November 12, 2022
Maree was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend during her incredible 89 years of life. She passed away peacefully on November 12th, 2022 in Kamloops surrounded by an abundance of love.
Maree will be lovingly remembered by her children Elaine (Peter), Tom (Peggy), Keray (Marianne), Steven (Barb) and Moray. Also, her grandchildren Cody (Jacquie) Phillips, Amy Phillips, Petra (Mark) Hoosein, Michael (Helen) Boronowski, Brian (Jessy) leVann, Michael Benoit (Angie), Stephanie Benoit, Lachlan Benoit, Devon (John) Graham, Jason (Leah) Benoit, Jarrod (Satricia) Benoit, Hannah (Nick) Benoit, Sophie (Ste-V) Benoit. Maree also has 19 great- grandchildren. Maree is survived by her brother Seymour (Aino) and sister Nancy (Walter). Maree was predeceased by her loving husband of 69 years, Leo, who passed away in 2020, her sister June, and siblings Myrtle, Coulter, Donald, Gail and David.
Maree was born in Etzikom Alberta into a very poor farming family. Eventually, due to her mother’s ill health and poverty inflicted on the farmers during the Depression, the authorities separated the family. At five years of age, Maree and her next oldest sister were placed in an orphanage and her other five siblings, placed in foster homes. It was not long after that Maree was adopted into the Bromham family from Edmonton, where she spent her childhood years. She was popular, a strong student and athlete thanks to the love and kindness from her adopted family. In 1985, after 47 years Maree was reunited with her biological family. Maree spent many years thereafter reacquainting herself with her new-found siblings that she had missed so dearly. She carried a lot of emotions from her early years but found a way to share her experiences through writing. Her story has been published in the Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul and will remain one of her family’s most prized possessions for generations to come.
In her late teens, Maree’s adopted family moved from Edmonton to Victoria, and this is where she met Leo. She was working as a practical nurse; Leo was in the Navy and it was love at first sight. In honoring the memory of Maree, one cannot overlook the importance her relationship with Leo played in her life. From the sweetness of their first dates in Victoria, they shared love, laughter and tears through a long and full life together.
After raising five dynamic and energetic children and getting them started on their own paths, Maree began to expand her own world by completing a diploma in Early Childhood Education. This diploma would come to provide a career through which Maree was to influence many young lives. Even into her final years, she regularly met students she had trained and children and families from her daycares. She always remembered their names and joyfully recalled stories of their experiences together. Maree shone in many facets of her private and public life including the years spent serving as a member and leader with the Williams Lake Lionesses.
Maree and Leo shared an adventuresome spirit and enjoyed travelling the world to visit their children and living in many BC communities. Their most cherished place was their home overlooking McLeese Lake. This was the home where her growing family gathered, grandchildren explored and formed fond memories of gardening, camping, fishing, crafts and cooking. Maree and Leo eventually settled down in Kamloops to be close to family. There was little time that passed when they were not surrounded by two to three generations of their family. Maree and Leo’s greatest pride was their large and loving family.
There will be a gathering of the family and friends in June 2023 to celebrate the life and memory of both Leo and Maree.
The family wishes to send a heartfelt thank you to the staff of The Hamlets at Westsyde “for their compassionate care of Maree.”
Condolences may be sent to the family from www.kamloopsfuneralhome.com 250-554-2577
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