Mary Ann was born in Macklin Saskatchewan on September 17, 1931; the eldest child of Wilfred and Jeanne Barry. She grew up with her four siblings on a farm outside of Legal, Alberta, and loved milking cows so much that she escaped at the age of 17 to enter nurses training at the Edmonton General Hospital. Mom once said that she became a nurse because she thought the navy blue wool capes with red lining were just the thing. She graduated from the General Hospital in 1953 and participated in an annual reunion with her dear friends from nursing school. Mom celebrated her 66th anniversary as an RN this year.
Mom enjoyed a variety of nursing positions working at the Seton Hospital in Jasper, where she crossed paths with a bear while coming home one night; and for the Red Cross, where she crossed paths with George. She also served the community of Edmonton at the Charles Camsell Hospital, the General Hospital and at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.
Mom met dad at a dance in Gunnar Mines, Saskatchewan, that was put on in honour of the lovely young Red Cross nurses. Mom and Dad communicated by letter until finally one Christmas, while walking down Jasper Avenue, dad asked what she would like for Christmas. Mom said, I don t know. Dad replied, How about a diamond ring? To which mom enthusiastically responded, Birks is the best place for diamond rings.
Mom and dad married on a snowy May day in 1957 and began their adventure together. They raised six wonderful, obedient and problem-free children. Mom was often heard to wish each one of us six just like yourself.
Mom shared her quiet wisdom with us without interfering in our choices as we grew into adulthood. One particularly astute word of advice was, Consider what everyone has to say, then do what you damn well please. Other sage momisms included, This too shall pass. And You ll be fine. And Take an aspirin and go to bed if you re not feeling well. (aka unless you re dying, don t bug me.) And, when pestered about the time responded, Half past kissing time. Time to kiss again.
Mary Ann loved George with a deep and abiding love. She cared for him, was his friend and companion, and was his rock as he was hers.
We love you, mom. God speed.