After nearly 93 years, most of which she lived in Pincher Creek, Victoria Mary Williams passed away at Vista Village on July 29, 2018, with family by her side.
Mary was predeceased in 2014 by Keith, her husband of 64 years; her sons David in 2016 and Allen in 2011, and her daughter Maureen in 1992, and also by her brother and sister-in-law, John and Shirley Cox of Calgary.
As the daughter of Victoria(Tory) Lynch-Staunton and George Cox, both born in Pincher Creek in the 1890s, she passed on to her family a great sense of place and of the importance of family history. Her children grew up knowing that their mother’s grandfather was the first teacher in Pincher Creek; that another grandfather helped establish the NWMP horse ranch; that the first wheat crops came from a few grains of wheat carried west in a grandfather’s coat pocket, and that a grandmother was an artist, some of whose works are now in the Glenbow. It is no wonder that Mary and Keith became very involved in the Kootenai Brown Museum and were instrumental in bringing in the Cox house, the caboose, altar pieces from the old St. Michaels’s church, and many donated treasures.
Mary rode her horse into town to school, and graduated from St Michaels’s in 1945, then trained to be a teacher at the University of Alberta in Calgary and in Edmonton. She taught at Olin Creek north of Cowley, then at the Great Bend School near Delburne, where she met Keith. She taught for two years in Beiseker. Keith and Mary were married in 1950 in St. Michael’s church. She taught for many years at St. Michael’s school while raising seven children. Mary was a brilliant seamstress and will also be remembered for always having warm homemade buns for afterschool snack. Mary also enjoyed many years of bowling, skating, camping, and travelling on trips with Keith.
Mary was involved not only with her children’s activities but also with the CWL and the Hospital Auxiliary. Mary cared for her children then grandchildren, as well as her own mother until she passed away at the grand age of 96, and was able to care for Keith at their home on Mountain Street until just four years ago when they moved together to Vista Village where she won the hearts of staff and fellow residents. She so enjoyed the large family gatherings for birthdays and anniversaries where she delighted in counting the ever increasing numbers.
Mary is survived by four children, Doug (Donna Sheh) of Vancouver, Margaret (Russell Robb) of Victoria, Sheila (Clay Stenberg) of Vernon and Brian (Dawn Sehn) of Calgary, Daughters-in-law Maureen Williams of Airdrie and Lionnette Williams of Calgary and son-in-law Brent Walper of Salmon Arm..
She leaves behind her sister Dorothy Cox Bernard of Calgary, brother-in-law Arthur Williams (Mary) of Delburne, sisters-in-law Thelma Williams and Sylvia Hansen of Delburne, 17 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Good Samaritan Society
Box 1510, Pincher Creek AB T0K 1W0
Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village
Box 1226, Pincher Creek AB T0K 1W0