Posted August 12, 2015 in Memorials:
Memories of Mamie

A few years ago, Mamie and her good friend, Marité Langlois, as a treat, went out to supper at a restaurant. When their driver went to pay the bill, the cashier told her it had already been paid. The people at the table next to them were so touched by the love between our two elderly women that they had paid their bill.

— a story from St. Mary’s

Mamie lived incarnationally, that is, she lived the Gospel in the nitty-gritty of her life, and that is what she taught us.

When a man staff worker said that he wanted to do big things for God, Mamie said, "How can you do big things when you don’t notice that the sidewalk needs shovelling and that someone could slip on it?"

— Mary Beth Mitchell

One day, Mamie came to me and said, "It’s time for me to go to OLV (Our Lady of the Visitation, the sort of nursing home for our members). It’s too much for people to take care of me here."

She was thinking of others, not herself. For Mamie to leave so simply the main house, her home of fifty years, also took great courage.

— Susanne Stubbs, director general of women

What I found astounding about Mamie was that I never saw selfishness or self-centeredness in her. And even as she became more and more limited, she never stopped living. She was always asking what was happening in Madonna House and about whoever was sick. What love she had for this family!

And she was always so grateful for everything. She’d say, "What a good supper!" Even at the end, when all she could eat was ice chips, she’d say, "The ice chips are so good."

— Marian Moody

As she did each year with the applicant classes when she was younger, Mamie gave our class a tour of the local area. At one place, we stopped for hamburgers at a chip wagon.

As we were eating, four rough-looking bikers drove up on their Harleys. We were a bit nervous, but Mamie went right up to them and said to one, "nice bike." She then proceeded to have a chat with them. They melted.

— Janine Gobeil

When I had a conversation with Mamie, she would always center it on me and my interests. She never talked about herself. She also never took pride in all the amazing things she did. She just lived.

— Raandi King

When I was a young staff worker or applicant, I worked with Mamie in the office. When the bills in my deposit stack were not all in the same direction, she corrected me for it. "And you, the daughter of a banker!"

She was teaching me order and the peace that is in order. It was a gift to me and to the person at the bank who would be handling those bills.

— Bonnie Staib

When I visited Mamie a few months before she died, she said, "I can’t do anything any more, and I don’t know what I did with my life." Stunned, I said, "But Mamie, you’ve done so many things." And I started listing them: "You opened houses, you went to Pakistan to talk with the bishop about opening a house, you were director general."

She said, "It’s all the same. I did whatever Catherine told me to do. She told me to scrub the floor, I’d scrub the floor. She told me to go see the bishop of Pakistan, I’d go see the bishop of Pakistan. It’s was all the same."

— Paulette Curran

Mamie was a woman of the earth. When she moved to Visitation, we had to move her tomato plants with her. It was a tradition in her family to make chili sauce, and she made it every year.

She continued another tradition at Visitation, too. Every year, until she was no longer able to do it, she and Peggy Serran, one of the caregivers, made rhubarb jam together.

— Linda Owen


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