We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at South Location
On May 23, 2022, Mary-Ann Stratton left our world. Without her guiding light, we are unmoored.
Her spirit will be carried on with love from her children Karen, Dave, Jo-anne, Jim, and daughter-in-law Debbie; her grandchildren Keeley, Caitlin, Craig, Jenna, Sarah, Sheridan, Paris, Ben, Jade, and Kobe; her four great-grandchildren Liam, Vander, Vaeda and Howard; and her four-legged favourite Hugo. She is survived by her sisters Vera Mackinnon, Laverne Grant, and sisters-in-law Frances Munro and Mary Stratton.
After losing her father at only ten years old, Mary-Ann and her younger siblings were raised by their mother Sophrona Munro, in Edmonton. Mary-Ann met her beloved husband Howard and they were married shortly after her 20th birthday. Together they had four children. Mary-Ann and Howard celebrated 60 years of marriage before Howard’s passing in 2013.
Mom had a deep, lifelong sense of curiosity and a devotion to learning. She never missed an opportunity to join free poetry readings at the university, educational talks at the library, or nature walks in Fish Creek Park. She instilled a love of reading in us through her work at the Calgary Public Library. After retirement, Mom brought her love of the books home to her own front yard, where she installed and tended a “Little Free Library” for her neighbours.
Mom thrived on being active - walking, hiking, biking through Fish Creek Park, skiing, and skating (her speed skates were a marvel to anyone who saw them) - to keep her vibrant. As she aged, her activity transitioned to walking at the mall, where she made many valued friendships.
Mom was the greatest supporter of her family’s sporting events and other endeavours. She spent innumerable hours cheering on her children and grandchildren on the sidelines or in the audience; Mom loved to encourage us.
Mom was a patient teacher, evidenced by teaching her grandchildren such invaluable skills as how to whistle, or how to knit, how to parallel park, how to pack for a backpacking trip (pack only a carry-on and plan to wash your underwear), how to incorporate pink coats, gold jewellery, and sequins into your wardrobe, and how to make the perfect egg salad sandwich. She also taught us how to play many card and board games, and then ruthlessly delighted in winning.
Mom had a lifelong passion for gardening and loved to share her knowledge of plants with anyone interested. If you saw a plant you liked she would dig you a slip without hesitation. Her backyard was an oasis. Many unforgettable naps were had on the outdoor couch surrounded by her flowers.
Mom planned wonderful holidays for the family every summer in Kelowna. The entire family of six plus the dog made the 8-hour drive in a tiny car with no air conditioning, packed full of camping equipment, while the youngest belted out “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”. This was Mom’s joy. This summer tradition was carried on for decades and included many of her close family friends.
Mom’s love of travel did not end with Kelowna. On a tight budget, she once planned a family trip to Hawaii for an entire month; nothing seemed impossible for Mom. In retirement, Mom and Dad enjoyed travelling to many different places, often with their closest friends. Europe, Arizona, Canada’s East Coast, and the Mediterranean were just a few of their treasured adventures.
Mom made friends everywhere she went. She chatted with everyone she crossed paths with. Mom was the social heart of the household and was always willing to pick up the phone whenever it rang. In retirement, Mom made many good friends playing cards in Cranston and morning walking in Southcentre Mall. For Mom, friendship was a lifelong endeavour; her friendships span decades and are a testimony to her kindness and compassion.
Mom loved to serve. She was tirelessly committed to taking care of those in her community who needed support. Whether it was giving her time to seniors, the food bank, or her friends; Mom always found time for anyone who needed it. Mom welcomed, without question, those who needed a safe place to land and cared for close friends as they became sick or elderly. Our family holidays regularly included those who didn’t have family nearby to celebrate with.
Of all her wonderful attributes, perhaps we will miss her mischievous sense of humour and fun most of all. On Halloween, Mom was known to show up to friends’ homes in disguise asking to come in. They always obliged her, often not certain of who it was.
Mom, we will carry you in our hearts and honour your memory with every pot of tea shared, seedling/sapling saved, practical joke dreamed up, and a new friend made. Every time we say “yes” to an adventure we will know that you are with us in spirit.
A Celebration of Mary-Ann's Life will be held on Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 3:00pm at 283 Cranston Drive SE, Calgary, Alberta.