Mardi Falconer

Obituary of Mardi Falconer

MARDI JANE FALCONER
(nee Saunders)


B.A., M.S.W.

1933 - 2018

This feisty and lively woman passed away peacefully in the early hours of Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 27 months after the death of her much-loved husband, Bob. The two had met at the University of Toronto in the early 1950s and began, soon after, a marriage of more than 60 years.
Born to Marjorie and Robert Hood Saunders, Mardi came from a privileged background - her father, a prominent criminal lawyer was mayor of Toronto from 1945 to 1948, then Chairman of Ontario Hydro and the St Lawrence Seaway. Mardi went to Bishop Strachan School and Lawrence Park Collegiate. As a 20-year-old student at U of T's Victoria College, she attended with her parents the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and cherished the velvet stools the three were given as seats in the choir loft -- 'the best seats in the house,' Mardi always said. Newly married, Mardi taught at a primary school in North York when first she graduated, but wanted to do more. She got her Masters of Social Work from U of T and took on some hard cases, first in Warrendale, an experimental facility for troubled teens, then at the Children's Aid Society in downtown Toronto. It wasn't easy. More than once she came home shaken at the end of the day after someone had pulled a knife or otherwise threatened her. Mardi and Bob lived most of their lives in the confines of the genteel Lawrence Park neighbourhood in Toronto, a city she never stopped loving and, to the very end, marveled at its tall buildings and the diversity of new arrivals. Mardi and Bob never had children. Her great loves were her husband, their dogs - three Labrador Retrievers that spanned a period of almost 50 years -- their cottage on Lake Joseph next to the Crawfords and her goddaughter, Mardi Witzel, their numerous and exotic travels to more than 50 countries about which she compiled enormous photo albums, her school friends Denyse Crawford, Marg Perkins and Pat Dalton with whom she stayed close all her life, and quiet holiday celebrations with family members Mardi and Bob were inspirations to more than two generations of Falconer descendants. She leaves behind Bob's two sisters, Adele Martin and June Polack; as well as their seven children, Patrick Martin and Mardi Wheeler, David Polack, Brenda Jenkins, Robert (Polack) Falconer, Russell Polack and Andrew Polack. Then a host of great-nieces and nephews, Gabriel, Samuel, Ella, Eden, Meaghan, Christopher, Amanda, Emily, Meaghan, Nicole, Braighton, Kenzi, Rory, and their young children.
Mardi received wonderful care from people at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Special thanks go to Dr. Andrea David and the team of doctors and nurses in Sunnybrook's family medical practice, as well as to Dr. Dov Gandell, her geriatrician and Dr. Robert Maggisano, her cardiologist. With their guidance Mardi was able to live out her last months at home, thanks also to the fine care provided by her caregivers Aida Asuncion, Carmelita Audencial, Remy Matias, and palliative-care nurse Beth and Dr. Jennifer Arvanitis. Friends may visit at the Humphrey Miles Funeral Home, 1403 Bayvie w Avenue, on Tuesday, February 20th, from 12:00 p.m., followed by a memorial service at 1:00 p.m. in the funeral home chapel, with interment at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. It would make Mardi enormously happy if contributions could be made in her memory to the Children's Aid Society of Toronto or to the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care.