General News · 14th April 2017
Mary Nursall. May 7, 1924 - April 11, 2017
Born Mary Stewart to James and Anna Stewart in the tiny Ontario farming town of Ripley, Mary was the youngest of three siblings – brother Robert and sister Jean – earning her the nickname ‘Babe’, which stayed with her all the way to university.
Mary graduated from Victoria College, University of Toronto, and went west to the University of Saskatchewan where she earned an M.Sc. in physiology. While in Saskatoon, she met Ralph Nursall. After a lengthy long-distance courtship, they married in Toronto in December, 1953.
They made their home in Edmonton for thirty-five years, both of them working at the University of Alberta. Mary raised three children – John, Alan, and Cathy – and found time to take them around the world with Ralph, having lengthy sojourns in London, Barbados, Australia, and many places in between.
In her younger years, Mary was a competitive skier and played hockey for the University of Saskatchewan in the 1940s, which was pretty radical stuff. She was an accomplished weaver and volunteered for many years at the Edmonton Art Gallery.
Mary is survived by her loving husband, Ralph, her three children, John, Alan, and Cathy, and her five grandchildren Alexandra, Kimberly, Cameron, Hanna, and Conor.
A remembrance and celebration will be held in June on her beloved Cortes Island, BC, where Mary and Ralph spent the past 28 years, perched at the edge of sea and sky.
Donations to the Alzheimer Society of Canada in Mary’s memory would be greatly appreciated.
Comment by Susan E. Steffner on 20th November 2017
I did not have the pleasure of Knowing Mary Nursall in a state of vibrant health, as we had moved to Cortes in 2009, when she was in the throes of a disease that was to slowly steal her away from all things she loved and eventually from all of those who loved her. However, it was evident by her sparkling eyes and gentle, sweet demeanour that Beauty was her Ground. She enjoyed many music concerts at the Gorge Hall with her Knight, Sir Ralph, who tended to her like a worker bee to his uQueen. I felt Joy in their presence as their Love , Care and attentiveness to each other was manifest by simple moments.
It is a great breaking of the chain to her husband, her children, her Family, her loved ones, friends and community in the loss of her Spirit to this realm, in this Time. The loss of Mary is deeply felt, her Life's Energy infuses all of us. Her spirit Lives on in her Children and Grandchildren and will so into future generations.
Comment by Alice Grange on 6th May 2017
My condolences to Ralph and the rest of her family. Mary was such a welcoming woman. I truly appreciated her hospitable spirit. While I am sorry to hear of her passing, I am glad that she is finally free.
Comment by Heather Keenan on 3rd May 2017
Dear Cathy and Ralph,
Thinking of you both and sending healing thoughts to you and your families as you go through this difficult loss. I only met Mary a couple of times when she visited our mom in Victoria but remember her as smart and funny and full of life.
Kind regards and love, Heather
Friend of Cathy
Comment by Deborah Millis on 2nd May 2017
Dear Cathy and family,
When you look upon your mother's life you must be very proud.
She was an amazing woman, and meant much to all those she touched. Now I see where you get your wonderful, happy energy!
We are deeply saddened by your loss.
Thinking of you in this time,
Debbie & Jim
Comment by Tom Ryan on 17th April 2017
Thoughts with all her family! May flights of Angels carry you to your rest
What a Pleasant Woman!
Comment by Heather Bruce on 15th April 2017
We met Mary almost 20 years ago when we first came to Cortes Island. She was one of the smiliest people we've ever met. She was always chatty and pleasant and fun to be around. Sometimes she'd tell me "Just tell me to be quiet!" because she was so chatty....Both my husband and I would just laugh....because that was one of the traits we loved about her. We haven't seen her in years as she faded away from this realm, but I think of her every time I come to Cortes as she was one of the people that made Cortes so special. She is missed. Our condolences on your family's loss.
Heather & Michael Bruce
The Smiling Lady
Comment by Robin J Hiebert on 14th April 2017
I didn't know Mary well or very long.
She always had a smiles on her face and love to throw you kisses
She was very pleasant to be around
Now she is in peace
Sorry for your loss
With love From The Cote' / Hiebert Family
Mary "Babe" Nursall
Comment by Sheryl for Cortes Radio on 14th April 2017
My sincere condolences to the family, and especially to Ralph. Peace.