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In memoriam: Annette Kathleen Behan


With great sadness, we announce the untimely passing of Annette Kathleen Behan on April 13, 2024. Our Sister, Annette, was a gifted, clever, witty and talented woman.

Annette was born July 4, 1968. She was beautiful and smart from the minute she jumped into this world. Annette was a cherished Daughter, Sister, Mother, Auntie, Grandmother, Cousin, Wife and Friend.

Academically, Annette was brilliant, completing high school in just two years. Capturing academic accolades didn’t register high on her list of importance, and she enjoyed success with considerable ease. We were educated during the years when standardized tests were markers of success. Annette registered as “gifted” and was enrolled as a member of MENSA.

From a very young age, Annette’s artistry shone through. She could sketch anything, and she would: birds, wildlife, people, portraits, stunning scenes. Her photographic memory could capture the essence of a photo and a creation would emerge quickly; a piece of paper or napkin would suddenly host incredible creations. These creations would take your breath away. And in Annette’s style, that same creation could be crumpled and tossed as quickly as it was brought to life.

Every Christmas, Annette would paint vivid Christmas scenes on our front window. Later she would be hired to paint scenes on the windows of various businesses in our community.  Annette’s artwork continues to hang on walls in private homes. 

In her early years, Annette had a flair for adventure that she combined with the right parts excitement and fear. All of us can regale you with stories, such as the time when we snuck out of our rooms, traipsed down the Switchback Trail and jumped off the Wildwood Bridge in our flannel nighties, only to have failed to think it through and wound up walking barefoot up the Wildwood Hill soaking wet and cold. The only thing we had to keep us safe on our way back home was the jackknife Annette brought to fight off the bears.

There was always a complexity to Annette: one that none of us, despite our most ardent efforts, could ever fully understand.  Annette sought adventure fearlessly.

As a young professional Annette worked as a paramedic. At this time, she met an RCMP officer. They married and had two beautiful daughters.

Her beauty led her to places that often caused her more harm as she was at the mercy of others like her, but harder than her. In our own ways, all of us tried to pick up the pieces, and all of us fell short.

Left to grieve Annette are her parents Danny and Carmel Behan, siblings Monica and Max Pagani (Dominic and Frances-Mae), Shannon Behan and Ian Fleming (Hillary (Tristan) and Linden, Madeleine, Ada and Henrik), Justin and Shelli Pitton (Braeden, Nola and Isla), Brendan and Janelle (Cavan and Bree). Left to mourn are Annette’s children: India, Hannah (Kelly and son Arthur), Jack and Christine, (Mary Jane and Jack), Kai, Rain (deceased), Desiree and Shayne. Each child brought a beauty of their own into the world and they all know that Annette loved them more than we can ever know.

Annette has numerous uncles, aunts and cousins in Ireland, England and Australia who also mourn her loss.

Our gratitude goes to those of you in our community who recognized that, at the core of Annette, was a soul that needed connection and acceptance. Ultimately, the truth is that Annette walked a beautiful, creative, colourful and at times a cruel and painful, difficult path. Our job is to learn what we can from the life she lived.

The family wishes to send a heartfelt appreciation to all our family and friends who have reached out, sent flowers and messages of condolence. Thank you to Martin Woolley (coroner) for his commitment to vulnerable folks in our community and for the respect he showed to Annette during the past many years. We also wish to thank constable Mike Doyle for his attendance at Annette’s parents’ home on the evening of April 13, 2024, when we learned of our sister’s passing. Also, our gratitude goes to Pat Gisle at Stubberfield Funeral Home, who has been so helpful as we navigate this process.

A private Mass of Christian Burial Service is planned in honour of Annette’s passing.