Mary Belle Laperle, age 87, of Halifax died peacefully in the arms of her granddaughter on January 21, 2014 at the Victoria General Hospital. Born at home on the farm in the 5th of Kenyon, Alexandria, On., on September 29, 1926, Mary was the daughter of Bernadette (Sabourin) and Alexander MacDonald.
After her father died Mary attended high school in St. Andrews, Ont. on scholarship. She worked in Montreal and then joined the Canadian Women's Army Corps during the Second World War, serving at the military base in Peterborough, Ont. She settled in Alexandria and was floor lady at Stotland Dress for years. In 1977 she joined her sister Peggy in Burnaby, BC, where she managed various sewing factories in Vancouver's Gastown until illness forced her to retire in 1986.
In 1992, Mary made another big move, this time to eastern Canada to live with Kim in Halifax, where she helped to raise Denis, Kathleen and Annie. "Granny" quickly established herself as the matriarch of the family, beloved by Kim, the children and their bevy of friends. In 2009 Mary moved to Northwood Towers and became an active member of the community taking part in darts, bingo, dancing, cards and the Lunch Bunch. She forged deep friendships there, especially with the "Golden Girls" Eileen, Bonnie, Ginger and Edie.
Mary was always game for a trip to the casino and will be remembered for her zest for life, the twinkle in her eye, her stories, wicked sense of humour and generous spirit.
Mary is survived by her grandchildren Annie Kierans (Halifax) and Denis Kierans (Toronto), and her daughter by choice, Kim Kierans (Halifax), her sister Peggy McGonnigal (Burnaby, BC), her brother, Archie MacDonald (Merritt, BC) and numerous nieces and nephews across the country.
She was predeceased by her sisters Millie Lepine, Mary Ann Seguin, Jackie Doucet and Nora MacDonald, her brothers Angus Ross MacDonald and Joseph MacDonald, and her granddaughter Kathleen Kierans.
Never one to give up, Mary conquered ovarian and bowel cancer in 1986, and breast cancer in 1995. In December 2013 she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
Kim and her family would like to thank Dr. Howard Conter for his continuing care over the years, the doctors and nurses in the hematology clinic, and the nurses in 5B and 8B and palliative care at the Victoria General Hospital for making Mary's last days comfortable and peaceful.
The family would ask you to consider making a donation in her memory to the CNIB, Northwood Foundation or a charity of your choice. A funeral service and celebration of life will be held at Northwood at a later date. To view or send a condolence to the family to the family please visit: www.cruikshankhalifaxfuneralhome.com