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Mary Cunningham

July 27th, 1934 - November 19th, 2022
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Mary Helena Cunningham passed away peacefully on November 19, 2022 in her home at the age of 88. She is predeceased by her husband Alex Mason and survived by her children: Mike (Leslie) and Ann as well as grandchildren Lindsay and Craig (Benita), Lydia (Thomas) and great grandchildren Freya and Isaac.

Mary, or Helen as she was known for most of her life, was born and raised in Ottawa. She had a long and successful career working for the Federal Government before retiring to enjoy summers in Ottawa and winters in Florida.

In 2005 she moved to White Rock to be closer to family. Helen and Alex travelled the world and after his passing she continued to travel with her children and grandchildren with trips that included Dubai, Malaysia and France.

She was a writer with three published books to her credit including a book for children. Mary was an avid shopper and a skilled knitter creating many beautiful original sweaters.

Helen was always happiest when surrounded by her friends and family which gave her so much happiness and joy. She lived a full and active life in White Rock. Helen volunteered in a variety of roles at the Kent Street Seniors’Centre: Treasurer with the Friday Lunch Group and was a regular Bingo Caller. She was involved with the Friends of the Library, participated in a monthly book club and attended numerous theatre, musicals and community events.

Helen was deeply loved and we will miss her very much.

There will be a celebration of life on Saturday December 3, 2022 at the White Rock Community Centre, 15154 Russell Avenue in the Gallery Room from 11am to 1pm.


Linda Gardiner
December 1st, 2022

So very sorry for your loss. My sister and myself have known Helen for a long time with having married our father Alex Mason many years ago. Hard to imagine not having talks on the phone and having conversations on getting caught up with ourselves living in Ontario. Her sense of humour or advice given were always welcome and will be missed. Now that you are reunited with Dad, you are at peace now. Linda, Jim / Wendy and Sergio

Lindsay Byrne
November 29th, 2022
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I will forever cherish the trip I took in June 2017 with my late Grandmother Bev, to see her dear friend Helen in White Rock. It was so amazing to hear them both share stories together of their many years of friendship. The shenanigans they got up to, the trips they took and the memories they made. May you rest in peace Helen ❤️

Craig, Benita, Isaac and
November 28th, 2022

Nanny/Great Grandma (GG) was and will always be a big part of our lives. We had the pleasure of hosting GG in our home numerous time over the last couple of years. She joined us for birthdays, bbqs, visits with our friends and neighbors and enjoyed sipping on wine and mingling with the young folks. She also joined us for her great grandchildren’s sports day, recitals, swimming, you name it, she was there! She understands raising a young family is tough and have always stood alongside and had a hand in raising her great grandchildren. She always reminded us to put family first. She has always been proud of her family and showered us with a lot of love and presents. Aside from family, as many of you would know GG was also a serial shopper, rarely shopping for herself but almost always for the people she cares for and loves. Even though GG is not physically here, we miss her very much and we can still feel her love around us. We love you very much GG. You will be missed but never forgotten ❤️ Craig, Benita, Freya and Isaac Walsh

Below are some text messages we received from some of our friends who also knew GG:

GG was a force and an absolute delight! Sending so much love to you, Craig and the kids and we must have a huge 100th birthday party in her honour. Xoxo Sara and Mike Irvine Erickson

GG seemed like such a wonderful character. I’m so happy I got the chance to meet her. I hope you, Craig and the kids are doing well. Sending love 💕 Shelley & Bruce Jung

I had such a lovely chat with GG at Sarah’s summer party. She was loving life and having a fabulous time. Sending my love to you, Craig and the kids. Big hugs x Sarah & Russ Ward

Barry Williamson
November 25th, 2022

What a delight it was to get to know Helena. Countless evening spent with her on her patio sipping wine and getting and giving advice on family, friends, relationships, religion and more. She always looked on the positive side of any situation even when she dropped the birthday cake. I shall miss that voice calling me to take a break from working in the garden and come in to have refreshments. Rest, my dear from your labours.

Beth (nee Mason) and Nick
November 24th, 2022

We will always miss and never forget our beloved "snowbird cousin", Helen. Though not related by blood, she was FAMILY. She married my Dad's cousin, but was also a childhood playmate of my dad (Les Mason) and his sisters down on Stirling Ave. (long before she met Alex). Her brother "Denny" was one of my dads best friends. We used to see her and Alex when we came here to Florida on vacation, then spent much more time with her when we moved here in early 2017. She was a wonderful friend to my mom, Pat, too. I loved conversations with Helen - you always had her full attention, and she was always curious about how you and your family members were. She was caring and helpful, generous, and a fierce and loyal friend to all. Besides that she was smart as a whip, sharp as a tack, creative and just pure fun with a witty, somewhat dry sense of humor. She was a dog-lover too, telling us about her beloved "grand-dog" Willow, and just adoring of our Pascal, always wanting to dog-sit. When he visited, they liked to nap together on the "chesterfield" and she'd tease us about the shows they'd watch. (political - and not ones we'd watch, which she'd chuckle about....). Rest in Peace, dear Helen. You made it a better world for those of us whose lives you touched.

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