Mary Jane Hebert (nee Irwin)
1932 – 2021
Mary Jane Hebert died May 31st at 1 pm. Mary was born October 17, 1932 to parents Daisy Rose Irwin (Gaydon) and William Ernest Irwin. Mary Jane was the oldest with two younger brothers, William Irwin (deceased) and Fredrick Irwin. Mary Jane always told us stories of her wonderful childhood, complete with Ernie the barber, Daisy a loving mother devoted to the church, and her brothers who teased her and loved her babysitting them on Friday nights. Mary went to business college after high school and became a secretary around the time of her marriage to Albert Elliott. They were married for 27 years, and they had four children, Mary Lynn Elliott (Sally), Karen Elliott (deceased at age 5 months) Gregory Albert Elliott, (Grace) and Allan Edward Elliott (deceased at age 50). Grandchildren Jackie (Shawn), and Jennifer (Mike), two greatgrandchildren TJ and Maryjane, Aaron (Cindy), Chelsea (Tom), Brandon, and Danielle. She was always proud of her 3 sets of grandchildren. She always said she was happy they were spread out in pairs over three different decades.
Mary later met and married Bob Hebert (deceased). He was a loving and caring husband to her and she was always grateful that this firefighter came into her life and that of her teenage son Allan. Together they travelled and enjoyed many friendships at their Navy Club where mom was the president of the Women’s Association.
Mary was an amazing planner and joiner of organizations often the one to plan the fundraising events and talent shows. She was well known for her performance as Tiny Tim singing Tiptoe through the tulips.
Mary advanced in her career to become a legal secretary. She loved her position with a law firm in Toronto that had many NHL players as clients including Bobby Orr. Later when she lived in Sydney Nova Scotia she became the personal secretary of the wealthiest man in Cape Breton Island, the owner of the coal mine among other things. She especially liked driving his Bentley around town to pick up supplies and food to assist in entertaining dignitaries he would host.
Mary continued in her work in Kitchener Waterloo until she retired. In the years following she had two knee replacements, and a complete shoulder replacement from a fall and then a hip replacement. Mary moved to Edmonton, Alberta to live with Lynn and Sally in 2007 arriving on her 75th birthday. Mary lived with them until 2019 when she moved into her own apartment in a seniors housing complex where she had her dinners in the dining room with her many friends but continued to care for herself for other meals, laundry, and many hobbies. Mary was active until her health began to fail in early 2021. She was in hospital this time for 10 days receiving the news that she was in end stage of life.
Mom requested MAID (Medical Assistance In Dying) 4 days ago when it was clear that she was only going to continue to fail and suffer. The process was amazing with about 8 healthcare professionals involved in ensuring that her wishes were met and that her prognosis met the criteria – which it most certainly did. And her wishes were clear as she was alert and full of wit and ability to say this is what I want. She said, “this is what I have always believed, and I want others to know that this is possible”. She told me to tell everyone about her choice and that she was at peace, and ready to go. Most of her family supported her decision, but in the end, it was under her direction that this happened. She said goodbye in person or on the phone with each grandchild. And she talked often to her loving baby brother Freddie, who was in complete support of her decision. Mom would not have lived much longer, but she went on her terms.
Mary spoke very highly of the community at the Sakaw Terrace Seniors Housing where she lived. She found many friends and appreciated the staff and their support. Thank you to all her table mates and friends and staff!
Mary was incredibly grateful to all the health care professionals that cared for her at University of Alberta hospital for her last 10 days. Thank you to the nurses on 5A4 and 5E4 and her Doctors and the MAID team.
Friends and family are encouraged to share a refreshment together in her memory. Donations may be made in her memory to The Canadian Red Cross and MAID.
Serenity Funeral Service , Spruce Grove – 780962 2749
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Margaret Shantz (Irwin)
Very sorry to hear about Aunt Mary. My thoughts are with your family as you deal with the difficult loss of your mom and grandma . Marg