Mary Katherine Moat (nee Lees)

September 9, 1922 – May 29, 2011

Mary Katherine Moat died peacefully at home in Victoria on May 29th 2011 with her loving family beside her. She was predeceased by her parents, Harold and Lillian (McDonnell) Lees, her husband Charles Pleydell Moat, and her younger brother John Lees. Mary was born and raised in North Vancouver, and studied Nursing at St. Paul’s Hospital in 1941. In 1948 Mary and her younger sister Frances moved to Toronto to work, and then to the U.K. where they met their relatives and worked for a year before returning to Saltspring Island where their parents then lived. She and Frances cared for their mother until her death in 1953.

Mary met Charles Moat later that year, and they married in March 1954. Their first daughter Jackye was born in Edmonton, shortly before Charles retired and relocated the family to “Maracaibo” on Long Harbour, Saltspring Island. Son Ian was born in 1959, but died in infancy. Daughter Alison and son Trevor were born in 1962 and 1963 respectively. Mary and Charles moved their family to Saanichton in 1971, and Mary built her own home near Sidney shortly after Charles died in 1983. She moved to St. Charles Manor in 2009. She will be dearly missed by Jackye and Bob Mills, their sons Christopher and Steven and daughters-in-law Nicole and Andrea; Alison and Angus Graeme and their children Michael, Sarah, and Emily; Trevor Moat and Mary Jo Hughes and Trevor’s daughters Prairie and Eliza; Mary’s sister Frances Montgomery and her brother Charles Lees.

Mary’s life was lived passionately and fully. She was a tireless and graceful sister, wife, mum, grandma, and friend. Kindness, consideration of others, community service, and honesty were amongst her unfaltering values. She led the Parents’ Auxiliary at St. Michael’s University School for nearly a decade, later serving on the school’s Board of Directors, and on the Board of the Victoria Symphony. She “never had time for sickness”, always making sure work was done – and done well.

Mary’s kitchens were places of constant communion for friends and travelers of all ages. She crafted remarkable meals and baked goods from scratch; she knitted and stitched clothing of all sorts for her family and for her volunteer activities; she loved gardening and created beautiful landscapes of ponds, flowers, shrubs, and vegetables that many enjoyed. All her creations exhibited her unique hallmarks of love and care. She remained fiercely independent, seeking always to help others even after her hearing, eyesight, and finally her memory, failed. She led by example and lived with great dignity – many learned from and with her.

Mary’s family is deeply grateful to Svitlana Kolganova, her live-in caregiver and cherished friend of seven years, to the staff of St. Charles Manor who made her final months and days as comfortable as could be, and to Mary’s niece Kath Murray (Lees) for her palliative experience and support. A memorial service and reception will be held at St. Luke’s Church at 3821 Cedar Hill Cross Road, 1:30pm on Thursday June 16 2011. In lieu of flowers, donations to the CNIB, the Arthritis Society, or to a charity of your choosing would be most appreciated.

Friends and family will forever remember Mary’s long waves goodbye from her kitchen window, even in the years after her eyesight had failed. Good night, dear Mary, your work is complete now, and the time has come for you to rest.

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