Natalie Ann-Marie Evong

Natalie Evong of Bedford passed away on May 31, 2022, at the age of 38. She is deeply missed by her loving parents, Michael and Colleen, younger brother, Robert, grandmother, Sylvia Ireland, and partner, Steven Saulnier.

She was a good person.

To Natalie’s little brother, she was a protector and teacher from the beginning. Robert was sad when his big sister started primary school at Fort Sackville without him, but Natalie would take him aside later to impart the wisdom and excitement that she found during her first independent steps into the bigger world. Every year, Robert and Natalie would visit their grandparents, Robert and Sylvia Ireland, in Florida. Natalie played shuffleboard with her little brother every day, even when she didn’t feel like it, because she wanted to make sure he had company. Colleen, Natalie’s loving mother, often watched or joined their games smiling, seeing her children laughing together during these sunny weeks in March.

Natalie made her parents proud as a young dancer and gymnast before turning her athletic abilities to the soccer pitch, where her father Michael was at times her coach and both parents always supported her. Natalie was strong and she was fast and she always played a respectable game without any malice toward other players. Not all people of talent and strength remember the importance of sportsmanship, of compassion for others, but Natalie did.

Natalie brought joy into the lives of all of her grandparents. She loved visiting her strong Papa, Martin Evong, in Cape Breton, spending hours sharing stories in front of the wood stove together. Natalie went on impressively long walks through Halifax with her Nana, Irene Evong, visiting ducks in the Public Gardens, going to church, and learning from the best on how to be strong-willed. Natalie was lucky enough to grow up down the street from her Grammy (Sylvia) and Grandad (Robert) in Bedford. She spent many days trying to make Grandad laugh while he watched very serious-seeming westerns on TV and Grammy carried in vegetables from her garden to share with her family.

As years went on, Natalie and her mother became regular volunteers helping Sylvia to host the Children’s Art Festival on her front lawn during Bedford Days. Volunteer work would become a regular installment in Natalie’s life, both for people in need and for those smaller in stature. The Evong and Ireland households have always been dedicated to protecting stray cats and dogs and Natalie’s unwavering love and affection for them played a huge role.

In the end, Natalie found comfort from the presence of her family and her dedicated partner Steven, who gave her all of the strength he could. She passed away knowing that she was loved and soon to be in the company of all those who loved her who had already passed.

For those reflecting on their intersections with Natalie, please do not bury the good memories because of the pain of losing her. Natalie planted a lot of seeds in this world, from giving the inside scoop on Grade Primary, to acting in NSCAD films, designing the most thoughtful Christmas cards, or making her cousins realize how funny of a place the world really is (Natalie was hilarious). Please, hold on to those memories and allow what Natalie started in all of us to grow. What she planted is worth preserving in our stories and in our actions henceforth, as is the memory of this caring soul.

May she rest in peace.

 

If you’d like to contact Natalie’s family, please e-mail: familyofnatalie@gmail.com

There are many ways to honor Natalie, one of which is making a donation to a cause that is true to her heart, the Nova Scotia SPCA.