Diane MacQuarrie

Diane MacQuarrie

1936 - 2024

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Obituary of Diane MacQuarrie


NEW GLASGOW – Diane MacQuarrie, 87, of Pictou Landing, passed away peacefully on the Palliative Care Unit at the Aberdeen Hospital on June 3, 2024.


Diane was born in Westville, on October 6, 1936 to the late Robert ‘Bert’ and Kathleen (Matheson) MacQuarrie.


Diane was a loving sister and aunt. She is survived by her siblings; sister Myrna Polley, Pictou Landing, brother Jim (Barbara) MacQuarrie, Halifax, and Alan MacQuarrie, Vancouver. She is also survived by her well-loved nine nieces and nephews, 13 great nieces and nephews, and four great-greats. Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her brother-in-law, Donald Polley, sister-in-law, Elizabeth MacQuarrie, and nephew-in-law, Lawrie Delbridge.


Aunt Diane most enjoyed time with family, especially her sister, Myrna, reading, gardening, cooking and visiting the many communities throughout Nova Scotia. She particularly loved connecting with her nieces and nephews, hearing about their lives and adventures. She enjoyed helping many of them with high school or university papers over many years–editing to her heart’s content and to their chagrin. She enjoyed spending with them all both near and far; in Pictou Landing (Todd &Tracey), Halifax (Shannon; Dacy & Ivor; Greg & Janet; Kirk & Janice; Tracy), Alberta (Kim & Bim), Wisconsin (Tara & Jim), and Vancouver (Chad & Jackie).


Growing up in Westville, Diane attended Westville High School, graduating with top honours.  She attended Acadia University (BA History and Political Science) followed by her Bachelor of Library Science (University of Toronto, 1960). In 1960, she began her career as a bookmobile Librarian in Scarborough and Halifax before moving into leadership roles in the Halifax County Regional Library and the Nova Scotia Provincial Library. She returned to the University of Toronto in 1973 to earn her Master’s degree in Library Science and became the Chief Librarian of the Halifax City Regional Library, a position she held for 21 years before her retirement in 1996.


Diane was the first bookmobile Librarian in Nova Scotia. During Diane’s tenure as Chief Librarian she was instrumental in growing the Halifax Public Library system, creating new branches in developing communities, all of which she was very proud. Diane’s accomplishments have been praised throughout the years. She was recognized for her work to ensure free and equitable access to information and knowledge through the library system, integrating the use of technology and automation during the early years of the internet, facilitating accessible computer technology, and defending the principle of intellectual freedom. She also applied her considerable talents in a number of professional associations, including the Canadian Library Association where she held executive roles; as well as serving on the National Library Advisory Board. Among the awards and accolades she received for outstanding librarianship; Diane was awarded the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal 1977.


Over the past several months, Diane has been supported at home by her family, a team of health practitioners, private caregivers (special friend and caregiver April Weston), and the Palliative Care Unit at the Aberdeen Hospital for which the family is very thankful.


Cremation has taken place. A private family service and internment will take place in the Auburn Cemetery, Westville.


Donations in memory may be made to your community Library, the Halifax Public Libraries System, or a charity of your choice.


Lovingly submitted by family.