November 28, 1931 – December 16, 2022
In loving memory ~
Smith, Mary Violet Edith. Born November 28, 1931, in London, England – died December 16, 2022, at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, B.C. Pre-deceased by her husband Michael and survived by her children Phil, Jules, and Sarah, sons-in-law Ross and Carsten, and grandchildren Sebastian, Jeanette, and Lukas.
Mary was born in London, England where she became an RN (first training and then practicing at the famed Middlesex Hospital there) and married before emigrating to Canada in 1959. After spending the next five decades in North Vancouver, she moved to Victoria in 2012 and quickly became known both in her building and in Oak Bay for her kind and generous nature. With her sparkling wit combined with a gift for storytelling, Mary made many new friends there in the last decade (aided perhaps just a little by the judicious dispersal of jars of her amazing homemade marmalade and chutney).
Those who knew Mary know that she was sustained throughout her life by two equal joys: a love of music and a love of words. A fraternal twin, and the only daughter among four brothers, Mary came from a musical family (her father was a pianist, a church organist and a choirmaster) and delighted in both listening to and participating in musical endeavours. Choral music was her particular favourite, being a soprano in the Vancouver Bach Choir for close to three decades including their tours of Britain and Japan (the latter with a large-scale production of the opera Aida) as well as a long-time member of the Saint John’s and Saint Catherine’s church choirs in North Vancouver.
She equally adored words and reading, being a voracious consumer of all manner of writings: books, spiritual literature, poems, and journalism and as a dedicated crossword aficionado. She also engaged in her own writing activities, from a voluminous number of letters to diaries and journals (some going back to World War Two), and hand-written collections of aphorisms and sayings to help those friends needing solace in troubled times. While still physically able, she would love to volunteer her time to various charitable causes, spending a long period with the Meals on Wheels and Hospice programs in North Vancouver.
Most of all though, Mary was one of a kind – bright, cheerful, full of gratitude and always willing to help whomever and whatever their need might be. In addition to her friends and neighbours, a special thanks to the amazing care teams at Care & Company and Island Health who over and above the call of duty supported her family supporting Mary staying in her home and are a testament to the friendships she forged with so many. She will be missed by us all.
In lieu of flowers, any donations in Mary’s memory to the Victoria Foundation are welcome at: victoriafoundation.bc.ca/make-a-donation/#
Let my sins be all forgiven, Bless the friends I love so well; Take me, when I die, to heaven, Happy there with Thee to dwell.
– Jesus, Tender Shepherd, Hear MeObituary
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