Mary Christie Melanson (June 23,1948 – February 21, 2023) passed away at the Saint John Regional Hospital after a brief illness. Pre-deceased by her parents and brother John Melanson, she leaves her beloved children Ben, Lucy, Anne and Henry, husband Dan Goodyear, sisters Anne Crocker (Myron Gochnauer) and Elizabeth Melanson (Paul Rusnock), and seven nieces and nephews.
The second of four children born to the late Richard E. and Jean M. Melanson (McOuat), Christie spent her formative years in Moncton. A graduate of Moncton High School, she completed a B.A. at St. Francis Xavier University, going on to study journalism at Carleton University. Thrilled to return to the Maritimes, she began her career reporting for the Pictou Advocate, but soon moved on to the CBC in Halifax, where she was a television producer from 1972 to 1979. A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in her late twenties demanded that she reduce her workload, but she continued working with CBC Radio in Saint John until 1981. That year Christie’s first son, Ben, was born. The family soon moved to St. John’s NFLD, where Lucy arrived, and not long after they returned to Saint John, where twins Anne and Henry were born in 1986.
Busy as she was raising her young family, Christie followed in her mother Jean’s footsteps and was a vital force in every community she lived in. Deeply aware of the inequities and injustices that many in our communities experienced, Christie was a strong advocate for progressive social change. In Saint John she was part of the group of women who founded Hestia House, one of the first transition houses for women in NB. During her time in St. John’s, an influx of refugees fleeing Soviet crackdowns in Poland arrived. Working with a small group of volunteers, she helped to organize housing and other supports for many of those who came, often hosting them in her home on weekends and holidays. Once the family settled for good in Fredericton, Christie was active in her children’s school communities, taking on countless volunteer duties and working to support and foster literacy, and art and music education, for over 20 years.
A proud Maritimer, she loved her “porch time” at the Melanson family cottage on the Shediac River, and enjoyed exploring back roads and small towns, often with a good friend along, and especially along the Fundy shore. East coast art and antiques were a particular passion, but her purest pleasure was curling up with a good mystery, which she read and shared in the hundreds.
Quick to smile, Christie possessed a warmth so genuine people were immediately drawn to her—and she loved connecting with people. A good listener and a great talker with a marvellous sense of humour, she could strike up a conversation with a stranger in a store line-up, at a neighbouring table in a restaurant, or on a ferry deck, and they would soon be chatting like old friends. She was, quite simply, wonderful to be with. A devoted mother, loyal friend and beloved sister, those of us who loved her miss her so deeply—more than words can ever express.
Family and friends are invited to an informal gathering to remember and celebrate Christie on Monday August 14, 5:00-7:00 pm, Odell Lodge, Odell Park, 397 Rookwood Ave., Fredericton. Happy memories and stories warmly welcomed.
Donations in Christie’s memory can be made to Hestia House in Saint John, Women in Transition House in Fredericton, or to Community Forests International in Sackville NB, a conservation organization especially dear to her heart.