61 Pleasant St | Antigonish, NS B2G 1W6
Obituary of Mary Kathleen O'Connell
Mary Kathleen died peacefully on February 17 at age 63 in Hope House, her home at L’Arche Antigonish. She was predeceased by her parents Brian and Jean O’Connell, siblings Michael, Eileen and Peggy, and sister-in-law Mary Jane White. She leaves many to celebrate her life including her sisters Colleen (James Lovett) and Caroline (Ray Noe), brother Dan and brother-in-law Ronald (Pud) MacGillivray; nieces and nephews Katie and Sean O’Connell, Lynne, Brian and John Haines (Tracy Wallace), Carolyn Carpan, Cheryl Kryvenchuk (Mike), Patrick O’Connell (Liane Cooke), Jeannie MacGillivray (Gary MacDonald), Keith and David MacGillivray as well as beloved grand-nieces and grand-nephews Rose Campbell, Aevan and Cian MacDonald, Dustin Wallace, Nolan, Sara and Erin Kryvenchuk, Kaleb, Keagan and Keira O’Connell. Mary also leaves her L’Arche community to mourn, to remember and to share stories of dinners, vacations, celebrations and everyday fun.
From L’Arche we learn that family is not mere blood and genes but unconditional love and acceptance. Mary lived a life of travel and adventure. She was among the first generation of international Special Olympians, accompanying the national team to Detroit to swim for Canada. She continued to skate and bowl for many years, amassing a large collection of ribbons and trophies. She worked for more than 30 years at the CACL workshop, primarily in the bakery. Her retirement party and her 50th birthday were testaments to her huge circle of friends in Antigonish and beyond. She visited family in Ireland, Ohio and Ontario. She made friends everywhere and charmed strangers with her natural curiosity and gift for caring inquiry. She was a friend to all furry creatures and lived the words of the patron saint of animals, St. Francis of Assisi, that it is in giving that we receive. We will miss her kindness, humour and wisdom.
We are grateful to the Antigonish VON/Palliative care team and to her L’Arche family and friends whose care honoured Mary’s dignity and surrounded her with love.
Visitation will be held Friday, Feb. 21 from 2-4 and 7-9 pm. Funeral Saturday at 11 am in St. Ninian Cathedral, Rev. Andrew Boyd presiding. Those wishing to donate in memory of Mary may do so to L’Arche Antigonish, 4 West St. Antigonish, N.S. B2G 1R6 or to CACL Antigonish, 75 St. Ninian St. Antigonish, N.S. B2G 2R8
“Community is a sign that love is possible.” Jean Vanier
61 Pleasant St
Antigonish, NS B2G 1W6
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