Brockman, Mary (née Riley)

Brockman, Mary (née Riley)

May 23rd, 2020

April 23, 1946 – May 23, 2020

Mary passed away at her home on Saturday, May 23rd in North London. Fondly remembered as Mary Elizabeth to her siblings and extended family, Mary was raised in St. Marys, Ontario on Lot 13, Con. 11 of Downie Township. Daughter of Jim and Monica Riley; she is survived by her brother Jim (Judy) Riley, of St. Marys and sister Susan Haves, of London. Also remembered by Ron Haves. She was predeceased by sisters Anne Riley (1948) and Carol McCabe (2015). She grew up on a multi-generational family farm with a close-knit extended family. Those relationships were the fabric of her childhood, and the continued connections and memories were a joy of adulthood. Mary loved to share the stories of the Riley, Bell, Dunn, and Teahen families of R.R. #7 with her own children.

Mary’s calling in life was based on the service of helping others in the field of healthcare. Mary attended St. Marys District and Collegiate Institute. She graduated from the St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Kitchener in 1968 and spent almost 40 years working in various fields of nursing. She began her career in the Operating Room and Emergency Department of St. Mary’s Memorial Hospital in St. Marys, and then worked at University Hospital in London. Her fondest work was community nursing, and she found her place in palliative care with the Victorian Order of Nurses. Mary treasured the long-term, more personal connections that she forged with her patients. She finished her career as a Compliance Advisor in long-term care, with the Ministry of Health. 

Mary was married in 1968 to Joseph Brockman and had four children, living in North London. She is survived by three of her children, Shannon Brockman, of Anchorage, Alaska, Katherine Brockman and Brandon Brockman, both of London, Ontario. She is also remembered by Andrew Elsberg, Larry Jones and Jae Hee Lee. Mary was predeceased and is now reunited with her son Michael (1973) who died shortly after birth, a loss that was heavy on her heart. Her marriage ended in 1979 before divorce and single parenting was commonplace. She is most admired by her children for the loving environment she created with limited resources, while still working full time. She honoured her three children’s different personalities and gave all three license to be themselves. Mary thrived in the early morning hours of each day, where her kids could convince her to take them fishing, give them rides to rowing or running practices, or find a quiet moment sitting with her, listening to the birds singing in the backyard on Estevan Road.

Mary was a favourite aunt and godmother to many nieces and nephews. Her playful spirit, and legendary tendency to ‘bend the rules’ with the children in her life leaves the family with an abundance of fun memories. Mary cherished any opportunity to spend time with her five surviving grandchildren: Fred Jones, Riley Jones, Aven Elsberg, Quinzee Elsberg, and Evelyn Brockman. Whether in the London area or on a trip to Alaska, she truly enjoyed sitting in a lawn chair, observing and absorbing her grandkids’ energy, individual interests and personalities.

Quilting and playing euchre and bridge were activities that Mary enjoyed with friends and neighbours, providing an opportunity for her to socialize, which she cherished. She loved time at the Pinery with the Riley clan, having a drink with her sisters and brother, watching the younger generations camp and play at the beach. Her kids and grandkids will miss her pot roast and warm coffee cakes, and her love and weakness for jube jubes. In the last few years, she spoke passionately about her volunteer time with St. Joseph’s Hospice and the families that she met there. Her laughter, her smile and her bright blue eyes will be fondly missed. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Mary are asked to consider St. Joseph’s Hospice, London. 

