Tate, Phoebe Willow – The friends and family of Phoebe Willow Tate are broken-hearted to announce her passing at age 13. Phoebe, of Musquodoboit Harbour, passed away peacefully at home on July 9th, 2019 with her Mom and Dad at her side. Phoebe fought a courageous battle against early onset Juvenile Huntington’s disease.
JHD is a monster disease but Phoebe did not let the disease define who she was. Phoebe loved animals, including stuffies, but especially horses and seemed to have an incredible connection with them. She connected easily with people, even those she only met briefly or even not at all. She had a beautiful spirit that was so kind-hearted and yet mischievous at the same time. She loved to hug and so many people had the pleasure of feeling how great her hugs were.
She was always a great traveler and enjoyed her many trips to River John to see her family there and her road trips through the Black Hills and the Rockies. She travelled to the Black Hills of South Dakota to see wild mustangs, and her Mom and Richard will always have those incredible memories. She flew to England with her Dad and spent an amazing three weeks with her family there where she went on a safari, enjoyed an outdoor play, horseback riding and loved the sting rays at the aquarium. She spent time in Alberta attending Stampede, visiting several ranches, and enjoying time with her family there. Our visit to the see the Gypsy Vanners was incredible, where we had a bbq with the loving Hickey family and ended up on a float in a parade in Rimbey. At the Guhle Thoroughbred Ranch, she stole the heart of Mayday Maria; a normally standoffish horse who spent a half hour communing with Phoebe. That event will be ingrained in her Mom’s heart forever. She visited BC where she camped, whale watched and was enthralled with the baby goats thinking her wheelchair was something to eat and Phoebe was a rock to climb on. She flew to Give Kids The World Village to spend a week exploring Disney and what an incredible memory for all of us to see her so engaged and smiling at Anna and Elsa when she met them. She also got to see the HRP horses at their Stables.
We always referred to Phoebe as being on a journey, and we are so proud to say that she was never alone on that journey. The MacDonald family provided immense support that was a source of inspiration as a model of unselfish community assistance. A special thank you to the people of the Eastern Shore who helped us navigate the many hurdles in our journey and to our friends at Big Al’s and the surrounding communities who rallied together to support Phoebe.
A special mention for her friends at her beloved school Porter’s Lake Elementary, she adored each and every one of you as you continued to surround her with love and support throughout her decline. The teachers and staff at PLES were a huge part of Phoebe’s life and we will never forget you for all you did for her. The care and support provided by the entire team at the IWK was exquisite. A special thank you to the nurses and doctors in PMU, MSNU and ICU. We are so very fortunate to have such an incredible facility in our province for our children. Joe, Ellen, Elaine, Stacie, Shauna, Jordon and Katherine, each of you will always have a special place in our hearts for the incredible support you have provided Phoebe, and to her Mom and Dad through what was singularly the hardest journey anyone should ever have to make with their child. Thank you to the RCMP and EMTs of Musquodoboit Harbour and to Heather, Vickie, Michelle and Brittany from continuing care and our private LPN, April. To Marcy, Susan, Michelle and all the many homecare workers at Northwood we thank you for everything you did to help Phoebe feel more comfortable. To our dear friends Brenda and Laura, and Nannie and Grandolf, thank you for always being there.
Phoebe is survived by her dad, Andrew; her mom, Annette; and pseudo-dad, Richard. She will be missed by her maternal grandparents, Sharon and Ronnie “Grandolf” Heighton; her paternal grandmother, Gillian Tate; her aunt, Stephanie (Neil) Annis-Tate; and by all of her great aunts, uncles and many cousins. She was predeceased by her paternal grandfather, Michael Tate; and uncle, Paul Tate.
Cremation has taken place under the direction of Arimathea Funeral Cooperative, Upper Musquodoboit. There will be Celebrations of Life for Phoebe on Sunday, July 14th from 1-3 p.m. at 327 East Petpeswick Rd., Musquodoboit Harbour, and from 6-8 p.m. in St. John’s Anglican Church hall, 1919 Hwy. 6, River John. Funeral service will be on Monday, July 15th at 2 p.m. in St. John’s Anglican Church, River John, followed by a reception in the Church hall. At each service people may bring a rock of any kind for Phoebe’s cairn, so Phoebe may rest surrounded by the love of those who knew her. Donations may be made to the IWK Foundation, Children’s Wish or to help JHD families directly at https://www.wehaveaface.org/donateCanada. Flowers may be sent to the church for Monday.
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