My Friend Mary

It was a big shock not only to me, but also to many others when Mary Campbell took ill and died very suddenly in October. I first met Mary in 1967 in Calgary. She was part of the hostel group that I had joined. She had arrived in Calgary from London, England. That was the year she met Don Campbell who was also part of the group. (See Page 21 of my Ruthie’s Trails book.) Don was courting Mary that summer and they married the following year eventually having three children – Alison, Jocelyn and David – and later five grandchildren.

Mary and Don retired to Armstrong, B.C. about fifteen or so years ago. Mary’s death on October 18 really threw us all for a loop as she was always very healthy. This turned out to be some kind of blood infection. It was Don and Yvonne who had heart problems. The funeral was October 22, so the day before I drove to Armstrong and parked my van at Geoff & Yvonne Spedding’s home in Armstrong. I didn’t need a bed because my van is fitted out for camping year round. It was a very sad time. Geoff and Yvonne hosted some of their family and a very large group of hostel friends and their children and grandchildren dating back to those early days. It was wonderful to see these friends, but I found it difficult to not burst into tears as I tried to get my head around the loss of such a good friend. Fifty-one years is a long time.

When the Campbells and Speddings were still in Calgary four of us girls (?) would always get together every February or March to celebrate our birthdays although Mary’s birthday was in August. Once the two couples retired to Armstrong we all missed our birthday get togethers. Here we are: Jean Kensit and Mary standing and myself and Yvonne seated. That is myself and Mary in our cowgirl outfits in 1967.

Take 2 04-05 OTTN4990

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