EADY, Mary Isobel (nee Gilchrist)
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With great sadness, we announce the death of Mary Eady in Ottawa, on November 16th at age 85. Mary was predeceased by her loving husband Francis (1972) and brother Hugh (Mylrea). She is survived by sons Donald (Liz) and Peter (Kathie); her grandchildren Samantha, Simon, Declan and Hamish. She will also be missed by her brother Paul, nieces and nephews, in-laws, friends, and her extended "clan" of feminists, trade unionists and social democrats in Canada and around the world. Mary was born in Toronto, was a child of the Great Depression, and saw her father die because of lack of money for medical care. As a teenager, she went to work at Ontario Hydro to help support her family. Unable to afford higher education, she learned from hard experience and the generous help of more formally educated friends. At 18, she became active in the CCF Youth Movement. This was the beginning of a life-long commitment to social and economic justice for working women and men. Mary was one of the first women to work in the Canadian labour movement in a non- secretarial role. She edited union newsletters and was active in the union organizing drive at Eaton's in the 1950s. Mary held various positions in the CCF-NDP, including Treasurer of the federal party in the 1960s. After taking time off work to raise her two sons and after the untimely death of her husband Francis, Mary returned to work as the Director of the Women's Bureau for the Government of Manitoba. She then moved on to be the first Director of the Women's Bureau at the Canadian Labour Congress, but subsequently moved back to Manitoba to become Deputy Minister of Labour. Not bad for a young woman from Parkdale in Toronto. Over the years, she fought tirelessly for women's rights, trade union rights, public pensions and health care. We offer special thanks to all the service workers, nurses and doctors who helped with Mary's care in her last days. A celebration of Mary's life will be held on Saturday April 14, 2012 in Ottawa. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Agnes Macphail Fund or the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Condolences at www.mcgarryfamily.ca .
"Take it easy, but take it!"
Published in The Ottawa Citizen from Nov. 18 to Nov. 19, 2011