May 8, 1922 – Oct. 23, 2015
A woman of deep faith, an inspiring teacher, a loving wife, a parent of boundless affection, and a loyal friend to many, Mary (also known as Betty) went to meet the Lord in the early hours of Oct. 23 after her great heart finally gave out at Eagle Ridge Hospital in Port Moody. She was 93.
Born in McMurdo, B.C., Mary was predeceased by her parents, Marguerite Josephine Chaloner and David Atlee James, by siblings Atlee and William, son-in-law Richard Bylin, daughter Susan Pummell, and her husband, J. Douglas McKinnon, to whom she was married for 67 years. She is survived by her older sister Neetta Moriarty and sister-in-law Ann James.
Her wisdom and compassion, sense of humour and joy, and religious devotion will long be remembered and treasured by her seven surviving children and their spouses—Katherine Bylin, William, Timothy (Ruth), Christopher (Valerie), Mary O’Neill (Terry), David (Doreen) and Elizabeth Keobke (Brian)—and by her 26 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren. The life she gave to so many was her greatest gift.
Doug and Betty started their life together in Surrey, and also lived in Mission, Prince George, Vancouver, Burnaby, Lake Errock and Port Moody. She taught at the elementary-school level, primarily in Vancouver, and was celebrated for her exceptional work with special-needs students. After retirement, she and Doug spent many memorable winters travelling through the southern U.S. in their RV.
The family is indebted to the dedicated emergency-service personnel and medical professionals who supported Mary in her final years.
Prayers will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at St. Clare of Assisi Church, 1320 Johnson St., Coquitlam; a funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 29 at the same church. A reception in the church hall will follow.