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Mary Eleanor Johns (Johnston)

November 19, 1925 - January 27, 2022


Mary Eleanor Johns passed away peacefully in Mission Hospital after 96 full and active years. She was born on November 19, 1925 in Gull Lake, Sask. to Mary Ann (nee Patchell) and Evan Hoyt Johnston. She was the youngest of five children (Malcolm, Ruth, Hoyt and Gordon). She had many fond memories growing up in Gull Lake – ice skating, Sunday school, church, choir, good friends. Mary took piano lessons from the age of 6 and was close to getting her ATCM (Toronto Conservatory of Music) degree, but her heart was set on becoming a secretary.


Mary lived in Gull Lake until 1943 when she and her mom moved to Trail, BC. Mary attended Trail Business College; her first secretarial job was in the office at Woogman’s clothing store and it was here that she met her dear husband, Bern, when he came into the men’s wear section. She next worked for the Secretary- Treasurer and then the President of West Kootenay Power & Light Co. She and Bernard Alteare Johns married in 1948 and Mary always remarked that she only needed to drop the “ton” at the end of her maiden name. They lived in Trail until 1960 when they moved to North Vancouver. Bern continued working as a school teacher and Mary as a secretary at various places over the years – B.C. Hydro, North Vancouver City Hall and Council of Forest Industries. They both retired in 1977 then moved to Abbotsford in 1987. Mary moved to Mission in 2009 after Bern’s passing on November 24, 2008.


Mary and Bern’s love of travel brought them (by air and sea) to Britain, Hawaii, Alaska, Panama Canal and Asia. They also spent 13 wonderful winters in Arizona where they enjoyed square dancing and golfing with the many friends they made. Back in Abbotsford they continued to square dance and were both active in the Order of the Eastern Star with Bern as a Mason. Mary was the organist for many


years in Star and accepted the position of Grand Organist for a year. She received her “70 year” pin a few years ago and that was the first time other members had seen one for that many years of service.


Mary’s hobbies in the past included crafting, cross-stitch, knitting, crocheting, trying her luck at casino slots, collecting plates and Royal Dalton dolls, reading and playing cards as well as making bandages for the hospitals. In her last few years at Cedarbrooke, Mary learned to play pool and couldn’t wait to play with her female friends. She always had a sense of humour and was very astute at typing letters on her Remington when something wasn’t right!


Mary talked about having a “BIG” bash for her 90th birthday at Chartwell Cedarbrooke in Mission. And then she added, “So I better stick around long enough for it!” She indeed had her party with good food, entertainment, music and dancing. A wonderful time was had by all!


Mary will be dearly missed by niece Vivian Black of California, niece Heather Sittig of Victoria, great niece, Joanne (Alberto) Ambrosio of Castlegar, great nephew Clay (Charlene) Liber of Nelson and their families. She is also survived by Ginny (Ken) Brownlie of Castlegar and their family; Ginny was like a daughter to Mary.

Also left behind is Margaret Garnier of Maple Ridge, a dear friend from Eastern Star who lovingly helped Mary the last few years. The family would like to thank the staff at Chartwell Cedarbrooke; doctors, nurses and staff at Mission Hospital as well as paramedics for their wonderful care in the final stage of Mary’s life.


Online condolences may be made to the family at www.wiebeandjeskefh.com.



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From: Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home

Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Carol O'Brien
Relation: Friend

Ginny, I am sorry to hear of Mary’s passing. She was such a good friend to my mother, Marion during their time at Cedarbrooke. I hope we run into you again soon in the Kootenays.

From: Lynn Johnson
Relation: She was my sister in law’s (Ginny’s) good friend

Our deepest sympathies to Ginny and her family,at this sad time✝️

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