WATTS Mary Alice
March 6, 1928 (Hamilton, ON) - November 12, 2022 (West Vancouver, BC)
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Mary Alice Watts, loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend to many. Mary Alice (nee Hill) will be lovingly remembered by her children Brian (Fiona) and Graham (Roxane Carr), grandchildren, Claire and Robbie, and sister Barbara McQuade. She is predeceased by Trevor, her loving husband of 60 years, sister Joan, and parents Frank and Elizabeth (nee Patterson).
Mary Alice (“Mary Al” or “MA”) will be remembered as a joyful, truth-seeking soul who was always up for a great adventure and a memorable round of infectious laughter. She was a true people person and keen to learn, whether it be about people, personal interests or broader emerging issues in the world. Family life was always of prime importance to her, as well as nurturing the many valued friendships she enjoyed over her lifetime.
Growing up in Hamilton Ontario, she lived a happy and care-free childhood, save for the tragic passing of her beloved 7-year old sister Joan.
Her love for traveling adventures started early with a train trip from Southern Ontario to Southern California when Mary Alice was only 10 years old, accompanied by her grandmother Alice and aunt Olive. This would have been rather extraordinary in the 1930s!
Some of Mary Alice’s early passions included figure skating and horseback riding. Hill’s Bakery, a well-known commercial bakery in Hamilton started by Mary Alice’s grandfather Richard, played a significant role in her childhood, and almost certainly sparked her passion for good food!
She received a BA degree from the University of Toronto in the early 1950s, and shortly after began her career as Promotions Director at a local Hamilton radio station (CKOC) which continues to operate today.
After several years, Mary Alice’s next position was with General Foods (now Kraft Heinz Canada) in Toronto where she eventually met the love of her life, Trevor (“Trev”). Her responsibilities included Human Resources roles and editing the corporate newsletter.
Mary Al and Trev were married in June, 1959 and started their life together in Toronto. With the birth of their first child Brian a couple years later, Mary Al dedicated herself to supporting and nurturing her emerging family, with the birth of Graham later in the 1960s.
In 1973, a career move for Trevor to the University of Guelph took her and her family to live in Guelph, Ontario. While perhaps missing some of the things that big city life offered, Guelph proved to be a wonderful small university town with a rich arts culture, while still within easy reach of the big city when needed.
As Trevor’s career flourished, Mary Al’s network blossomed through the University Women’s Group, wonderful local friends and neighbours and her burgeoning arts community. While always providing for family needs, she was able to rediscover her love for drawing and painting, and would often head out with one or more art friends for day trips into the country to draw, paint and enjoy each other’s company.
During summertimes, Mary Al was a committed swimmer, most days managing to clock 100+ laps in the backyard pool. And during winters, a snowy walk or some cross-country skiing on the golf course behind the house was always in order, followed by a good book, jigsaw puzzle or engaging chat next to a warm fire.
During these years, Mary Al enjoyed many opportunities to travel, either with the family or accompanying Trevor on business trips. So many wonderful memories of family trips together!
With professional colleagues, and more often with dear friends, Trev and Mary Al loved hosting dinner parties, as well as exploring little-known regional culinary treasures where they were often greeted by the owners and staff like part of the family. For many years, they spent countless enjoyable evenings with their symphony pals at the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, followed by something to nibble on together and always great conversation and laughter!
By 2004, Mary Alice and Trevor were ready for another adventure - a move to Vancouver’s North Shore to be closer to their kids and grandkids. It has been such a blessing to have the family all together and share in each other’s lives across generations.
The family would like to extend gratitude to the care providers and staff at Amica Lions Gate in West Vancouver and to Dr. Nicole Barre for providing such excellent care.
While she will be missed greatly, she lived life well and our memories of Mary Al/Mom/MA will live on in our hearts forever. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to West Vancouver United Church