January 27, 1933 – January 10, 2010
Mary Lavender died in her home on Sunday, January 10, 2010 just as she had lived her life – with grace, dignity and determination. Her year-long battle with pancreatic cancer claimed her body, but never her spirit.
Born January 27, 1933 in Star City, Saskatchewan, Mary was proud of her farm heritage, and spoke fondly of her childhood. She left the farm as a young woman to attend nursing school at Saskatoon City Hospital, and there she found her true calling. Mary adored her nursing career and all that went with it – the warmth and sisterhood of her alumni, the miracles of medicine she witnessed everyday, but especially the opportunity to care for others. It came as no surprise to those who knew her when she was honoured as “Nurse of the Year” at the Calgary General Hospital.
After retirement at age 60, Mary was busier than ever, lending her considerable talents to Calgary Meals on Wheels, her church, and Canadian Blood Services. Mary made more than 100 donations of whole blood, worked as a clinic volunteer and championed the cause to recruit new donors. She also delighted in sharing her nursing skills with friends and family who needed her during illness or following surgery.
Perhaps Mary’s greatest gifts were those of her domestic domain. Despite being a thoroughly modern woman who worked to support herself and her children, Mary enjoyed intricate sewing, extraordinary baking, and the production of endless delicious sandwiches, all made with love.
Mary leaves behind her four devoted children: Elaine (John Ryder-Burbidge), Doug (Andrea), Ross (Rhonda), and Colleen (Colin Crawford); her grandchildren who delighted Mary every day: Stephanie, Adam, Carson and Megan; as well as her step-grandchildren, Simon and Charlotte Ryder-Burbidge. Mary’s siblings were also her dear friends: Marion Clarke, Harry Clarke (Fran), Ruby Shanley, and Eileen Hill (George). Mary’s eight nieces and nephews all visited during her illness to convey their love in person, and will also miss her. Many wonderful people counted Mary as a friend, including her large circle within the Christ Church community.
A Funeral Service will be held at Christ Church Elbow Park (3602 – 8th Street S.W.) on Friday, January 15, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers, please make a financial gift to the Canadian Red Cross or Calgary Meals on Wheels, or give the gift of life through a donation of blood.
In living memory of Mary Lavender, 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.Print This Obituary & Condolences