Maria Margareta Jacobs

It is with very heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our mother, grandmother and life partner, Maria Margareta Jacobs. Dynamic, determined, compassionate, hard-working, community oriented, whacky, and loving are a few of the words that come close to describing this beautiful person we lost on December 11, 2021.

Maria moved to Oxford, Nova Scotia, from Barger-Oosterveld, the Netherlands, in 1952, with her parents and siblings. Farmers in the Netherlands, they farmed in Oxford for two years before moving to Burlington, Ontario, where they operated a greenhouse and worked on neighboring farms. Like many immigrant women, Maria had multiple jobs. In 1955 she met a shy baker named John who was visiting a nearby Dutch family. They married a year later and moved to St. John, New Brunswick. Over the next ten years, they created a large family together: John (Anne Webb), Pieter, Maria (Ivan MacLeod), Kate (Tim Peters), Anna (Ernie Laidlaw), and Lisa (Jamie Van Wart).

In 1972, John got a promotion and transfer to Nova Scotia. Maria, a farm girl at heart, insisted they live on a farm. They found the perfect 40-acre spot in Somerset, the Annapolis Valley. Maria raised chickens and sheep alongside her children and grew beautiful flower and herb gardens. She had a knack for sales and sold parsley and leek at Wolfville restaurants for several years. As the children grew older, she dedicated more of her time to building community. She was an active church leader and started Faith and Sharing in Berwick. She volunteered extensively in several special care homes and was a founding member of L’Arche Wolfville. Core member John MacNeil became a part of our family. Many will remember the annual corn boils on the Jacobs farm that she organized.

When the children left home, she and John moved to Wolfville, Nova Scotia, a town that spoke to Maria’s sense of community spirit. They travelled extensively: Pakistan, Bhutan, Malaysia, Russia and India, to name a few. She joined the Valley Gardener’s Club and Grannies to Grannies (Wolfville and Kenyan grandmothers). She was an active Raging Granny, raising her voice against health care cuts and environmental degradation, and she brought Granny wisdom into schools. She loved her grandchildren with all her heart (Nikko, Sadie, Erik, Noah, Joey, Anton, Frances, Maguel, Willem, Ethan and Lewis).

Maria’s happy place was in the garden, hands deep in the soil, and to be surrounded by nature. She loved to camp, canoe, her many dogs over the years, and to “get out of the house!”  She also never turned down the chance to dance; waltzing with John and grabbing a broom when he wasn’t around. She always found a reason to celebrate and continually reminded us: “Don’t have a good day – make it a good day!”

There is so much about Maria to love. We will miss her dearly and her spark glows ever strong in our hearts.

A visitation will take place on Thursday, December 16, 2021 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at Serenity Funeral Home, Coldbrook. A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, December 17, 2021 at 11:00 am in the St. Francis of Assisi Church, Wolfville. Due to COVID, a full celebration of life will be held for Maria in the spring. Memorial donations, in Maria’s memory, may be made to the L’Arche Homefires, 341 Main St. Wolfville, NS, B4P 2N5; or electronically through Canada Helps. Arrangements have been entrusted to Serenity Funeral Home, 34 Coldbrook Village Park Dr., Coldbrook, NS, B4R 1B9 (902-679-2822).