McInnis & Holloway
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McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
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CONNELLY, Mary Estelle (McRae)

May 21, 1955 – September 26, 2011

Life is an exciting journey into which we weave lives together to form one. Our “one” is Mary, our sons Jack and Shea, and myself, Joe Connelly. It is with great sadness that now our “one” is without Mary – having lost her to a three-year battle with cancer which she fought with great dignity and determination.

Mary was born and raised in Scarborough, ON, moving to Calgary in 1979. We married on March 8, 1985 and welcomed into our lives two wonderful sons – Jack on February 2, 1990 and Shea on September 14, 1992.

Mary’s mother, Betty, lives in Toronto, as does her brother, Jack. Mary is predeceased by her father, John.

Mary loved life in every way, but two passions became who she was. First was raising our children into the fine young men they are today. While Jack and Shea were always Mary’s first loves, she found time to spend with many other young children who are mentally challenged and youth at risk. Mary believed all children are equal and all deserve the same chance in life.

Mary’s second passion was the great outdoors. An avid runner, Mary won the Peachland Marathon (for her age) and competed in the Boston Marathon with the family cheering her on. In winters, she learned to ski after the age of 40, and in summers, was drawn back to the mountains as an avid hiker.

Mary was always the strong, athletic, healthy one in our family – it’s hard to imagine that she was taken so early from us. But then again, with her love of life, of children, and of nature, perhaps there is a more important role for Mary now.

We miss her – the house is big and quiet. But the three of us have never been stronger and that was Mary’s gift to us.

We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and want to thank everyone for your thoughts and prayers. We also send our deepest thanks to the staff at Chinook Hospice who cared for Mary and helped us say good-bye.

In memory of Mary and her passion for hiking in the mountains, donations can be made to the TransCanada Trail in her name (www.tctrail.ca). For those so inclined, please have Mary’s plaque placed in the Canmore Pavilion so Jack, Shea and I can visit in her favourite place.

Joe Connelly, loving husband of Mary and proud father of Jack and Shea.

A Celebration of Mary’s Life will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Fish Creek Chapel (14441 Bannister Road S.E.) on Monday, October 3, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

In living memory of Mary Connelly, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403)243-8200.

Offer Condolence for the family of CONNELLY, Mary Estelle (McRae)

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Condolence Messages

  1. Gerry and Sharon Suffield :

    We were saddened to hear of the passing of your wife Mary. Our thoughts are with you and your family.

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  2. Luanne Whitmarsh :

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Remember to take care and think fondly of the times prior to this.

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  3. I am deeply saddened to learn of your loss. May your memories of Mary give you strength. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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  4. Barry & Jan Dane :

    Joe,

    Jan and I send our condolences to you and the boys. I saw the message from SKAL arriving home from another funeral of a dear friend who passed away last week.

    Althoughy it was a while ago, Jan and I fondly remember Mary and yourself joing us at a SKAL dinner and remember her well.

    Our thoughts are with you.

    Regards,

    Barry & Jan Dane

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  5. I’m so very sorry to learn of your terrible loss. My thoughts are with you and your boys.

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  6. Joe our thoughts and prayers are with You, Mary and Boys. God Bless.

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  7. charlene threatful :

    Joe, Jack and Shea
    Words cannot express how deeply sorry I am to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you,

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  8. Bob & Sandy Trumper :

    Joe: Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your sons. We have many fond memories of times spent with both you and Mary at SKAL functions and share in your deep loss.

    Bob and Sandy Trumper

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  9. Mary was a dear friend over many years. It was about 10 years ago that we did our first hike together to Sentinel Pass to see the larch turn. She was hooked then and there. We did most of the trails in the Rockies since. Energetic – kind – positive – is the way I would describe Mary. A truly
    lovely person.
    I will miss her – Marilyn

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  10. Lyne Vaillancourt :

    Joe and Family,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. I honestly believe that when we lose a loved one, they still live through us and give us strength. The time we have spent with those we’ve lost, always makes them part of us.

    Lyne & Family

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  11. Deidre Palik - Sistership Calgary :

    We, at Sistership Calgary Dragon Boat Association are so saddened to hear the news of Mary’s passing. Mary’s energy, athletisism, and kindness were very evident right from the day she came to us last year. We all looked forward to having her in the boat with us and felt great hope that she would win her battle and return to us and the boat someday. Thank you, Mary, for sharing with us, some of your precious time!
    Our deepest sympathies go out to you, Joe, and your sons.
    Sincerely
    Deidre Palik
    on behalf of all the members of Sistership Calgary

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  12. Karen and Cliff Keveryga :

    Joe….words can not express to you how much sadness we are feeling for you and your sons. We have known you for years – and although we did not know Mary well – we knew you loved her dearly and that you were a great husband and a good father. Stay strong my friend.

