Beth was born in Grand Falls NB, January 5, 1950, the oldest child of the late Harold and Marie (Dever) McLaughlin.
Beth was educated at St Thomas University, (BA 72) (BEd 73) and earned her Masters of Environmental Studies (U de M 2001).
Beth is survived by her life partner of 31 years, Helene Robb; her four sisters, Ann (Terry) Brennan of Fredericton, Jane (David) Woodman of Wolfe Island, ON, Mary (Fred) Farrell of Fredericton and Susan McLaughlin (Gerard Pickard) of Holmesville; her two brothers, Jim (Pauline) McLaughlin of Grand Falls and Peter (Anne Turner) McLaughlin of Bath; as well as eleven nieces and nephews , four great-nieces and a step-daughter, Cathy (Steve) LeMay of Moncton.
Beth was born with a passion for life and a drive to live life to its fullest. This passion was made manifest in her friendships, her environmental and social concerns, her political involvement, her writing, and her world travels. Her action-packed life is a challenge to summarize, but briefly: Beth saw magic in every person she met. She loved people: she wanted to learn each person’s life story, and as her many friends would attest, she cared deeply for each and every person she knew. Beth was a teacher of children. A French teacher, she marvelled at her students’ many and varied talents, and nourished their learning through much interaction and discussion, and became the drama coach for Birchmount school. She wrote plays about social and environmental issues for her young actors. Beth was an activist. She firmly believed that people’s actions could change the world. Her involvement in the environment began with concerns over spruce budworm spraying and continued through her life. She formed a group called PANE, (People Against Nuclear Energy), and was a co-founder of SOS Eau, Water, Sanqwan, to campaign against the privatization of Moncton’s water supply. She was the founder of the South East Chapter of the New Brunswick Conservation Council .There were few environmental causes that Beth did not involve herself in or encourage others to become involved.
Beth ran for political office as an NDP candidate in two provincial elections in the 90’s, and for councillor in a municipal election. Beth’s concern for people led her to be a co – founder of Crossroads for Women, She was involved in the forming the NB Coalition of Transition Houses, and was its second president. She received many awards for her contributions to society, among them, the Milton F Gregg Environmental award from the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.
Beth loved to write. She was part of the Breach House Gang, and some of her work has been published in their anthologies. She wrote a series of articles on sustainable communities for the Times and Transcript. She was especially happy to have had an article published in Saltscapes, a Maritime magazine. She wrote plays as well. Beth travelled the world. She and her life partner, Helene, back-packed around the world twice, over 6 continents, to places like Turkey, Tasmania, Peru, Burma, Nepal, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand were recent trips. A cruise across the Atlantic was their last trip in May. In the words of her friend Dave Bennett in England: "Beth has always been a spark of life, a ray of light, a huge galvaniser, a total inspiration…just a breath of freest freshest air and an alternative vision to cherish…and she makes people find and nourish all the most liberating elements in themselves too."
A Celebration of Life for Beth will take place Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at Passage Funeral Chapel, 625 Mountain Road, Moncton at 2 pm. Reception to follow.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (on-line: www.conservationcouncil.ca).
The family invites you to sign an online book of condolences at: www.funerairepassagefuneral.ca.
Funeral arrangements under the professional care of
Coopérative Funéraire Passage Funeral Co-operative
3754, Route 134, Shediac Bridge, NB E4R 1T3
Tel: (506) 532-1050