Sunday, June 13, 2010


My dear friend Mary died peacefully at home on Thursday.

Tuesday was her birthday and I went by with a gift - a photo album I put together of pictures of so many happy times our group of friends spent together: dragon boating, hiking, skiing, biking, snow shoeing, and travelling. My heart is breaking but it was wonderful to look back over all those times and to see smiling pictures of Mary looking healthy and active.

Mary slipped into a coma later that day and never woke up. I will write more about my memories of her at a later time. For now, here is her obituary from today’s Citizen.

O'ROURKE, Mary Clare

Peacefully at home on June 10, 2010 in her 60th year after a lengthy illness with cancer. Mary was born on June 8, 1951 in Manchester, England, emigrating to Canada with her family at age three. She attended St. Thomas High School in Pointe Claire, Quebec and Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. After graduation, she served in the public service of Canada in Ottawa for her entire career, attaining executive rank. Reading was Mary's favorite form of recreation but she also enjoyed cycling, skiing and especially travel. She was also an avid dragonboater and was a founding member of the breast cancer survivor dragon boat team Busting Out. Mary leaves her loving husband Eric Smart, her sisters Patricia O'Rourke of Montreal and Frances O'Rourke and her husband Joe Joyce and their daughters Catherine, Joanna and Molly of Dublin, Ireland and a wide circle of friends. The family will receive friends at McEvoy-Shields Funeral Home, 1411 Hunt Club Road at Albion Road from 7-9 pm on Wednesday June 16, 2010. A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Thursday, June 17, 2010 in the chapel of the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, 704-265 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1S2E1, in memory of Mary, would be greatly appreciated. Online condolences may be sent to


WhiteStone said...

It seems odd to say "thank you" for sharing an obituary of someone I have never known. But it seems in this cancer business we are all "family". I sorrow with Mary's family and friends.

bellstitt said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely picture of our friend. So sad that this had to happen. See you this week no doubt.
hugs, and more hugs,
ros and david

CUG said...

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Mary.

Gary & Susan Card

Mary-Lynn Campbell said...

I am so sad to learn of Mary's death. I was away in St. John's at the time and missed the obituary in the Citizen.

I have many fond memories of Mary during my time with Busting Out, from the first evening orientation session with her, to finding her resting in our tent between races because she was in treatment at the time. She was a wonderful wonderful lady with so much spunk and zest for living.

Mary-Lynn Campbell