Ann McCooeye will be remembered for her dry wit, stamina, sportsmanship, local historical knowledge and kindness. Ann Janet McCooeye (née Stevenson) came to Stittsville on the arm of Elroy (Roy) McCooeye in 1953. Ann was a big city girl from Toronto and coming to a small town like ours was an adjustment for her, but she took the reins. Simply, she loved Stittsville.
Ann and Roy were married in 1953 at the old Carp Road Presbyterian Church. Once married, they lived in the front room of Gwen and Ab Lytle’s house (Gwen was Roy’s sister) on Stittsville Main. Roy and Ann, the following year, started their family – Amy was born, then Tracy and a few years later Timothy (Tim). They moved from the Lytle house, with their daughter Amy and just before Tracy’s arrival, to an apartment above Bradley’s old general store and stayed until 1965. From the apartment above from Bradley’s and the year before Tim was born they moved to reside on Bradley Street. for 57 years, being part of the original families who moved to the streets in the mid-1960s. After Roy passed away in September 2019, Ann remained in the family home until she was admitted to hospital where she died on February 18, 2022 in her 89th year.
Upon her arrival, Ann was involved in many of the events and organizations offered by Stittsville. Bowling was Ann’s passion and one in which she excelled. Loving bowling and learning that a girls’ team was already there, she quickly joined and was welcomed by the other girls as part of the Stittsville Ladies team who played at the old Goulbourn bowling alleys. Over the years, Ann has won numerous bowling awards and trophies. Along with Ann, the local team members were – Shirley Gracey, Eileen Healey, Joan Hobin, Gwennie Lytle, Lorraine McKay, Marguerite Scott and Marion Watchorn. Names so familiar to most of us who have lived here forever.
In 2004, Ann and Roy, along with parents, participated in the Max Keeping Bowling Tournament to raise funds for CHEO. At 71, Ann hadn’t lost her winning streak and her love of bowling – she had a high cross of 782 and a single game of 344! Amazing at any age.
Ann helped shape Stittsville in the early years and played a significant role in local politics where she was outspoken and did not hesitate to fight for the integrity of our community, especially when it came to proposed new developments. – she became a strong advocate for what we now call NIMBY.
Ann was a brownie entertainer, was involved in many Stittsville Lions Club activities, a longtime member of the Goulbourn Township Historical Society, a curler, actively enjoyed lawn bowling with Roy at the Goulbourn Lawn Bowling Club and, with Roy, a square dancer. .
She and Roy loved to dance and took every opportunity to do so. They traveled to Edmonton, Alberta and Halifax, Nova Scotia to attend square dancing conventions with the Merry Squares where they met and made new friends. Both Ann and Roy loved square dancing as much as they loved attending the dances held at the current Goulbourn Museum, the Orange Hall (Stittsville Legion) and, of course, the upstairs hall of the Community Center Stittsville (Johnny Leroux Arena). A community center that they supported and worked so hard to make sure we had an indoor arena in Stittsville.
When we were young teenagers, summer holidays could be long for school kids who didn’t have fun themselves. Ann realized this and started a summer volleyball league for teenagers. It was a huge success with everyone wanting in on the action.
She was an avid fan of the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Blue Jays, but loved nothing more than attending games or shows that her children and grandchildren attended. We could always count on Ann to be on the side benches cheering on the Stittsville girls’ softball team in the 70’s!
When the Goulbourn Township Historical Society (GTHS) held a presentation on the history of firefighting in 2015, Ann could be counted on to provide that history through the scrapbooks she kept. Roy had been a volunteer firefighter since 1955. He also served our community as captain and then deputy chief from 1975 to 1989. Ann had kept all the newspaper clippings of all Goulbourn fires – big or small. It turned out that his scrapbooks were the event – with the two guest speakers, Captain Brian Bedard and Area Manager Todd Horricks, enjoying and literally marveling at the story of these scrapbooks.
In March 2014, a large audience came to listen to a GTHS presentation given by long-time residents Marion Gullock and Lesley McKay titled “Armchair Walk Down Stittsville Main Street”. The afternoon was filled with photos and memories to accompany each photo. One of those participants was Ann, who shared her stories of life in our small town – from Big Bill who walked every day from Carp Road and hung out on the windowsill at Bradley’s putting on his battered newspaper bag of the Ottawa Journal and its many cats. waiting at the house, the old ice rink behind the fire station and Grampa Scott, the volunteer firefighters of the past, and Goulbourn Township Council, to name but a few of his memories. His comments, in turn, sparked an abundance of stories that made the afternoon one of the most spirited GTHS presentations.
Ann was such a delight, highly respected and always thought of her community first. Personally, I will greatly miss his friendship, courage and dry wit – shared in our regular phone calls over the years.
Ann was not one to be photographed, but we were thrilled to receive earlier family photos and would like to thank the McCooeye family for sharing them.
Ann is predeceased by her loving husband of 66 years, Elroy McCooeye. She is the loving mother of Amy McEwing (Dave), Tracy Hindle (Ralph) of Calgary and Tim McCooeye (Brenda Edey) of Carleton Place. She loves the grandmother of Mandy Hindle (Toronto), Crystal McEwing (Ron Barrett), Emily Davis (Jon), Nicholas McEwing (Amanda), Aiden and Conall McCooeye, and the beloved great-grandmother of Ace Tremblay and Mira Barrett.
SUPPORT THE LOCAL STITTSVILLE