Monica Mary Craik
It is with sadness that the family announces the passing of Monica Craik (Wren) on January 19, 2019, at the Shannex Nursing Home in Fredericton, NB. Monica died peacefully with her daughters and her namesake grand-daughter by her side.
Monica leaves behind her husband, Neil; her sons Jonathan, Richard (Anne-Marie), Steven (Shelley), and Andrew (Debbie); her daughters Anne and Joan (Stephen Allaby); and eight grand-children: Christopher, Alyssa, Patrick, Monica, Eva, Gavin, Benjamin and Simon.
Monica was born May 4, 1930, in Cheltenham, England, the sixth of Winnifred (Bayliss) and Bernard Wren’s nine children. As a young woman, Monica had an adventurous spirit. In 1954, she traveled from London, England, to Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia to teach. There she met Neil Craik, a young Scottish engineer who had made the same long journey from the UK to Africa a month later.
Monica and Neil married in Salisbury on April 28, 1956. Their first son, Jonathan, was born in 1957. Shortly after Jon’s birth, Neil was transferred to Kampala, Uganda. Monica followed a month later with baby Jon, who was, at that time, the youngest person to travel on an airplane in Africa. The family later moved to Nairobi, Kenya , where Richard was born in 1958.
In 1959, Monica and Neil returned to the UK and lived in Irvine, Scotland, where Anne, Stephen and Joan were born. In 1966, the Craik family immigrated to Canada, arriving in time for youngest son, Andrew, to be born a Canadian citizen. In Canada, they continued their nomadic lifestyle, moving from Dorval to Mississauga to Trois-Rivières to Pointe Claire, and finally, in 1982, to Fredericton, NB.
Wherever they lived, Monica devoted herself to her family, providing a warm, secure home for her hardworking husband and busy offspring, caring for cuts and scrapes, listening to troubles over cups of tea, offering comfort, advice and a ready hug. No matter how old her children were—five or fifty—they knew she would always be there for them if she could. Monica loved her grandchildren and welcomed them with a hug whenever they appeared at her door, ready to play, read books or just for a cuddle.
Monica was an intelligent, strong woman with a good sense of humour and her own opinions. While living in Pointe Claire, she was an active member of her community: she was a long-time volunteer at the Lakeshore General Hospital, assisted with the settlement of two refugee families from Vietnam, and enjoyed playing badminton and tennis with neighbourhood friends. In Fredericton, she continued her volunteer activities, helping out at the Community Kitchen, the DECH auxiliary and the Catholic Women’s League. She and Neil enjoyed traveling and visited many different parts of Canada and the United States.
The family is grateful to the staff of 4SE at the Chalmers Hospital and Frederick Hall Nursing Home who cared for Monica these last months.
There will be no visitation. A funeral will be held on Saturday, January 26, at 2:00 p.m. at St. Dunstan’s Catholic Church in Fredericton. Donations can be made in to Monica’s memory to the charity of the donor’s choice.