Mary Caruana (Vella), age 91, of Burlington, Ontario was called to her Heavenly Home on March 19, 2021 after a courageous battle with dementia.
Mary was born in Mellieha, Malta, on January 15, 1930. After moving to Toronto with her family, she met her future husband and love of her life, Joseph Caruana. They have two children, Iris and Randy. Balancing motherhood with work outside of her Mississauga home, Mary worked for and retired from the Peel District School board. Mary was a loving and devoted grandmother to Sarah and Christopher, and she became a great-grandmother to Carson in 2019.
Friends and family agree that Mary blessed all of us with two of her very special gifts: the gift of compassion and the gift of hospitality. Mary’s love for family, friends, and even friends of friends was evident in both her ways and her words that made you feel immediately comfortable, as well as very important to her. She was always first to extend a helping hand, to give a hug, and to provide words of encouragement. Coupled with her gift of hospitality, everyone recognized that when you were at Mary’s home, you were “at home”. Long chats, wonderful meals and much laughter filled her home, often spilling outdoor to her cherished backyard settings. Some of Mary’s favorite moments were spent relaxing with Joe: under the backyard fruit trees, with two reclining lawn chairs, warm cups of coffee, and a few cookies.
Mary was passionate about vacation time, particularly when she had the opportunity to visit family in Malta. She loved to reminisce about her young family’s summer family vacations, always with a tall tale (or two), cherishing the fun times spent in cabins, in fishing boats or at the beaches. Mary and Joe enjoyed traveling to warm destinations, sharing these excursions with close friends and family. Later on, cruises and resorts became annual destination spots for Mary, Iris and Wayne.
Mary is predeceased by her husband, Joe, her brother, Larry, her son-in-law, Wayne, and sister-in-law, Joyce. She is survived by her three brothers, their children and her sisters-in-law: Frank (Theresa), Tony (Frances), and Charlie, and Mary. Mary leaves behind her children, Iris and Randy (Fran), her grandchildren, Sarah (Chad) and Christopher (Jordan), and her great-grandson, Carson.
Our family would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the staff at Chartwell Willowgrove Long Care Residence who took such loving care of Mary. Chartwell team’s support and compassion cannot be measured.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and guidelines, a limited and private graveside service will be held. Following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions for public gatherings, a Celebration of Life to honour Mary’s life will be held for family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Alzheimer Society would be appreciated by the family.