Juanita Sulis O'Sullivan
Juanita Sulis O'Sullivan

Funeral Service

1:30 pm
Saturday, May 20, 2023
Smiths Cove Baptist Church
43 N Old Post Road
Smiths Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada

Obituary of Juanita Faye Sulis O'Sullivan

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It is with a sad heart I announce the passing of my mother, Juanita Faye Sulis-O’Sullivan, age 84 of Smith’s Cove, who passed away peacefully in the Valley Regional Hospital, after breaking her hip. She was the daughter of the late Hugh and Nelsie Rafuse.

Juanita embarked on her life as a military wife at the tender age of 16 by sailing across the Atlantic Ocean with a three-month-old baby to meet Harry who was stationed in Germany, she was excited and nervous at the same time. In the beginning, Harry endured many less than desirable meals…Juanita was sure you got brown gravy from burnt meat, put yellow food coloring in scorched potatoes, and attempted to bake a Jell-o pie.  She overcame her initial attempts to become a fabulous cook, she made a five-alarm pasta sauce that no wimpy person should eat.

“I will forever miss the sugar cookies she made at Christmas.”

Juanita loved the military life and all it offered with an open mind. Many wonderful friendships and memories were made. Upon retirement from the military, she and Harry settled in Smith’s Cove, becoming very active in the community and always helping. Their door was always open for a cup of tea and a guaranteed good laugh.  She was the queen of Dollarama, often wearing four or five of their sparkling bracelets or mailing the butterfly and gemstone stickers she found at Dollarama with her letters to friends and family.

Juanita was a happy, helpful, industrious woman who was up for any challenge. Her spirit was broken when “My Harry” passed away. They were a team from day one and grew up together.  She was blessed by her second husband, Paul, who was so kind and spoiled her. The last challenge Juanita faced was one she couldn’t win, and her frail body gave out.

“You were the best Mom and Nana, we love you so much.”

Juanita was a member of the Smith’s Cove Cemetery Committee, Historical Society, and Rug Hookers. She also taught life skills at CFB Cornwallis, which was her dream job. As a member of the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, she was strong in her faith and believed in the power of prayer.

Juanita is survived by her only child, Darlene Sulis Deal, Yarmouth; much loved grandchildren, Matthew (Stacey) Deal, New Glasgow; Josh (Eilieen) Deal, Antigonish; Sarah (Glenn) Flemming, Yarmouth; and two precious great-grandsons, Ashton and Harbor; step-daughters, Sam (Jim) Gaunce, Digby; Sue (Robert) Morgan, Digby; Cathy (Brock) Smith, Digby; their families; and Ed Lawrence (who she called her adopted son).

In addition to her parents, Juanita was predeceased by her two wonderful husbands, Darlene’s father, Harry Richard Sulis and second husband Paul Charles O’Sullivan; step-mother, Margie Rafuse; step-brother, Paul Rafuse; sister, Hughena Watkins, Helen Bennet; brother-in-law, John Bennet, Harry Barnes; father-in-law, Harry Sulis; mother-in-law, Mina Sulis; and sister-in-law, Fanny Sulis; and nieces, Debbie and Donna Barnes.

A huge thank you to the doctors and nurses at Digby General and Valley Regional Hospitals, the kindness and time you gave to Mom and our family is so appreciated. Special thank-you to Kaia Lowe, her nurse on the Surgical Unit.

“Mom, you were my biggest fan, you always told me how to bossy I am and I always told you the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.! Kompachoo-Kompachoo, fling-fling. “

A Funeral Service with a reception to follow will be held on May 20, 2023, at 1:30 pm in the Smith’s Cove Baptist Church. A private interment will take place in the Sulis Smith Cemetery. Family Flowers only. Memorial donations may be made to the Smith’s Cove Baptist Church (902-245-6121).  Arrangements have been entrusted to Serenity Funeral Home, Digby County Funeral Chapel, 367 Highway #303, Digby, NS B0V 1A0 (902-245-2444).

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