Obituary of Mary Joan Hesketh
JANUARY 10, 1922 - JUNE 11, 2019
Mary passed away peacefully with family by her side in Regina General Hospital on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at the age of 97 years. She was predeceased by her parents, Earl and Gladys Davidson; her sisters Dorothy Mitchell and Joyce Willfong; and her beloved husband of 69 years, John Hesketh; Mary is survived by her sons Peter and Terry; her daughters-in-law Lynn Troskey and Bohdanna Dackiw; her grandchildren Markian and Taisa; her sister Margery Gearhart; her brother and sister-in-law Leonard and Eleanor Davidson; her brother-in-law Harold Willfong; and many nieces and nephews.
Mary, the eldest of five, grew up in Moose Jaw where she was a competitive long distance championship swimmer. After one of her many wins, the Times Herald called her the ”Mermaid of Moose Jaw”. During World War II, she met her future husband John Hesketh, a member of the Royal Air Force, and they were married in Moose Jaw on November 7, 1942. In January 1944, she sailed to England to be near her husband when he was recalled to Britain. Mary was conscripted to do war work and joined the National Fire Service in Liverpool as a telephone switchboard operator. After the war, they lived in Married Quarters at R.A.F stations near York, Cambridge and Oxford.
In 1952, Mary and John returned to Canada to settle in Moose Jaw with their two young sons, Peter and Terry. When John joined National Light and Power, later SaskPower, they moved often and subsequently lived in Humboldt, Saskatoon and Regina. Wherever she lived, Mary was active in the Anglican Church Women’s Auxiliary and Altar Guild, as well as a member of the Daughters of the Nile and Women’s Auxiliary to the Shriners Hospitals for Children. She was a long time employee of Eaton’s, having worked in Moose Jaw, Saskatoon and Regina.
Mary had many interests. She was the consummate hostess and was well-known for her chocolate chip cookies and matrimonial cake. Mary enjoyed gardening alongside John and spending time in Hawaii. Above all, she loved her husband, her children and grandchildren, her dear sisters and brother and their families. She will be greatly missed by all.
In the last three and a half years of her life, Mary lived at Qu’Appelle House and very briefly at Lutheran House. The family would like to thank all the staff for the care and love they extended to Mum. A special thank you to the staff of Regina General Hospital Emergency Ward and the Neurosciences 5th floor for their professional and compassionate care of our Mum during her final days. In accordance with Mum’s wishes, a private interment will be held at a later date.