Mary Barnes

Mary Margaret Barnes (Green)

Tuesday, August 10th, 1926 - Monday, July 20th, 2020
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Barnes, Mary Margaret (nee Green)

Passed away at Shepherd Lodge Long-Term Care Home on July 20, 2020 at the age of 93. Predeceased in 2011 by her beloved husband of sixty years, Bill. Loving mother of Michael Barnes (Heather), Susan Barnes (Michael), Dr. Christopher Barnes (Grace), Gregory Barnes (Francine), and Sarah Simpson (Rob). Cherished grandmother of Emily, Spencer, Madeline, Morgan, James, Lauryn and Alex. Dear sister of Louise and Anna, predeceased by Dorothy, Ethel, Jack and Stan. Mary Green, the daughter of Maude Bastedo and John Green, was born on a farm on the Saskatchewan prairie on August 10, 1926. Growing up in a big farm family during the Depression years gave her some of her fondest memories, a tough resourcefulness, and a deep love of nature. After graduating from high school, she came east by herself to study nursing at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. She loved nursing, and soon became Head Nurse on Infant Ward A; there she met Bill Barnes, a medical intern, whom she married on June 9, 1951. Mary continued her nursing work at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota while Bill pursued his surgical fellowship; there they had the first two of their five children. Upon moving to the Hamilton area in 1957, Mary devoted herself to working as a homemaker, creating a warm and loving home for her growing family. Mary and Bill shared a passion for the landscape of northern Ontario, and in 1966 built a cottage on the French River. They spent many happy summers there with their children, and even more time during their retirement until failing health restricted their northern visits. Mary had a sparkling imagination and was renowned from childhood on for making others laugh; she was a passionate lifelong reader and storyteller, with a gift for wordplay and fanciful coinages; she was an indefatigable worker, energetic from dawn till late at night; she had a musical gift, delighting in singing anything from hymns to popular songs and accompanying herself by ear on the piano; and she cherished nature, down to its most humble creatures, like the spiders she would capture with her bare hands and release outside. She was a gregarious, giving person, with a large spirit and an open heart. She met the ordeal of Alzheimer’s, which was diagnosed in 2009, with incredible fortitude and resilience, retaining to the end, even while the disease had taken almost everything from her, the ability to lift others’ spirits with a smile. Mary’s smile, and the farmgirl strength within it, nourished and uplifted those who knew her, and will be long remembered. In accordance with Mary’s wishes, cremation without a public ceremony has occurred. As expressions of sympathy, donations in Mary’s name to the Hospital for Sick Children or the Alzheimer’s Society would be sincerely appreciated.
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