The family of Mary Elizabeth Redwood-Jones (age 74) of Edmonton, is saddened to announce her passing on May 7, 2020.
She will be lovingly remembered and missed by her husband of 26 years, Alan, son Ray (Trish), daughter-in-law Tanis, and grandchildren Jennifer (Angelica), Erick, Finn, and Cohen, as well as numerous relatives and many friends. She was predeceased by her parents, James and Betty (Elizabeth), and her youngest son, John.
Mary was born in Edmonton but grew up on a farm in rural Alberta. She had a fond love and concern for all animals, but especially for dogs. Her affection for her own, Koco and Fozzie, was unmatched. These adored pets also predeceased their owner.
Mary was strong, and inwardly a private individual. Yet both in and outside her work, she was a non-stop advocate for anyone who needed assistance or advice. Her conviction to promote healthy and ethical solutions, especially for disadvantaged and marginalized children, was unparalleled.
Having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta, Mary spent her working years in health, education and social services with the provincial government. She also became a Registered Social Worker. She first worked for the Edmonton Public School Board as a social worker and worked with special needs children from approximately 1982 to 1991. Following that, she worked with Handicapped Children Services as a H.C.S. worker/coordinator from approximately 1991 to 1995.
Mary then joined Edmonton Northwest Childcare Society in 1995 (later known as Community Options) as a Family Support Worker in the Community Preschool Education Program (CPE) which provided services for preschool children with disabilities. In her role as a social worker, Mary was part of several trans-disciplinary teams, working alongside therapists, teachers and educational assistants.
She later moved into the position of Program Manager for the CPE Program, continuing in this role until her retirement from the organization in 2008. Mary was able to use her expertise in financial management and organization to create the best possible opportunities in supporting children with disabilities in their home environments using the funding provided by Alberta Education.
She then went on to work as an Alberta Educational Consultant with the Ben Calf Robe Society in Edmonton. From 2008 to 2012 she provided managerial support to their HeadStart program until her retirement in 2012.
Thus, through a career of hard work, care, and commitment, she strived to see that others were never without the support they needed, and she will always be remembered as a formidable champion for children and their families.
Outside of work, she continued her selfless ways, often putting her family and friends ahead of herself. When it came time for a brief rest, she would often retreat to the mountains where she found peace in body, mind and soul.
When it came time to enjoy life a bit more, she could do that too. Mary enjoyed the ‘simple’ pleasures of life which included dark chocolate, deliciously prepared meals, desserts, red wine, and attending productions at the Winspear and the Citadel Theatres.
She loved gardening and brought an artistic bent to the planting and arrangement of her flower beds. Alan acted as the labourer and prepared and maintained them. Mary enjoyed picking the flowers and having bouquets from the garden in the house. Over the years, they received many compliments on their collective efforts.
The family would like to acknowledge and thank all the wonderful medical people who were involved in Mary’s more recent care needs. This includes the staff of Unit 54 at the Grey Nuns Hospital, and Doctors B. Wirzba, L. Amin, and G. Hrynchyshyn. A special thanks goes to Dr. P. Amigo, and Social Worker G. Dhillon. Your collective professionalism and compassion will not be forgotten.
Donations may kindly be forwarded to STARS or the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
Mary will always be in our most loving thoughts. Our grief will be tempered by the joy and privilege of having known such a wonderful person, and our fond memories will sustain us and bring us peace. You were a treasured gift, Mary, to everyone who met and knew you. Rest well…you will be dearly missed.