Mary E. Gillis
It is with heavy hearts, we the children of Mary Elizabeth Gillis, age 86, announce her passing at the Northside General Hospital on Sunday, March 5, 2023. She passed as peacefully as she lived and for that we are grateful.
Mom was born in North Sydney, April 20, 1936 to Johnny and Josephine (Phillips) Donovan. She grew up on the Gannon Road; a fact of which she was fiercely proud. Mom was a resident of the Northside Community Guest Home for the past several years; but, as she would tell you, the best part of her life though, was raising her family with Bram on Peppett Street. We watched our Mother grieve for our father for the past 42 years. It is comforting for us all to know they are finally united.
She is survived by her daughters Pam Nicholson, Colleen (Bruce) Ferguson, Betty-Jo (Steve) Kehoe, and Eilleen (Allan) Clarke, sons Kenny (Georgina) and Ricky. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Jennifer, Gemma, Kaelin, Mitchell, Matthew, Jessica, Brandon, Danielle, Connor, Bryce, and Jonah, and also by her eleven great-grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her husband Bramwell, sisters, Florence Wilson, Katie Ivey, brothers Joseph Donovan and Daniel Donovan, sons-in-law Richard Nicholson and Gary Skinner. Mary was also predeceased by her in-laws Gordon and Dorcas Gillis.
Mom was a devote member and Elder of St. Matthew Wesley United Church, Leitches Creek and was always involved in the life and works of the church, serving on many committees, teaching Explorers, as well as her many years with Mary Unit. Her child rearing years saw her involved in her children’s activities through women’s auxiliaries of the Northern Yacht Club, Air Cadets, Fire Hall and anywhere she could volunteer. Mom was well known in her younger years for her skills as a seamstress. She never did get her driver’s license but she walked wherever she could and was quick to grab her coat and tag along on any chance to join in activities with her children and friends.
We would like to thank the staff of the Northside Guest Home for their kindness and care of our Mom. Thank you to the nursing staff and doctors of the Emergency Department at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital and Northside General 5th Floor.
A funeral service for Mary will held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday at St. Matthew Wesley United Church, Leitches Creek with Marjorie Serafinus officiating. Arrangements are under the care and direction of W.J. Dooley Funeral Home, 107 Pleasant Street, North Sydney. Burial will take place in Lakeside Cemetery, North Sydney at a later day.
Memorial Donations may be made to St. Matthew Wesley United Church or the charity of choice. Online condolences may be sent to the family by leaving a message on the tribute wall of the obituary at www.wjdooley.com.
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