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  13. Ted & Diana Lawrence :

    Joe and Sons;

    We are thinking of you and wishing you our deepest sympathy at the loss of your beloved Wife and Mother, Mary.

    Sincerely,
    Ted & Diana Lawrence

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  14. Ken and Wendy Copithorne :

    Hi Joe and Family,
    I’m deepley saddened to hear the passing of your wife Mary. I didn’t know Mary but I feel your loss as I too lost my wife far to early as well. Cherish all the great times and memories you had together.
    Deepest sympathies,
    Ken and Wendy

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  15. My condolences to you and the boys. Mary was such a wonderful woman. I met her through Sistership Dragon Boat Association and she was so excited about getting on the water with us. She will be missed by everyone that knew her.
    Diane Martin

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  16. Joe and Jan Strasser :

    Joe, Jack and Shea –

    We are deeply saddened to hear of Mary’s passing – may the wonderful memories you all have of the years you had together somehow help ease the pain you are going through right now.

    Joe, Jan, Mitch and Scott

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  17. Mohamed & Rashida Ali :

    Please accept our heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of Mary. We pray may her soul rest in eternal peace and the Lord grant you and the family strength and courage at this difficult time.

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  18. Shelley Moulton :

    Words cannot say how sorry I am for your loss. Always cherish those memories. My thoughts and prayers are with you Joe, Jack & Shea.

    Shelley Moulton

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  19. Paul Hollas & Craig Cherlet :

    Joe,
    We are so very sorry for the loss of your wife. I know she loved you very much and you will miss her greatly. I will remember her as a woman of great character (and a fellow Boston Marathon competitor).

    Take time to heal and care for your family.

    Thinking of you,

    Paul Hollas and Craig Cherlet in Vancouver

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  20. Joe, We are very sad to hear of Mary’s passing. Please know that our thoughts are with you, Jack and Shea.
    Tracy and Otis Coy

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  21. Joe, Jack and Shea . . . I am very saddened to hear of Mary’s passing. Mary worked with us at Dr. E. P. Scarlett for a short time but made such an impact on us as a department and the kids. We have always remembered her fondly and will continue to do so. Our hearts go out to you all.

    Tanya Miller
    Learning Leader for Special Needs @ Dr. E. P. Scarlett HS

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  22. So sorry to hear of your loss Joe (as well as that of the rest of your family). The memorial you wrote is very moving, she was a great person obviously and so we have all lost a little here in Calgary with her passing.
    Glad to hear that you are being strong for your family at such a difficult time, it can’t be easy. My deepest condolences to you all.

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  23. Dearest Joe and Family
    Losing a love one is so devastating, my thoughts prayers and hugs are with you at this time. Mary’s memories will live on.

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  24. Janice Pedlar :

    Dear Joe and family, it was heartfelt to read your tribute to Mary and sad to know that she is no longer there in body but she certainly is in spirit. My condolences.

    Sincerely

    Janice Pedlar

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  25. Mary was in my support group with Breast Cancer Supportive Care. She was a bright light and a kind gentle soul. We all loved her dearly. She spoke so passionately about her boys and yes the boys included you Bob. Her vitality for life will be sorely missed by all but her spirit will continue to keep her boys in order I am sure. She would want you to live each moment to the fullest just as she always did. Much love to you all
    Pollie

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  26. Mary and I worked together for 4 years at Emily Follensbee School, teaching very complex autistic children from 1999 to 2003. We remained friends ever since, doing hikes in Waterton, Assiniboine, Banff and Kananaskis. She was fun to be around, thoughtful, modest, funny and kind and she will always be one of my best friends!

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  27. Dear Joe, Jack and Shea, my heart goes out to all of you. Joe, your memorial was very moving. Mary and I had been friends over 31 years..She was a beautiful person inside and out. Mary loved her family, and wanted the best for all of you. Mary loved the outdoors, she had me join her on several trips..we had many adventures together, and lots of laughs. I will miss her terrible…
    Hugs and prayers Joe, Jack and Shea
    My deepest sympathy.

