Nina was one of 12 kids raised by Roy and Catherine Young mostly in Glen Orchard, on a farm during the Great Depression. She moved to Toronto at an early age, eventually landing a job as the head cashier of a Loblaw's. Jack Manson, the store's handsome, athletic young manager, was smitten by the long-legged beauty. The feeling was mutual so they married and eventually had three children: Coral, followed eight years later by Joy, and three years after that, John.
Nina often described herself as a gypsy, and indeed she lived in many places in Ontario: Toronto, Brampton, Newmarket, Orillia, and Vanastra. She also visited Hawaii, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, England, Morocco and Egypt. She was more of a homing pigeon, because even though she roosted somewhere else for a while, she always returned to her beloved Muskoka: Glen Orchard, Port Carling, Bracebridge, and Horseshoe Lake. That's likely where she felt most alive. She loved the natural world, and passed this passion on to her children. Together they explored lakes, rivers, forests and fields by boat, foot, snowshoe and cross-country ski. She skied until she was 80, when arthritis made her knee unreliable.
She wore many hats during her lifetime: bookkeeper, secretary, store-owner, and newspaper columnist. She was also an organic gardener, a nature lover, and a spiritualist. She's best known for being the secretary at Bracebridge Public School, from 1970 until the early 1980s. She was loved by everyone for her sense of humour and zest for life.
Nina answered the challenges life threw at her as best she could. When Jack died in 1970, she returned to the workforce, moved her brood to Muskoka, and built a house for them to live in, during a time when single mothers were a relatively new phenomenon. Her world was cruelly shattered again in 1981 when daughter Coral Duff died after a brief illness.
In 1995 she remarried. She and Charles Edwin Borrett lived in Port Carling in "Brigadoon" where they both enjoyed birdwatching and keeping an eye on the abundant wildlife there until Charlie passed away in 2006.
She's remembered lovingly by John and his wife Chandai (Toronto), Joy and her husband Dr. R Allen Curry (Fredericton, N.B.), grandsons Keegan Manson-Curry and Joshua Manson, her sister Anne Parrick (Parry Sound), many Young family members in Muskoka and throughout Ontario, and countless friends.
Nina passed away at Muskoka Shores, Gravenhurst, Ontario on November 24, 2018 at the age of 91. At her request cremation has taken place. A burial will take place at a later date.
As your expressions of sympathy donations may be made to the Muskoka Field Naturalists (c/o Linda Boon P.O. Box 2531, Bracebridge, ON P1L1W3) or the Alzheimer's Society.
Arrangements entrusted to the Reynolds funeral home in Bracebridge. Messages of condolence can be made at www.reynoldsfuneral.com
By Joy Manson