Mary Amanda McNeill (Feb. 27, 1913 — May 2, 2005) was born in Edmonton, Alberta, the daughter of Martin and Mabel Runnalls. In 1937 she married her high school sweetheart, Clarence McNeill, at that time a medical student at University of Alberta. After Clarence’s graduation, the couple lived and Clarence found work as a doctor at Jasper, Victoria, Rock Bay (a mission hospital on Vancouver Island) and Tashme (a Japanese internment camp near Hope). Mary remained in Vancouver with their two children while her husband served overseas in the Second World War — first with the Canadian Army in England, and then with the United Nations in Germany helping concentration camp survivors.
Following the war the couple settled in North Vancouver, where Clarence worked at Lions Gate Hospital for many years. While in North Vancouver the family grew to a total of five children.
When not busy with her growing clan, Mary found time to be a founding member of a book club that is still operating after about 50 years as well as other community organizations. An avid bridge player, she met with friends for weekly games until a few days before she passed away.
She was a warm and witty woman, full of style and grace, and always concerned about others. Mary was predeceased by her husband Clarence, her sister Kay (Eric) Smith, her brother Bruce, her son John and her daughter Jocelyn Odermatt.
She leaves to mourn her sister Margaret (Willis) Wentworth of Sylvan Lake, Alberta, daughter Marianne (Cameron) McLean of Vancouver, B.C., sons Keith of Clearwater, B.C. and Rory of Rockhampton, Australia, son-in-law Kurt Odermatt of Vavenby, B.C., granddaughters Kathy (Don) Young of Port Coquitlam, B.C. and Lisa Odermatt of Geneva, Switzerland, grandsons Ian (Sonja) of White Rock, B.C., and James Odermatt of North Vancouver, B.C., great-granddaughters Roxanne, Sharon and Sandra, great-grandsons Nelson and Scott, step-great-grandsons Justin and Ryan, great-great-granddaughter Katie and great-great-grandsons Stephen and Aidan.
A celebration of Mary’s life was held at the Dolphin Apartments in West Vancouver on Thursday, May 12.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. and the Yukon, 1212 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6H 3V2.