Mary Ellen, who died Sunday at the age of 52 after a quiet, but bold battle with cancer, always looked on the bright side. She met every challenge with confidence and class.
She enjoyed waking up to the wonderful view of Mt. Baker and Sumas Prairie from her home on Sumas Mountain, and it was here where she passed away surrounded by loved ones.
Not only was she an affectionate, caring, dedicated, loving wife, mother, grandmother and sister, she was also known by her colleagues at the Abbotsford News as a tireless, highly organized team member always ready to lend a hand or share a laugh.
Mary Ellen had a heart of gold and always put the interest of others first. Her biggest concern in the last days of her life was for the people she would leave behind.
She is survived by her loving husband Bernie; son Rob (Christina) Foth; daughter Sandra (Rick) Francoeur; five grandchildren (Clinton, Mathew, Zachary, Joshua and Kaleb); brother Barry (Laura) Sheahan; sister Hope Jordan; sisters-in-law Esther (Oscar) Townsend, Olga Loewen, Erika (Dennis) Rumpel ; and many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her parents George and Dorothy and in-laws Benjamin and Freda.
Mary Ellen was born on May 13, 1953 in Toronto, and by the late 1960s was living in the Fraser Valley where she met Bernie, her high school sweetheart, at Clearbrook Junior Secondary. The couple celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary on Sept. 19.
Mary Ellen attended Abbotsford Senior Secondary before she went to work for BC Tel, Woodward’s in Abbotsford, the District of Abbotsford and in 1990 the Abbotsford News as administrative assistant to publisher Randy Blair.
She treasured spending time with her grandchildren and was planning a special trip with them to Disneyland in May, 2006.
In the last few years she and Bernie enjoyed tropical vacations in the Mayan Riviera and sought out new, exciting adventures while camping and fishing.
With various family members, she loved to shop, go out for lunch and engage in lively conversation. She was particularly fond of Sunday family dinners and she treated her friends as though they were family.
At the Abbotsford News, Mary Ellen’s accomplishments are many, and her organizational skills more than enhanced the newspaper’s daily operations.
For years she organized the newspaper’s annual fund-raising Festival of Trees at Sevenoaks Shopping Centre and was always quick to celebrate when the newspaper won provincial, national and international honours.
As volunteer co-ordinator for the army of people involved in the Promotions Division of the 2004 BC Summer Games, Mary Ellen was unflappable and her efforts helped the Abbotsford News team win Canadian Community Newspaper Association honours for community service.
Funeral services are scheduled tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 21) at 3:00 pm from New Life Christian Reformed Church at 35270 Delair Road with Pastor Orlando Wall officiating. Burial will be at Musselwhite Cemetery.
Donations can be made to the charity of your choice.
May Mary Ellen’s warmth and strength of character never be forgotten . . .
Wiebe & Jeske
Burial and Cremation
Care Providers Ltd.
are in charge of arrangements