Mary Roberts

Roberts, Mary (nee: Ker)


Beloved mother and cherished friend, Mary passed away peacefully on December 29th, 2005 at the age of 91. Predeceased by her husband Leslie, and her sister Margaret (Peggy) Hutton, she is survived by her daughter Linda, sister Joyce Flanagan, nieces and a nephew. Mary had a full and active life. She was born in London, England in 1914, and immigrated to Canada with her parents Lancelot and Gladys and sister Peggy in 1921. They settled on a farm in Sardis, B.C., and she grew up with a love of nature and the outdoors. Her first teaching position was in the village of Masset on the Queen Charlotte Islands. Later specializing in physical education, she taught in the Fraser Valley before joining the R.C.A.F. in 1941. She was stationed at Mossbank, Saskatchewan where she supervised physical training exercises. After the war, she attended the University of Toronto to study physiotherapy. She returned to Vancouver after graduation, where she pioneered a physiotherapy program at the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre, and was granted a Dominion of Canada bursary to tour other rehabilitation centres in the eastern United States. She married in 1953, and settled in North Vancouver. Mary and Les shared over 13 very happy years of marriage before he died suddenly in 1967. She then went to work full time at Vancouver General Hospital. After retiring, Mary found a home that suited her best: a cottage on Vancouver Island, overlooking Baynes Sound, with a fireplace, wood stove, and room for a garden. For 25 years she was a lively participant in the Union Bay community, through the local Historical Society, church and seniors’ groups. Initially, she also worked part-time as a physio, visiting patients in their homes on Hornby and Denman Islands.

A natural leader with creative gifts and almost boundless energy, Mary welcomed challenges, including taking on amateur theatre roles. She loved learning, and continued to attend Elder College lectures at the age of 90. Mary was very small in size, but she was strong. She had courage, determination and a great love of life. She was an inspiration to others, and gained the love and respect of an entire community. She will be deeply missed by us all. A Memorial Service will be held at Union Bay United Church on Saturday, January 14th at 1:30 p.m., with a reception following at the community hall from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory to the Union Bay Historical Society, Box 448, Union Bay, BC VOR 3BO, to the North Island College Foundation – Elder College, 2300 Ryan Rd., Courtenay, BC V9N 8N6, or to the S.P.C.A., Box 1284, Comox, BC V9M 7Z8 would be appreciated. The family would like to thank Dr. Naaykens, Dr. Bryant, nurses and staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Comox for their compassionate care.