BRADFORD, Mary - Peacefully at Extendicare, London on Friday, October 18, 2019, Mary Helen Bradford, nee Wiley of Toronto and Oakville, and finally London, age 96. Lovingly remembered by her children Kathy and Neil (Peggy); grandchildren Liam (Jesse), Jonathan, and Emily; nephews Ian (Corinna) and Evan. Predeceased by her sister Doris on January 2, 2018.
Mary had deep roots in west end Toronto and Bala, Muskoka. She was born on Armadale Avenue and grew up through the Depression, and then war years, attending Runnymede Pubic School and Western Tech. She was musical, an accomplished pianist with a beautiful singing voice. She loved the big bands and had a full dance card at Sunnyside’s Palais Royale and Gerry Dunn’s Pavilion in Muskoka. For decades, she was a dedicated ballet, theatre and symphony goer. Recalling her girlhood summers at Dan Wilson’s farm, Mary, in her later years relocated to Oakville. But the cottage on the Moon river was always where she was most at home.
In 1952, Mary and Peter were married at Morningside Presbyterian Church. Many happy family years followed, first on Cynthia Road by the Humber River and then in Clarkson. Mary carried the silver flatware (and Kathy in the womb unbeknownst to both mother and child) up the steep backyard ravine to escape the raging Humber River waters of Hurricane Hazel. The Clarkson years were calmer, and Mary and Peter devoted endless hours to hockey practice, Brownies, various childhood pursuits of Neil and Kathy, and nurturing friendships and community ties. Despite much happiness and love throughout, in 1983, Mary and Peter parted.
Mary worked for many years as a bank teller and took pride in the fact that her till was always balanced. She had enduring empathy for those less fortunate, volunteering with developmentally delayed children and adults with addictions. Public affairs and current events were a lifelong interest. A devoted mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt, Mary lived a long and full life. We’ll miss her.
Special thanks to the caring, professional 3rd floor staff at Extendicare, London. Contributions to the Oakville Historical Society in Mary’s name are appreciated. A family celebration is planned.
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