July 25, 1931 – May 13, 2023
On May 13, 2023, Mary passed away peacefully surrounded by family.
Mary (née Durkin) was predeceased by her husband of 60 years, Peter Clarke (2015) and her beloved youngest daughter Mari (2020). Mary’s death will be grieved by her son Mark (Cathy Senecal); daughters Theresa (Peter Williams) and Pamela (James Buchok); and grandchildren, Jennifer (Mike), Matthew (Annie), Beth, Sacha and James. Mary will be missed by her sisters, Margaret Coleman and Deirdre Drake; her brothers, Matthew and Martin Durkin in England, and many dear longtime friends.
Mary was born in Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland. She moved to England when she was eight years old. She was the oldest of eight children and enjoyed caring for her little brothers and sisters. Mary met Peter at church when she was 15 and they became tennis friends. A year after they were married, Mary and Peter sailed for Canada and settled in Hamilton, Ontario, where they started their family.
Mary was a unique blend of quiet composure and dynamic energy. She was sensible and firm while being gentle and patient and she was in her element with mischievous children. Mary taught Tiny Tots at Sir John Franklin Community Center for many years. She enjoyed the letters that former students would send her long after they had grown up. Mary went on to instruct Early Childhood Education at Red River College.
Mary enjoyed a full retirement, spending winters with Peter in Florida and sharing in all facets of her grandchildren’s lives. Her volunteerism and sense of community never waned. Mary continued to be active in many of her church’s ministries until she was well into her 80’s.
The family would like to thank the many nurses at Health Sciences Centre (WH7) and Women’s Hospital who cared for Mary with compassion in the last days of her life.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. John Brebeuf Parish Church at 1707 St. John Brebeuf Place, on June 20, 2023, with Father Wayne Morrissey officiating. A reception was held in the Church Hall following Mass.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Harvest Manitoba (https://www.harvestmanitoba.ca).