BERTIN, Theona B. (Arsenault) – It is with deep sadness that the family of Theona B. (Arsenault) Bertin announces her peaceful passing on July 5, 2023, at Pine Grove Nursing Home, Fredericton, N.B. She was 81 years old. Daughter of the late Theodore and Irene Arsenault, Theona “Tonie” was born in Egmont Bay, P.E.I. She was the sixth child of eighteen siblings. At a young age, she and her sister Stella moved to St. Stephen, N.B., to find employment. It was there that she met John Bertin, the love of her life and her husband of 62 years. Together, they raised eight children.
For 18 years, Tonie was a very busy at-home mom who somehow found the time for hobbies and extra-curricular activities. From broomball to clogging to bowling, she enjoyed being part of a team. Knitting, quilting, sewing and baking were skills she became exceptionally good at. Once all her own children were in school, she began caring for preschool children. Eventually, she decided to take her homemaking skills on the road and began her own house cleaning business, which she continued until retirement at the age of 65.
Tonie was happiest when she had a house full of grandchildren. The noisier, the better. She loved spending time with them, teaching them how to bake cookies or playing one of her favorite games: dominoes, Chinese checkers or cards.
A devout Christian, she was a member of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) and an organizer for the parish hall kitchen, where she served food at countless functions. She acted as a volunteer in different capacities for the Holy Rosary Church and the St. Stephen Catholic Church. She was also involved in a quilting group that raised funds for the church.
Tonie is survived by her daughters, Mona (Tim Sartain) of Gagetown, N.B.; Alice (Peter Scott) of St. Stephen, N.B.; Carolyn of Canmore, Alta.; Donna (Allan Carson) of St. Stephen, N.B.; Julie of Fredericton, N.B.; and Angela (Corey Sigvaldason) of Cape Breton, N.S., and her sons, John Paul (Tanya Smith) of Merritt, B.C.; and Peter (Tina McLaughlin) of St. Stephen, N.B., as well as 21 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents, Tonie was predeceased by her husband, John Bertin, on December 21, 2022, and by her brother Andy; sister Ella Robinson; sisters-in-law Pat and Florence; brothers-in-law John Hebert, Jerry Robinson and Gilles Chouinard; niece Vicki Robinson; and nephew Ernest Hebert as well as four siblings who died in early childhood, Gustave, Louise and two infant twins.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, 407 Milltown Blvd., St. Stephen, N.B. on Friday, September 1, 2023 at 11 AM.
For those who wish, donations in Tonie’s memory may be made to Parkinson Canada, the Alzheimer Society or a charity of the donor’s choice.
The family wishes to thank the nurses and staff at Pine Grove Nursing Home, where Tonie spent the last six months of her life. The family took comfort in knowing she was in good hands. Special thanks go to RNs Robin and Steven for helping us through her final hours. They were angels sent to comfort and guide us.
Funeral arrangements in care of The S.O. Mehan & Son Funeral Home Ltd., 23 Main Street, St. Stephen, N.B. (www.mehanfuneralhome.ca)