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Book of Condolences

Gwen SparlingI was a neighbour of Mary's at 1985 Richmond Street. We became good friends and got together with other friends to play cards often. She was always such a happy person and I valued her friendship very much. I send my sincere condolences to her family. She will be sorely missed.
Carolyn BrennanAunt Mary we are going to miss you! Your infectious laugh and smile always brightened my day. One of my favourite Aunt Mary stories was the time I was at her house for a sleepover and she was making her pickle recipe. On this day something went wrong with the recipe and her solution was to flush whole pickles down the toilet. Luckily Brandon was around to help unclog the toilet! The other story I love is hearing about Aunt Mary’s ringette playing days and how her helmet got stuck on her head after playing. She had to drive home wearing her helmet. The picture of this always makes me laugh. Aunt Mary you are a very special person and you will always be in my heart. Love Caroly
Carolyn BrennanAunt Mary we are going to miss you! Your infectious laugh and smile always brightened my day. One of my favourite Aunt Mary stories was the time I was at her house for a sleepover and she was making her pickle recipe. On this day something went wrong with the recipe and her solution was to flush whole pickles down the toilet. Luckily Brandon was around to help unclog the toilet! The other story I love is hearing about Aunt Mary’s ringette playing days and how her helmet got stuck on her head after playing. She had to drive home wearing her helmet. The picture of this always makes me laugh. Aunt Mary you are a very special person and you will always be in my heart. Love Caroly
Geordan PatrickWhat a beautiful description of a very full life. The Patrick family sends its prayers to all of you during this difficult time and we look forward to being able to get close again and help celebrate the life of Mary. With great love Geordie.
Annie Ramirez The Ramirez family is sending lots of love to the Brockman (Riley) family. You are in our thoughts and prayers in this time of sorrow. We are truly saddened by the loss of such a charismatic woman. We were blessed to have known Mary and we will cherish the beautiful memories. May she Rest In Peace.
Irene LoganSincere sympathy to everyone specially my Great Grand Children. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Colleen McCabeWhen I was around 18, I got my first speeding ticket. When I got home I confessed to Mom and the first thing she said was "well you better call Aunt Mary". I asked Mom why and she said to just call and let her know what happened. I called Aunt Mary and the first thing she said was "I have been there hon". I later found out that Aunt Mary had quite a heavy foot and had to take a little course provided by London Police Services. This memory is an example of the many times in my life where I was directed to Aunt Mary for support, unconditional love and a gentle warning. In times of joy, struggle and sadness I always knew she was there - often just quietly in the background with a little wink. I will miss your giggle and our chats. Sending my love to the entire Family. Love you forever and always, Colleen Monica
David BantingPlease accept my most heartfelt condolences for the passing of your mother, our dear friend for so many years. The passing of Judi and Mary, two such longtime and close friends, within a week is not only but heartbreaking. One can only hope that they may continue as friends in spirit and are enjoying each others company as they so often did. My sincerest sympathy goes out to you and your family at this time.
Ray HehirThe Hehir Family sends it's love and prayers to all in these difficult times. Mary was loved by all. "May the Irish hills caress you. May her lakes and rivers bless you. May the luck of the Irish enfold you. May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you." "Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; Love leaves a memory no one can steal." Mary will forever live in our love and memories. With love, Ray
Amanda AustinWhat a beautiful rememberance of your Mom. We send our love to you in your grief over her loss. You are a living testament to the kindness and humour she shared with you. We will gather when we can and celebrate her life. All our love and prayers the Austin’s.
Carla McDonaldThe tribute to Mary is a beautiful reflection of the wonderful person she was and how many people's lives she touched. Mary was a volunteer with St. Joseph's Hospice from 2014-2020 as both a visitor in the community and Saturday mornings at reception. Mary brought her genuine warmth and eagerness to help wherever she could. Clients enjoyed her gift of companionship, wonderful conversations and her loving and compassionate presence. They would keenly anticipate her weekly visits that brought so much comfort to their circle of care. Mary faithfully dedicated her Saturday mornings at reception since we opened our doors, greeting visitors and family with a gentle and welcoming smile. She often mentioned to me how much she enjoyed getting to know the staff and sang their praises on the wonderful care provided at Hospice. Feeling that connection was so very important to Mary. We will remember her brilliant blue eyes, friendly and warm smile and her legacy of being a genuine good person. I feel very blessed to have met Mary.
Lois TookeI worked with Mary at VON for several years. She was a great teammate and a lovely friend. I extend my sympathies to her family.
Sheila ArthurMany memories of call ins for OR at St.Marys Memorial in the real old days and later on in Long Term Care "inspections". Great fun with an unique sense of the absurd in many tough situations.Always could find a reason to smile and laugh .She certainly brightened many days .Fond memories of the shiny blue eyes and contagious smiles.Sympathy to you all Remember often the good times.
