Mary Kathleen Turnbull (Née Chatwin) BA’45, BSW’46, MSW’47

Mary TurnbullMary passed away quietly at Lions Gate Hospital early in the morning on September 20, 2012, with her family by her side. Predeceased by her husband, Jim (1993), she is survived by her children: John (Lynn), Rick (Charie), Bruce (Brenda), Kathryn (Mike), Elizabeth (Doug), and Susan (Robert) as well as 12 grandchildren.

She was born in Edmonton in 1922 and came to Vancouver with her family in 1934. A graduate of Magee Secondary in Kerrisdale, she later became the first recipient of a master’s of social work at UBC. She was an active member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and later served on the Women’s Honorary Society, Delta Sigma Pi. She was also a member of the Social Work class executive.

Attitudes have changed much since that time. She was told by one of her professors at UBC that it was a waste of time for her, as a woman, to have a university education because she would just get married and have children. Later that attitude came to force when she was to lose her first job in social work at Shaugnessy Hospital because she was getting married – the prevailing thought was that it would take a job from a returning war veteran.

A longtime resident of West Vancouver, she and her husband, Jim, raised six children, and she still found time to be an active volunteer at West Vancouver United Church, the Lions Gate Ladies Auxiliary, Community Concerts Association, and at the West Vancouver Seniors Centre, Special Services, serving on the executive there.