The family of Mary Helen Krajczar is saddened by her peaceful passing on October 6, which was her 52nd Wedding Anniversary.
A memorial will be held at the St. Andrews United Church, 1000 Huckvale Place, on Friday, October 10 at 11am with Rev David Webber officiating. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the CNIB or BC Lung Association.
Born January 1934 in small fishing town, Peterhead, Scotland. Parents William Morrice and Mary Moore Gorman. Dad was Church of Scotland Presbyterian minister. Happy family life with older brothers, William and Charles. Both became ministers in Church of Scotland.
Growing up during 1939-45 during WWII, family poor financially but well loved and spiritually nurtured.
Because Mary suffered much ill health with lung infections as a child, her school was scant with no home schooling in those days. Education was a high priority for her parents, who struggled to get their own education, coming from poor financial backgrounds. Mother was Irish and Father from Aberdeen, Scotland. Willie and Charlie both earned their Doctorates in Philosophy. Mary felt at times overshadowed by her clever brothers but was much loved as the baby in the family.
She was determined to overcome her health issues and, after several lung operations as a teenager, escaped to the city of Edinburgh to take up nursing as a career. There she graduated as a state registered nurse in 1957 and went on to graduate as a midwife in 1959.
In 1960, Mary and a friend decided to try a year nursing in Canada. As a child Mary often walked alone by the ocean and especially loved the storm days when the waves lashed into shore. She always felt her destiny called from across the ocean. So she and her friend, Jean, took a boat in April 1960 to Canada and nursed in the Royal Alex in Edmonton for six months before Mary moved to Victoria to a job in the Jubilee Hospital.
It was in Victoria that she met her husband Erno Krajczar, an immigrant from Hungary. They were married six months after meeting in October 6, 1962 in Victoria. Ernie, with a group of Hungarians from Sopron University on the border of Hungary/Austria, struggled with the communist overthrow of their country in 1956. Sopron’s Forestry/Engineering faculty were accepted by UBC to finish their training. After they were married, they lived and worked in Victoria until 1969. Their son, Karoly, was born in October 1963. Mary’s health was marginal at this time and she was advised not to have any more pregnancies. Mary and Ernie were blessed with an adopted baby daughter, Heather, in 1967.
Ernie was employed by the BC Forest Service and got promoted to an engineering forestry position in Prince Rupert. A good Hungarian friend, Geza Toth, also worked there and he later married a Canadian, Diane, who, like Mary, felt like a fish out of water in wet, damp Prince Rupert. Mary and Diane became life-long friends.
Another promotion for Ernie brought the family to Williams Lake, where the family had many friends. Mary and Ernie kept in touch with Scottish and Hungarian family over the years and had many visits to these countries. Brother Charlie married Margaret and they had three lovely children and numerous grandchildren.
Mary and Ernie enjoy two grandchildren, Julia and Jeffrey (children of Heather and John Robertson), who have brought them much joy over the years. She treasured her great grandson, Layne (child of Julia and Jacob Stewart).
Mary completed her BSN Degree long distance from the University of Victoria in 1988. This led her into diabetes teaching, which she enjoyed very much. She enjoyed art, sewing and taught the Weight Watchers program for several years. She was an Elder in the local Cariboo House Church Ministry, which reached out to isolated areas in the Cariboo under the guidance of Reverend David Webber. He became a valued friend. Membership in her later years in the White Cane Club helped Mary deal with her vision loss.
Annual reunions with Ernie’s Hungarian classmates have been a highlight. Many of them married Canadian women, which was a great network of friends and led to Mary comparing notes on how they found their visits to Hungarian in-laws. One special couple, Magda and Tibor Jando, had a holiday home on Gabriola Island, which they opened up to Mary and Ernie’s family to use each year. Mary loved the Island.
Daughter Heather pursued a career in the local jewelry Excelsior Jewelers. Karoly studied at UBC and received a Masters Degree in Engineering. After working for the government, he and a colleague started a successful transport engineering company. His wife, Virginia Aulin, is also a successful business person whose work took her to Boise, Idaho. Karoly followed and loves the climate, sports and lifestyle there and continued to consult in engineering.
Mary and Ernie have enjoyed many wonderful friends over the years – too many to mention. A family interest over the years has been fishing on the local lakes and off of Gabriola.
Thanks go to Dr. Walter Rees, Mary’s long suffering medical doctor of over 20 years; to Dr. Gerry Ryder, her faithful natural healer; and to Joe Amaral, the local Reiki master, who brought much relief with his healing touch to Mary after three car accidents.
It has been a great life. Thanks for the walk with God and loving family and friends.
LaPrairie’s Funeral Services entrusted with arrangements.