Loving mother and dear friend, Mary Waldvogel, passed away peacefully on January 26, 2019 in Barrie, Ontario, surrounded by family and supported by a nursing team at the Barrie Manor Enhanced Care Community.
Mary was born December 21, 1928 in Montreal to parents Catherine and F. M. Van Wagner. Summers spent with siblings Charles, Peter and twin sister Rachel at Camp Nominingue (founded by their father), instilled a love of nature, outdoor living and a lifelong passion for walking barefoot on the earth. Winters brought weekend train trips with family and friends to cross-country ski in the Laurentians. Mary studied Physiotherapy at McGill, graduating in 1950, where she was President of the Physiotherapy Society, member of the Outing Club and was awarded the Lieutenant-Governor's Silver Medal for graduating first in her class.
Mary married her devoted husband Hans in 1956 and raised a family in St. Bruno, Quebec before moving to Oakville, Ontario. In 1987, Mary and Hans retired to Sugarbush, near Barrie, Ontario where they enjoyed a new community, gardening and the peace of the Huronia woods. A few years after Hans’ passing, Mary made her home in Barrie overlooking Lake Simcoe.
Mary was ahead of her time, becoming vegan in the 1970s, and teaching those she knew how important nutrition is to maintaining health. Mary touched many people with her loyal friendship and the sharing of delicious soup. Over the years, she only grew in her delight in life and love of laughter.
In her lifelong search for meaning, Mary was an active congregant at Unity Church in Montreal and United Church of Canada in St. Bruno, ultimately practicing meditation, seeking inner peace and helping others do the same as a loving and devoted volunteer with the Sawan Kirpal Ruhani Mission / Sant Mat spiritual path.
Mary was preceded in death by her loving husband Hans and dear sister Rachel Hendershott. Mary is survived by her children Peter (Irene), Mark (Terry), Anna (Niall), grandchildren (Christine, David, Eric and Claire) and her brothers. Mary will be deeply missed by many.
Mary’s family offer special thanks to her friends (“Team Mary”) supporting her in her last weeks: Diana, Diane, Kandace, Laura R., Marybeth, Sophie and Teresa. Thanks also to Senior Helpers management; staff at the Specialized Seniors Care and Transitional Units at Royal Victoria Hospital; the caring nursing and PSW staff at Barrie Manor; the Palliative Network (NSMHPCN) including volunteer Laura J.; and Mary’s palliative doctor, Dr. J. Lai.
Donations to Kids Help Phone Canada in Mary’s name are welcome. Her children would like friends and family to consider offering gifts of time to the elderly in her memory. A celebration of Mary’s life is being planned for April 27 in Barrie and will be announced here.