Mary Ilean Hornseth (nee McKinnon)

Mary Ilean Hornseth (nee McKinnon)

Mary was born on November 29, 1930 at the Whim Road family farm house in Prince Edward Island. She was the 9th of 10 surviving children born to Mary and Hugh McKinnon; weighing just over two pounds she was wrapped in cotton and oil and kept alive in a shoe box placed on the warmer above the wood stove. Although a child of the depression years, her childhood was rich with family and food that was grown or raised on the farm.

Mary lost her parents while in her teens and left for Halifax, Nova Scotia at the age of eighteen. In 1955 she met and married the love of her life Ed Hornseth, who was a Navymen based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and while they divorced some 30 years ago, their love and support for each other endured to the end. Three of their five children were born in Halifax and in 1958 Ed, Mary, three toddlers and Mary’s sister (Minnie), piled into the car and headed west to BC where Ed was from. Cranbrook, Greenwood, Calgary and Creston were briefly visited by the family but Fruitvale become their home in 1963.

Mary was initially terrified of the mountains but grew to love the security they provided and vowed never to leave them. Seventeen years passed before her first return to PEI and while afraid of flying, she returned two more times. Mary loved the open roads and her white 1963 Pontiac Persian convertible. She drove stock cars in the 70’s and won a Powder Puff race; enjoyed many years of bowling and bowled in the BC Seniors Games, while playing Yatzee, cards and bingo throughout her life.

Mary’s greatest accomplishment and love were her five children and she was so proud of us all. During her twenty years as a bartender, she also touched the lives of many people and as she settled with resistance into retirement at 60, she began nurturing her friends and neighbours at the Manor. Our mom was a great lady, a woman of inner strength and determination, a woman who gave freely of herself to us and others and a woman who aged with grace and gentleness never losing her sense of humour. She was predeceased by her parents, six brothers, two sisters and in 2007 our dad. She left us peacefully on August 16th and while she is gone in body, her spirit will live on and she will be greatly missed by her 5 children (Charmaine, Glen, Gwen, Lorne and Cindy); 9 grandchildren (Nicole, Brad, Wade, Lea, Bryce, Courtney, Cole, Dylan and Robyn); 10 great grandchildren; her sister, Minnie; nieces and nephews; extended family and many friends.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, September 7th at 1:00 pm at her son’s house (Lorne), 2080 Grieve Road in Fruitvale (across from the sawmill). In lieu of flowers, any donations on mom’s behalf to the Trail SPCA would be appreciated.


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