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RAMSAY, Mary Frances (nee Atkinson)

July 7, 1929 – Ottawa, Ontario
January 27, 2019 – Calgary, Alberta

Mary, beloved wife of H. Douglas passed away in Calgary on Sunday, January 27, 2019 in her 90th year, surrounded, cared for, and loved by her immediate family. She will be remembered for her kindness, gentle nature, passion for her family, and her ability to put life challenges in their place with her sense of humour.

Mary was predeceased by her parents, W. Donald and Marguerite Atkinson of Ottawa, and sister Doris of New Canaan, Conn. She was born in Ottawa on July 7, 1929 and attended Glebe Collegiate where her father was the Principal. In the fall of 1949 at the University of Toronto, she met Doug, the love of her life. They married soon after, and then… somehow, he managed to convince her to move with him to Regina, SK where they lived for the next fifty-one years raising and nurturing her five children, before moving to Calgary in 2003.

Mary leaves behind her loving husband Doug; her five children, Doug (Judy Lynam), Suzanne Woeller, Kerri (Murray) Staden, David (Glynis), Bruce (Margot Harms); her thirteen grandchildren, Theresa, Luke, Michael, James, Shannon, Ben, Katie, Becky, Kirby, Bryan, David, Frances and Alexandra; her six great-granddaughters, Piper, Harper, Lily, Riley, Ruby and Nina; and brother Bill Atkinson and family in California. From humble beginnings in Regina, her descendants now span across the country. As a wife – Mary’s love for Doug, her husband of more than sixty-eight years, never diminished and was an inspiration to all that knew her. Theirs was a true partnership. As a mother- Mary had a great sense of fun and never shied from adventure. Her children view her as an enduring source of support and as an ally as they identified and nurtured their talents and made life decisions. Each subsequent generation was ‘her babies’. Her favourite times were summers at the cottage at Buena Vista Beach, and the forty one years and counting Christmases with family, skiing at Whitefish and Sun Peaks Resorts. She was a kind and gentle person who loved spending time with family and friends. In recent years she loved looking at pictures of her six great-granddaughters, her newest ‘babies’. Mary was a woman of many passions. Despite the wind, dust and snow, she came to love the prairies and skillfully captured the majesty of the prairie sky in her art. Having studied art and though her introduction through the Prairie Artist Guild in Regina and “Kay Bould’s wonderful weekly outdoor painting classes”, she became an accomplished and enthusiastic watercolor artist, particularly mastering the beauty and complexity of the ever-changing Saskatchewan skies. At the same time she was modest and well known for keeping most of her paintings hidden from public view, even from her own family! Although dementia robbed Mary of many things over the last number of years, her kindness to all, her sense of humour and profound love of Doug always managed to shine through.

The family would like to thank the wonderful Home Instead caregivers; Marry, Doreen, Suzanne, and Cindy, as well as the caring staff at Rockyview General Hospital in Calgary, especially Nursing Units 81 and 73, that were so kind to Mary and her family during her last three weeks.

Her ashes will be placed in the family plot in the Lumsden, SK Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held in Regina, SK in June. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina. ( 306-584-4250 or a charity of choice. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of Mary Ramsay, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive S.W., Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Auntie Mary was always smiling! Such a lovely person and an amazing artist. I know how much she will be missed.
    Love and prayers, Shirley

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  2. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love Ross and Leslie Cooper

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  3. I will fondly remember Mary as very kind and soft and know that she was a loved mom to my friend Suzanne. My thoughts go to Doug and the rest of the family at this difficult time.

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  4. I am so glad that I was able to visit the Ramsay family in Calgary last summer, with my daughter Margot. Over the years I have had only a few opportunities to visit with Doug and Mary because of geography, but will always remember the good times and conversations we did have. I can still see Mary with that warm twinkle in her eye – very sharp, very kind. Last summer she welcomed me graciously into her home and took my hands and thanked me for visiting. She seemed very relaxed, bathed in the love and care of Doug and her family. Goodbye to a gentle soul – she will always be remembered and missed by so many. Love, Pauline Harms

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  5. Robin (Ramsay) Harron

    We are blessed to have wonderful Ramsay childhood memories of Auntie Mary. The more recent memories include her never- ending smile and sense of humour nurtured within a lifelong love story of Mary and Doug and their beautiful family.
    We will miss you. ❤️

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  6. Doug
    Deepest sympathy to you and your entire family on Mary’s passing. You two had a lot of years together and that means a lot of memories to look back on. Lean on your kids, they will help pull you through and virtual hugs are going out to you.

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  7. Donald David Ramsay

    Light the corners of my mind
    Misty watercolour memories
    Of the way we were
    So it’s the laughter
    we will remember
    Whenever we remember
    Dear sister-in-law Mary

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  8. Paul & Bev Bourque

    Doug, Judy and Family…Please accept our deepest condolences for your loss.

    In sympathy,

    Paul & Beverly Bourque

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