Maria (Mary) Struthers

In Memorial

Passed away peacefully in McKenney Creek Hospice, Maple Ridge, on June 25th, 2011, in her 87th year. Cancer took her life, but not her spirit. Mom’s mantra was to “accept that which cannot be changed” as she bravely tolerated each stage of her illness . And, as always, she took great interest in those around her, rather than thinking of herself. Mom was born on September 15th, 1924, in Herbert, Saskatchewan, to Abe and Helena Klassen. They moved to Pitt Meadows, B.C. when she was 17, and soon after, she found work at Consolidated Grocers, known locally as “Struthers’ Store”, where she met the love of her life, Bob Struthers. They married in 1945, had two children, and made a good life for their family. Eventually, Mom became Pitt Meadows’ first hairdresser, operating “Mary’s Beauty Salon” for a number of years. In 1974, they retired to Bowser, on Vancouver Island. Dad passed away in 1982, and some years later, Mom moved to the neighbouring community of Deep Bay, where she lived in her seaside cottage until October 2010. At that time she moved in with her daughter and son-in-law in Maple Ridge, and two months later was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Mom had many skills and talents, but perhaps her greatest gift was that of making others welcome in her home; the coffee pot was always on. Our childhood and teen years were enriched by the knowledge that our parents made all of our friends feel welcome and valued; the kitchen was the hub of our home, and our big oak table was often surrounded by friends, young and old, and family, and by love and laughter. Mom delighted in feeding people, and would set out her homemade sweets, bread and cinnamon buns for all to enjoy. She was also a very determined woman; when she took on a project, she gave it her all. This trait helped to give her brother-in-law Jack a much better quality of life than he would otherwise have had. He lived in a second house on our property, because he was too unwell to be on his own, and Mom managed his very challenging dietary needs for many years. And now, her once-busy hands are still. Rest easy, Mom; you have earned it. Mourning her loss are: her son John (Gwen) and daughter Jean Abbott (Pat); five grandchildren:
Anne (Neil) , Kim (Ed) , Katie, Brandon (Lisa), Tennille (Brent); six great-grandchildren: Glen, Brody,
Rayven, Kayden, Kyeran and Arwyn; her brothers: Ed and Ken Klassen; her sister Olga Godfrey; her
aunt, Justina Doerksen, as well as many nieces and nephews, and many friends. Predeceased by her
sister Helen Doerksen, and by three brothers: Hank, Tony and Les . Special thanks to the Palliative Care team who came to our home, and also to the nurses, volunteers and all other staff of McKenney Creek hospice; Mom had the best of care during her 8 weeks’ stay. No service by request; a private family celebration of her life will take place later in the summer.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Canadian Cancer Society, or to McKenney Creek
Hospice, in her memory.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Tricia Wagner :

    Dear Jean, Pat & Family,
    I first met your Mom with Aunty Dot & Uncle Leo in beautiful little oceanfront home. Mary always reminded me of Katharine Hepburn with her distinct voice, her fashionable dress and always telling it like it is. She was a beautiful, courageous woman who will be missed dearly. I know for certain that Heaven just received a beautiful Angel. My deepest sympathy to the family. Love Tricia

  2. Dear John and Jean,

    I was so sorry to hear about your Mom’s death. I have many memories of your family from when we were all growing up in Pitt Meadows. My thoughts are with you.

    Liz (Barnes) Bruce

  3. Dear Jean, Pat and Family,

    Please accept my heartfelt sympathy on the loss of your mother. The obituary highlighted what an amazing woman she was. Your memories will always be of a warm and loving person and a life well-lived.

    Sincerely,
    Pat Smith

  4. Lilybeth & Wayne :

    Your tribute to your Mom was beautiful. We are sorry for your loss of this wonderful woman.

  5. Janine Johnson :

    Dear Jean and family, we send our deepest sympathy to all your family. You’re mom was a wonderful person and one of my mom’s dearest friends. Mom has been very saddened by the news, she has lost alot of dear friends. Sincerly all the Robertson Family (Jean,Jim,George,Janine,Carrie).

  6. Gerri (Laseur) Willms :

    Dear Jean and extended family of Mary Struthers:
    Please accept our heartfelt thoughts and deepest sympathy at this sad time. Our memories of your mother go back a few years when your Mom was an integral part of Pitt Meadows; she contributed to her community wherever she lived. We had many haircuts at the salon/house on Ford Road. Take care. Tina Laseur, Gerri (Laseur) Willms, Cathy (Laseur) Eggens, John Laseur.

  7. Michelle Mayne :

    Mary,
    I never knew you for very long, but in the 5 weeks that I got to know you, you became very special to me. In those 5 weeks I saw a beautiful women, who loved deeply and strongly, and who cherished and loved her children profoundly and was immensely proud of them till the end. I will always remember your hands that were so strong and yet so soft right till the end. I will always with a sad fondness remember you saying, ‘I remember the look on his face…’ Thank you for touching our/my life Mary, may you find your rest and peace now. Jean and Pat, thank you.

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