Mary Underhill loved this community. Creston held everything she needed - foremost its people. She thrived in this beautiful and bountiful valley.
Twenty-three years ago Mary and Harry set their roots and hearts in Creston. They established a solid base of friends and partnerships, placing their energy and love into the lives around them.
Mary emceed events and chaired committees, networking the town's folks together, even speaking on the radio to expose the myriad of services available to the community. She taught courses and counselled souls troubled or grieving or dying, and helped to heal minds and bodies using Reflexology and Reiki, good vibrations and intentions.
Mary openly shared her talents and expertise, her compassion, her love for humanity. Generous and loving, wise and insightful, a friend and adopted mother to many, and a wonderful biological mother to four.
Mary Naomi Wright was born on July 27, 1932 in rural Ontario. She became a helpful farmhand for her British parents, especially once her much older six brothers moved away, and when most of them went overseas during WWII. Mary had to leave school after grade 10 for financial reasons, though she often said she would have liked to become a brain surgeon.
She grew into a strong independent woman, eventually marrying Lester Reid and birthing two girls, Nancy and Anne. Tragically, Lester died in a car accident while Mary was pregnant with their son Shane. Her fortitude and determination saw her through that time, and many challenges since.
A brief second marriage to Ron Carr produced Laura, so Mary then had to raise four children by herself. Though there were struggles, she never gave in, and did right by her children. The family had to make sacrifices (like choosing between celebrating Christmas or fixing the TV), however Mary's kids appreciated their upbringing and became caring adults, mindful of others and of nature, and in love with books (the TV remained broken).
In the early '70s, Mary moved her clan out West, where she capably ran the Banff Centre's print shop. The mountains beckoned the family to explore the surrounding landscapes and its wildlife. A love was born.
That's when Mary first met Harry Underhill, though it was years later when they were singles living in Canmore before they fell in love. Canmore Electric was their livelihood, and their backyard the entertainment, with deer, squirrels, and rabbits in abundance.
When Mary and Harry retired, they decided to follow a dream, pulling up roots and living in Isla Mujeres, Mexico for many months each year. Their time on that small island over five years made a lasting impression, and they would often fondly reminisce about the many adventures and friends they had made.
After their gypsy life, Mary and Harry finally chose Creston, BC for the remainder of their lives. The friends they made! With lasting imprints stamped on the hearts of many fellow townspeople. And of cats - they took loving care of many furry friends. Mary and Harry were so friendly and kind, giving wonderful hugs to anyone willing, or in need. They will be so remembered, and so missed.
Mary/Mom/Grandma/GreatGrandma was 88 years young.
There will be no memorial service, though perhaps a celebration of Mary's life in Spring 2021.
Donations on Mary's behalf can be made to the Creston Valley Hospice Society and/or the Creston TAPS program.
To sign off in typical Mary fashion:
"Lots of love, light and laughter!"
In lieu of flowers friends and family can make a memorial contribution to the
Creston Valley Hospice Society
PO BOX 612
Creston BC V0B1G0
915 Pine Street Creston BC Canada V0B 1G0
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Underhill, please visit our floral store.