MARY JOANNA WHITAKER
Jan. 20, 1915 – Jan. 9 2010
Loving mother of Barbara (Carman) Smith of Barriere and Rick (Annette) of Birch Bay, Washington; grandmother of Shannon (Warren) Raitt of Summerland, Bob (Sharon) Smith of White Rock, and Greg (Maureen) Smith of Barriere; great-grandmother of Daniel and Maria Raitt, Paul, Michael and Rachel Smith and Sara, Halle and Chloe Smith; aunt to numerous nieces and nephews. Mary was pre-deceased by her husband Roy after 66 years marriage, and her older siblings: sister Margaret and brothers Peter, John, Tommy, Joe and Al. She is survived by her 93-year old younger brother Ben Van Snellenberg.
Born in Rotterdam Holland, Mary was the second youngest of the Van Snellenberg family that emigrated to Canada in 1925, planning to homestead with their pioneering Aunt Anna in Pemberton Meadows. However, they changed plans and settled in Vancouver, cast off their wooden shoes and learned English. She met Roy Whitaker around 1935, and after a long courtship married in 1940. Soon after starting their family the young couple moved to West Vancouver. Mary’s life revolved around curling, crafts, gardening and supporting Barb and Rick in music endeavors, guides, scouts and memorable summer weekends at the beach. Roy and Mary moved to White Rock in 1976 to enjoy the winter curling, and summers swimming, walking the Promenade and lawn bowling. Mary was a skillful seamstress and knitter and loved to make sweaters, hats and vests for all the family. She was always happy spending time with her grandkids and then great grandkids playing at the beach, making blackberry jelly and doing hobbies. Her smile warmed our hearts and she loved her family very much. The family would like to thank the staff of Westminster House, Surrey, for their expert and loving care during the past three years. A family gathering will be held at a later date to celebrate Mom’s long and fulfilling life.