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  28. Joelle & John Mar :

    Joe,

    Your memorial brought tears to our eyes. We are sending our love and support to you and the boys during this difficult time.

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  29. Joelle & John Mar :

    Joe,

    Your memorial brought tears to our eyes. Mary was a very special person and she will be missed by all. Our thoughts, prayers and support go out to you and the boys during this difficult time

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  30. Joe, I was saddend to hear of Mary’s passing. I enjoyed spending time with you and her in Quebec City and at Grey Cup. May all the beautiful memories that you have keep you strong through this sad time. Hugs to you and Jack and Shea.

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  31. Danielle McGinn :

    Joe,
    So very sorry for your loss. Heart felt condolences to you & your family.

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  32. Kathleen O'Halloran :

    Dear Joe and boys, I was so very sorry to read of your loss. My prayers are dedicated to each of you to find the strength and understanding that will help you bear life in the best way possible without your loving wife and mother. KO

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  33. Sorry for your huge loss. My condolences.

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  34. Nancy Ruddick :

    Joe, Jack and Shea, Thank you so much for including me in the Celebration of Mary’ life today. I still cannot believe it and will miss her every day.

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  35. Dear Joe,
    My heartfelt condolences to you and your sons for your loss. Love and prayers, Marina

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  36. Dear Joe,
    You and Mary have both shown such strength and courage – now you must carry on without her. I think you will feel her with you many times in the future, with love and fond memories. To all three of you, I am so sorry for your loss.

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  37. Corynn Gammon - SBHCA :

    Joe, I wish for you a lifetime of fond memories at this very sad time. My condolences to you and your family.

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  38. Robert & Carmen Imbrogno :

    Joe, Carmen and I were very sad to hear of the passing of Mary , may God watch over you and the Boys , and help ease your loss . Our prayers are with you.

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  39. George S. Lane :

    Dear Joe,

    My wife Marcia joins me in extending to you, your sons and your extended family our sympathies on the untimely passing of your wife, Mary.

    George Lane

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  40. Barbara Kymm Dungy :

    Although I am very saddened of the passing of my cousin Mary, I know she is in a better place.
    I will always remember her bright smile and her soft demeanor and that awesome dollhouse she had when we were growing up.
    Mary you will be missed.
    My condolences to Joe, Jack and Shea.

    Much love from her cousin Kymm.

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  41. Joe -I was away last week or I would have been at your Mary’s life celebration to express my condolences to you. We sometimes know not what life has in store for us, and sometimes the blows are very hard. Our paths have not crossed for some time now, but I do know that with your strength of character and sense of service to others that you will soon be back as close to normal as is possible. Although I did not know your Mary, I’m sure she is telling you this :
    “What is death?
    It is nothing at all, I have only slipped away into the next room.
    I am I, and you are you.
    Whatever we were to each other that we are still, Call me by my old familiar name.
    Speak to me in the way you always used, put no difference in your tone.
    Wear no forced air of sadness of sorrow
    Laugh as you always did at the jokes we enjoyed together.
    Play smile, think of me and pray for me.
    Let my name be ever the household word it always was. Let it be spoken without effect, without a trace of a shadow on it.
    Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
    Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
    I am waiting for you for an interval somewhere very near,
    just around the corner.
    ALL IS WELL.”

    Sincerely,
    Doug Ramsay

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  42. sue and ross macdonald :

    Joe We are saddened to hear of Mary’s passing. Mary and I were childhood friends.My Mother Bernice Ross was Mary’s Godmother. I remember Mary as a gentle,kind person with a quiet strength. We only heard recently of her passing and are trying to come to terms with it. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the boys at this time.

    Sue and Ross MacDonald

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  43. Marie(Malloy) Simms :

    Joe, I am also a good childhood friend of Mary’s. I am deeply saddened and shocked to hear about Mary’s passing. Mary was a special person, so kind and generous,such a good friend and will be truly missed by many people. Even though Mary and I were not in touch in recent years, I often thought of Mary and was always hoping that we would reconnect. All my childhood memories include Mary: birthday parties, including all the good times with our friends while we were at public and high school. My deepest condolences go out to you, your boys, and her mother, Betty and her brother, Jack. This world will not be the same without Mary.
    Take care, Marie (Malloy) Simms

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  44. I have a huge loss in my heart for my dear friend Mary.
    I miss you Mary…

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  45. Joshua Ukrainetz :

    I will miss you Mary, she worked at my school(Henry Wise Wood) as an ed assisstant.

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