Mary KURATA

KURATA Mary Frances "Peggy" Kurata passed away in Red Deer, Alberta on August 18, 2005 at the age of 94 years. Mary was born in Nottingham, England on May 5, 1911, to her parents Squire and Eliza Whitehurst. Peggy came to Canada as an infant in 1912, but soon returned to England in 1914 upon her father's re-enlistment for service in W.W. I. Having stayed in London, her family returned to Canada in 1918. She remained in Ottawa until 1947, when she married her late husband Lucien Coe Kurata. During her years in Ottawa, she worked for Metropolitan Life and was very active in many fields of public service. With her Met Life colleagues, she collaborated with Dr. R.M. Anderson and E.J. Porsild (artic explorers), and Dr. Marius Barbeau (Canadian folklorist) in the establishment of medical and dental services in the eastern Artic through the supply ship, Nascopi. Throughout the depression years she supported St. Patrick's College, where she was a part time student, and where she would return to graduate with distinction in 1975. She was a member of the Ottawa Flying Club and a Youth of the Empire, but her first loves were natural history and Canadian folklore. These diverse experiences led, in later years, to her support of the Canadian Handicrafts Guild and the introduction of Inuit and Cree artists to the larger Canadian public. Her age and eyesight precluded her enlistment in the services during W.W. II., but she was an active volunteer for the Red Cross and Ottawa Servicemen's Club. She raised her family first in Toronto and then in Shelburne, Ont., and though these years was involved with the Royal Ontario Museum and the Saturday Morning Club Program (a special education program for youth). As well, she worked tirelessly in advancing her belief that Japanese Canadians and other minorities had much to contribute to the Canadian mosaic. She returned to Ottawa, where she collaborated with the National Museum and the National Film Board in the research, documentation, and exhibiting of the contributions of Japanese, Chinese and Jewish people to Canada. Her retirement brought her to Red Deer, where she enjoyed her family, wonderful friends and neighbours. Special thanks are expressed to Bob and Carol Kinnear, Charles Meggison, Bev Koswin, Connie Tayler, and her wonderful caregivers, Alma Jugueta, Dina and Santy. Mary is survived by her daughters Elizabeth (Jean) and Christina of Ontario; son Luke (Sylvia) of Red Deer; grandchildren Josh, and Jude (Crystal) Aiken, Harley and Vincent Kurata, and great grandchildren Hero, Juno, Harper Lee and Shaye; and one sister Kathleen of Ontario. A Celebration of Life for the Late Mrs. Mary "Peggy" Kurata will be held at the Chapel of the Sylvan Lake Funeral Home (5019 47A Avenue, Sylvan Lake, Alberta) on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 at 2:00 P.M. A time of fellowship and refreshment will be held at the Black Knight Inn – Red Deer from 7:00P.M. to 9:30P.M. As an expression of sympathy, memorial donations in Peggy's memory may be made to charity of the Donor's choice. ROCKY AND SYLVAN LAKE FUNERAL HOMES AND CREMATORIUM, your Golden Rule Funeral Homes, entrusted with the arrangements. 403-845-2626


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