Maryla, as she was known from childhood, lived her life from beginning to end with passion, energy and endless curiosity. She was a vibrant personality, who enjoyed deep and lasting friendships with her family, including her four much-loved grandchildren, and her many, many friends. A warm and outgoing person, she loved to share her lifelong interest in theatre, opera, music and literature, and also her great commitment to the arts community. She thought the world of all her friends and they of her. Her huge circle of caring friends was very evident during the months of her terminating illness.
She was born in Poland, but after the 1939-1945 War, her parents lived in England, where she studied law at the University of London, post-graduating at the University of Chicago, U.S.A. She moved to Montreal with her husband and their children in 1967, and in 1977 to Victoria. She taught at McGill University in Montreal, was a co-author of a history of Roslyn School in Westmount, and served on the board of Rogers Communications.
In Victoria, she played a major role in the aural history project of the UVIC. Faculty of Law and she was at once active as a volunteer supporting the community and the performing arts in the city. She was a leader in furthering the former Bastion Theatre and gave years of support and service to Pacific Opera Victoria, and its associated Foundation. She was a chair of the Victoria United Way, a chair of the Victoria Foundation, and a Vice-President of Pacific Opera Victoria. In January 2017, she was awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers for her contribution to the arts.
She is survived by her husband, Donovan, to whom she was married for 57 years, their children Catherine (Christopher), Anne-Marie (James), and Alastair, and their grandchildren, Alexander, Claire, Jonah and Benjamin.
The family would like to thank the staff of the Douglas Care nursing facility in Victoria for the concern, care and attention they gave to Maryla.
Condolences may be offered to the family below.
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