Mary Willms passed into the presence of the Lord on August 25, 2006 at the age of 89, at Sherwood Manor in Abbotsford, BC.

Mary was born October 6, 1916 in Tiege, Russia. She was the fifth child of eight born to Heinrich and Susanna Willms. The family immigrated to Canada in 1930 and settled in Abbotsford, BC in 1931. After graduation from high school she attended Bethel College in Kansas where she received her BA in biology. Later she graduated from the University of Toronto with her Masters degree in bio-chemistry. She then worked at the Children’s Hospital in Toronto for a few years before returning to BC where she settled in Vancouver. Here she worked as a medical research assistant at UBC Hospital and VGH from approx. 1949 until the mid to late 1980s. A few years after her retirement she moved back to Abbotsford, BC to be closer to her family. Mary is now rejoicing in being reunited with her father and mother, Heinrich and Susanna Willms, her still-born brother Heinrich, her brother Jacob Willms, and her sister Margaret Sallis. She will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered by her brothers and sisters, Henry Willms, Susanne Thielman, Kathleen Toews, and John (Francis) Willms.

Although Mary had no children of her own, due to her close relationship with her sister Kathleen, her heart instantly bonded with each of Kathleen’s four boys and they became her “adopted” family. They shared many happy memories together and she will be deeply missed by her “adopted sons” and their wives, James (Janet), Phil (Ellen), Ed (Charlene), Fred (Ann) Toews and her many beloved “adopted grandchildren”, and “great grandchild”, as well as many other beloved nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to express their deep gratitude for the expert and compassionate care of our beloved Mary during her last five months by the loving staff of Sherwood Manor in Abbotsford, BC.

A celebration of Mary’s life is being held at Woodlawn Funeral home in Abbotsford, BC on Saturday, Sept. 2, 200 at 2:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made on Mary’s behalf to the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).

Woodlawn Funeral Home


Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.