It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Mary Helen Ann (Sladek) Carvell on September 18th, 2018 after a heroic battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Mary was born in Pine Creek, Manitoba where she attended school until moving to Gladstone in the summer of 1941. She graduated from Gladstone Collegiate in 1948. Following high school, Mary attended Manitoba Normal School and taught at the Pembroke rural school for a one year term. From 1949-1952 she attended the Winnipeg General School of Nursing. She took a leave of absence shortly after school to “see the world” as a stewardess with TCA which is now Air Canada. Through her travels, she lived in many places, including both the east and west coasts of Canada. In 1963, she began her career in public health nursing and attended the University of Toronto, School of Nursing. This was followed by 2 years of experience with the Carleton County Health Unit in Ottawa. Mary eventually obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at McGill University and later went on to obtain a Master of Nursing degree in Seattle, Washington. The highlight of her nursing career was helping develop and implement mental health programming for the Timiskaming Health Unit in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. In 1970, Mary moved to North Vancouver and provided nursing services to Nelson, Squamish, Delta, and Kitsilano, B.C. She retired in 1996.
Mary loved living in Vancouver. She spent much of her adult life trying to convince the rest of her family to move there. Although she would visit Manitoba regularly to be with family and friends, there was no place she loved more than the west coast. She was an avid skier and enjoyed daily walks along the sea wall. She often said she would take the rain any day over mosquitos and the -40 C temperatures. One of Mary’s most endearing qualities was that she was a dreamer. Even in the last few months of her life, she had big plans, talking regularly about how she wanted to build a cottage on the ocean.
Mary was also a very kind and loving person. She especially loved all the children in the family and would go out of her way to make sure they each felt very special.
Two of Mary’s favorite things to do were sewing and shopping. She was an excellent seamstress and took great pride in making some of her own clothes. She loved to shop in beautiful stores no matter where she was travelling.
Mary often said that the motivating force in her personal life was her faith in God. She was deeply religious and made several trips to Israel, even living there for 2 years. She was actively involved in her church in North Vancouver.
Mary was predeceased by her parents Gaspar and IIona Sladek, brothers George and Gaye, sister Jennifer, brothers-in-law Tony Karaz, Jack Litton and Andrew Moyes; nephew Sherman Litton as well as numerous aunts and uncles.
Mary is survived by her sisters Stephanie Karaz, Julie Sladek and Beth Litton, sister-in-law Maudie Sladek, many nieces, nephews and their children.
There’s a bridge of happy memories,
From earth to heaven above;
It keeps us very close to you,
And to the bridge of love.
The next time we will see you,
Will be at heaven’s door;
You will be there to greet us,
And we will cry no more.
Memories are the lamps
That light the darkest road,
To the beautiful hope of reunion,
When we meet at the end of the road.