POOLE Nee MCKAY Ethel Mary Gillis June 23, 1911 – March 9, 2006 GONE HOME Heavens gates swung wide at 4PM on March 9, 2006 to "WELCOME HOME" Ethel Mary Gillis Poole, nee McKay. She left this earth from her own bed surrounded by family and friends. The music she loved and the pictures she treasured wrapped her in beautiful memories and helped her leave this world with dignity and the knowledge that as she opened the door to her final home, those that loved her would keep her memory alive here on earth. Mary was born to Alexander and Ethel (Nee Machan) McKay in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, June 23, 1911. She experienced and was part of the growth of this great country, as only her generation could be. She shared many tales of growing up with a large family, on their farm during the birth of Canada. She has seen so many changes in her 94 years and she loved sharing her memories with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her love for horses, music, dancing, playing card and board games, sports, and the great outdoors was nurtured in this prairie setting, and has grown throughout the years. Through the stories that she told, you soon learned that the most important part of life is not what you have, but what you share with the family and friends you love. Many of Mary’s loved ones have gone on before her. She was predeceased by: Her parents Alexander and Ethel McKay, her stepmother Joanna McKay, her brothers Ralph, John and Clifford, her sisters Adeline and Marge, her first and second husbands, William Gillis and Gordon Poole, her eldest son and daughter-in-law, Ralph and Gail Gillis, her daughter-in-laws Margaret (Nee Waldo) Gillis, and Florence Murray, her stepdaughter Gail Poole and granddaughter Sandra Gillis. She is survived by her sisters Barb, Ruth, Eliza, Isabel, and Phyllis, and her brother and sister-in-law Alec and Shirley McKay, as well as all of their families. They were such a wonderful part of her life and helped make her the fantastic little lady she was. Home was important to Mary and she loved the many reunions we attended in Manitoba. We thank you for all the love you shared with her throughout these many years. To Muriel & Don Cameron of Edmonton, Lavina Johnson of Prince Albert, Marion Boreen of Grande Prairie, Flo and Leo Haire of Red Deer, Ida Waldo of Sylvan Lake, Steve, Kerri, Matt & Meg Howard of Red Deer, Joyce Ferguson of Red Deer, Deb and Mark MacGregor of Red Deer, and Jennie Machan. Your many years of friendship were an important part of Mary's life, and we the family, thank you for your shared love and concern. Mary will be greatly missed by her many little friends, Kirsten, Nolan, Robert, Sydney, Roman, Ayden, and Ethan, and by her canine friend and great companion, Ralph. Through the teaching of hairdressing, Mary touched many lives and helped a lot of young people on their way. She owned and operated both the Red Deer and the Grande Prairie Beauty Schools. She was very proud of her students and has kept in touch with many of them. Mary loved adventures. She fished from one end of this continent through the other. Her life with Gordon was filled with travel and happy times, and we are glad that they are together again. She loved to ride horses with her son-in-law, Bill Waldo, and was still riding at 92. In the past few years she was a busy lady. She took a Love Boat cruise with her sister-in-law, and great friend, Jean Dorgan (predeceased), in their 80’s, and they had a blast. She checked out Niagara Falls, and swam in Hawaii with her son Bill Gillis & his wife Wendyle of Nelson, B.C. She fished and explored with her son, Stewart Gillis of Red Deer, sharing their love of the great outdoors. He also had the honor of joining her at her last family reunion in Manitoba. With her daughter Cheryl and son-in-law Bill Waldo of Red Deer, she has golfed in Texas, gambled in Vegas, drift fished in Alaska, gold panned in the Yukon, cuddled under a blanket on a horse-drawn sleigh ride singing Christmas Carols with the family, and attended many many family celebrations. She loved tobogganing, flying kites, and rafting down the Red Deer river with her Grandchildren and Great- Grandchildren. These children brought much laughter into her life. Her children, Bill, Stew and Cheryl, were all with her to ease her passing. A healing time, a closing of the past, and looking to the future was shared by brothers and sister while working side by side to comfort the mother they owe so much to. I swear I saw her smile and contentment filled her face. Her grandchildren, Lisa Blankenship, Julie & Steve Clark, and Billy Joe & Crystal Waldo, were all a great help and comfort during her final days. Thanks for all that you did. We are so glad that her adoptive daughter Ruth, & Helmet Busch, of Edmonton was here to say goodbye. Kim McKain, and her daughters Jessica & Brittany, made it in time to say farewell. At her final moments were her grandchildren, John & Robert Gillis, Shawn & Sherry Gillis, Tracy Slepicka (Nee Gillis), and Robin Gillis, her great grandchildren, Lacy & Dylan Marshall, Jackie Waldo and boyfriend Dustin, James Waldo, Delaney & Katelyn Waldo, were as involved at the end of her life as they had been during her many years with them. As Mary lived in her daughter's home for the past 13 years, she spent much of her time involved in the lives of Bill & Cheryl's children and grandchildren, and they will miss her greatly. Her grandchildren, and great grandchildren that couldn't be with her were with her in spirit. Jeff Blankenship of Arizona, Kate More of Caroline, Donald Gillis of Ponoka, Jim Gillis of Nevis, Mike Gillis of Whistler, B.C., Devon Gillis of Florida, USA, Ryan Gillis of Nelson, B.C., Kelly, John, Riley & Peyton Lavery of Pender Harbour, B.C., Amber Gillis of Whitecourt, Sarah, Christina & Trevor Gillis of Red Deer, Justin McKinley of Grande Cache, also her stepson and his wife Jim & Sandy Poole of Toronto, Ontario. Thanks for all of the calls of comfort from family and friends that couldn’t be with us. We wish to express our heart-felt thanks to Dr. Ligate and all of the staff at Parkland Medical Clinic who have cared for mother so well over the years. Thanks to Dr. Darby and Dr. Heinrichs for their compassion and assistance in making Mom's passing from home a gentler transition. Also our greatest thanks to Eventide Funeral home for the timely and respectful manner in which they handled their duties. She retained her spirit and dignity until the end, attended to, not by strangers, but by those that loved her. She will be greatly missed, but always remembered with a smile. The 35 Christmas's shared with her family in her daughter's home held an important place in her heart. Each year as we again gather around the Christmas Tree, we will sing her favorite carols and will always remember what a happy part she was of each of our lives. Family and home were always the most important things to her. As to her wishes, Mary's ashes will be buried in the family plot at Alto Reste when the sun is shining and the trees are green. A graveside celebration of her life will be held on June 3rd, 2006. All family and friends will be welcomed at this time. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Huntingtons Society, or the SPCA. In the end she got her greatest wish … MARY WENT HOME.

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