, the positive traits of juggling both those careers is quite a task. Reading that Alice navigated thru the computerized medical systerm in her later career and not retiring until 80yo, speaks volumes of her strengths.
You are all blessed to have known Alice and the wonderful memories of her, lives with you all. ♡
Prayers, Condolences to the Irving family.
I tried to phone Alice today and was sad when the message came that the number was not connected. I immediately checked further and was sad to hear Alice had died. I worked with Alice at the Forest Hill Rehab in Fredericton – she was a wonderful person to be around. I moved to Alberta to attend university in 1979 and we stayed in touch when I visited NB and when she and Bud travelled to Calgary.
I’m so glad to have known Alice. She added a lot to every person she befriended and every place she went. Our last phone call was when Alice called to express condolences about my mother’s death on Nov 18th. She was a good friend and I’ll miss her.
I only knew her for 2 years but found her a truly remarkable woman. Will miss her laugh. As you said, « another angel in heaven ».
So sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing. Bud and Alice were wonderful people and great neighbours. Please accept our condolences and deepest sympathy.
Sincere Condolences. She was a very nice person . So very kind like her son Tom.
Our sincere condolences. She was a beautiful person.
Gordie and Diane
Our sympathies to the family.
Bob, Marian and Jackson,
Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of your mom. So happy that we got to meet her in the house that Bob built. She was so proud of you.
Dan and Carolyn