Mary Helen Howard


June 12, 1935 - February 4, 2018


Mary Helen (McGillis) Howard passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 4, 2018. Her warm smile and joyous spirit will be remembered by her children; Rob (Lisa) Howard, Susan Howard (Neil Ward), Leslie Howard (Jim Stevenson) and James (Jing) Howard; and her grandchildren, Jack, Sam, Dominick and Sarah.  She will also be missed by her sister, Sally (Ralph) Warren, and numerous nieces and nephews.


Mary is preceded in death by the love of her life, Keith Howard, to whom she was married for 54 years, her sister Joan McGillis and her parents Robert (Bob) and Helen McGillis.


After graduating from Leaside High School and Toronto Teachers’ College, Mary worked with young immigrant children at Clinton Street Junior Public School where she ran the Primary Department. Long after she started her family Mary continued to be actively involved in education, helping to create City Alternative School in the late 1970’s.


Mary loved nature and her beloved family cottage, “The Hideaway,” where she would take long walks followed by swims in the Credit River. To Mary, experiences were priceless and travelling the world became a life-long passion. It was her firm belief that diverse cultures should be bridged through sharing and she made sure that everyone she knew felt welcome in her home.


Mary’s Labyrinth, the first Legacy Labyrinth in Canada, has been built in her honour next to Grasslands National Park in SW Saskatchewan.


Memorial donations in Mary’s name can be made to The Alzheimer Society (  Condolences, photographs and memories may be forwarded through