Beth BurnhamMary and I were classmates at St. Mary's Hospital kin Kitchener . She had an amazing smile and great sense of humor. For three years we shared many happy times and some hard times as we studied for our nursing cared. She was an excellent nurse and I am proud to call her a friend even if I was not able to see her very often. I am sad to hear of her passing and send to her family my prayers as you grieve her loss. She will be missed by many since she touched so many lives. That in itself can bring comfort to all who loved her. Rest well my friend.
Kaaren StussLike Beth I’m a classmate of Mary, St Mary’s hospital, class of 1968. Oh we did have some fun times in those three years together! All I’ve read here about Mary is so true, a beautiful person and the kindest soul. It is not a surprise to hear of her goodness within her family and her profession. Mary, bless you, and the bed of heaven to you.
Ann Monkhouse (carrigan)To Sue Haves I did not know your sister well at VON but she was always so lovely. Sorry for your loss. I know you were such a close family Deepest sympathy, Ann
John and Mary McIntoshFond memories of Mary from riding on the bus together,,,,.John's Dad filled silo way back .....Monica worked for us at Avonbank Farm Equipment... Wonderful write up of her life her smile and sparkle in her eyes. She will be missed and remembered by many. Know we Care, John and Mary McIntosh Down the road ....across from where the Dear Dunn's lived.
Chris CoombsSo sorry to hear of Mary's passing. She was a wonderful lady, a good friend and neighbour. Chris, Merrilee (1950-2006), Justin, Jeff, and Joel...lived on Estevan from 1974-2012!
Frank and Joan TeahenWe were very sorry to hear about Mary's passing and would like to extend our sincere condolences to her children, grandchildren and to her siblings, Jim and Susan and their families. Mary had a beautiful smile and a wonderful laugh. She clearly lived a life of loving and giving to others. Frank and Joan Teahen
Bob and Lynne BakerMary was a neighbor of ours when we resided on Estevan Road from 1984 - 2012. We had wonderful times and enjoyed barbecues and book club meetings. She will be missed by all who knew her. Our condolences go Branden and his sisters with love. Lynne and Bob
Joan WoodleyMiss Me – But Let Me Go When I come to the end of the road And the sun has set for me I want no rites in a gloom filled room Why cry for a soul set free. Miss me a little – but not too long And not with your head bowed low Remember the love that we once shared Miss me – but let me go For this is a journey that we all must take And each must go alone It’s all a part of the Master’s plan A step on the road to home When you are lonely and sick at heart Go to the friends we know And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds Miss me - but let me go. I hope Mary's family and friends find some comfort in these words. I will miss Mary very much, our monthly breakfast outings and telephone chats.
Kathleen Leddy BairdSorry to hear of the loss of Mary She will be remembered for her infectious smile and kind spirit We were classmates at St Marys School of Nsg Kitchener although time and distance has separated us I shall never forget her. Mary was one of those people who could make the darkest day seem brighter.
Linda Stubbs NichollsMy thoughts and prayers are with you at this very difficult time. May the wonderful tributes to Mary give her family and all those who love her some peace and comfort. Mary will be greatly missed as she has touched so many lives along her life`s journey. Mary and I are classmates of St. Mary`s Hospital Kitchener, class of 1968. I have many fond memories that we shared over those three years in training. She is a wonderful compassionate nurse.She was always smiling and could make your day better.I feel very proud to call her my friend. Rest in peace Mary. In our memory you are near and loved. God Bless
Randy and LindaWe had many wonderful times with Mary and you children especially Shannon and Catherine as we spent a lot of time with them many years ago we know how much you will miss your Mother.
Emily A. Piche nee WhiteI got to visit the Riley family farm in St. Mary's at about the age of 13 , where there was always (something) going on. I spent a couple of summers there where Susan the youngest, was my constant cousin-companion. Mary Ellen, the eldest, was always happy and smiling and full of mischief, while Carol was more subdued, quiet and serious. Jimmy was always busy with helping his Dad on the farm, while Suzie and I just ambled around walking through the long grasses, sneaking a ride bareback on the neighbours horse, and singing "Show me the way to go home" down the dirt roads. It was a family that remained dear to my heart. My sincerest condolences and Love to All of the Family. Emily.
Carol and Ken TwilleyMary was a very dear and wonderful friend and a neighbour on Estevan Rd . Everything wonderful and beautiful about her has already been said. She was a member of our group the "Fabulous Five" [Trudy Sharon Lorraine and myself ] who had many a fun time over coffee at Tim Hortons discussing anything and everything and retirement .We never forgot yearly Birthdays and celebrated them at various restaurants . Mary Riley Brockman , we will miss you dearly .You left us too soon . You will be forever with us in our hearts and conversations .
Megan MitchellMary was a coworker and friend of my mothers at the ministry of health. Some childhood memories don't often stick with you but I have very fond memories of being at Mary's house and playing with Fred and Riley as i am close to the same age. She was a wonderful lady. Condolences to your family.
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