Mary passed away at her home at Oakside Manor, Enderby, B.C. on Wednesday, July 8th, 2009. She leaves two daughters and one son as well as the spouses of all her children, Arlene (Larry) Rayment of Ardrossan, Alberta, Phyllis (John) Simon of Armstrong, B.C. and Ross (Janice) Carne of Collingwood, Ontario, Dennis Johnston of Lamont, Alberta and Paul Gabrys of Edmonton, Alberta. Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Ross; her daughters, Dorothy Johnston and Ruth Gabrys; and her grandson, Darrell Gabrys.
Mary, the eldest of ten children, was born to Jack & Annie Martin at Scott, Saskatchewan. She has two surviving sisters, Thelma Peterson and Audrey Johnson, both of Calgary, Alberta; and one brother, Malcolm Martin of Unity, Saskatchewan. Also surviving are ten grandchildren; twenty great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; and numerous extended family members.
Mary and her husband Ross, along with Phyllis and Ross E. moved from Ardrossan, Alberta to Langley, B.C. in 1965 where they operated a chicken farm selling eggs from their home and delivering door-to-door in Langley. Mary was known to many as the “egg lady.” They retired to White Rock, B.C. in 1975. Mary was an active member of St. John’s Presbyterian Church, the Widows Group and the Superfluity Thrift Shop that raised money for the Surrey Memorial Hospital. In 1990 Mary moved to Vernon where she participated in many fundraising events in the community and attended Vernon Gospel Chapel. She moved to Oakside Manor in April, 2008. Mary loved to work! She enjoyed many happy hours caring for her vegetables and flowers. For relaxation she loved to quilt and every member of her family, as well as numerous friends, has been the recipient of her beautiful washable quilts. She planted her last garden the year she turned 95 and in that year reached her goal of knitting 100 pairs of mitts for the orphans in Russia. One of Mary’s strengths was her ability to be contented. This gift was particularly evident as she moved from her home into care at Oakside Manor. She embraced her new lifestyle as though she was the Queen. Her heavy lifting was done and she teased the staff that she was providing work for them by allowing them to care for her. She appreciated every gesture of care and comfort and never missed an opportunity to share the stories of her life with the staff. It was most fitting that this woman who cared for several of her friends until their deaths would be so wonderfully cared for during her last days.
Since 1936 Mary had a wall hanging above her bed which reads “God shall supply all your need.” This was the truth that she rested in daily but especially when faced with widowhood and during her later years when there was no available beds in complex care. She believed that there would be a bed for her in the place of her choosing the day she needed it – and there was!
The family extends their thanks to the many people who made it possible for our Mother to continue to live in her own home so long and to continue to remain active in worship every Sunday. Thank you to each of the staff at Oakside Manor who cared for her. And thank you to our faithful God who has been Mother’s strength and comfort through every trial. Our hearts are grateful for a Mother who always chose the better way, perservered when it would have seemed right to give up or give in and who taught each of her children to pursue honest labour and to follow Jesus, the Christ.
A Celebration Of Mary’s Life will be held at Bethel Funeral Chapel on Saturday, July 11th, 2009 at 11:00 A.M. with Reverend Wendy Adams officiating. A Reception will follow in the Bethel Tea Room.
As an expression of sympathy, those who wish to do so may send donations in memory of Mary to New Manna Ministries, (for supporting orphans and widows in Russia), P.O. Box 1325, Vernon, B.C. V1T 6N6