May 30, 1924 – October 18, 2022
In Loving Memory ~
Mary Bewick has taken her last curtain call and moved on to the theatre of the unknown. She died peacefully, aged 98, on October 18 2022, after visits from all her close family.
Mary Bewick, always known to her many Tofino friends as Merry, was born in Winnipeg Manitoba May 30 1924 to Lily Humpage and William Bewick, a pair of transplanted Geordies from Newcastle. Her formative years were the dirty thirties, and she never forgot that. It was the wellspring of a passion for social justice that was lifelong. She was an unapologetic socialist, early feminist, supporter of peace movements, and active environmentalist, to the end.
Mary moved with her mother to Vancouver in 1936, attended and played basketball at Kits High, and worked as an aviation riveter during WWII. She married Bruce Yorke in 1944, and raised three sons while working at a variety of office jobs. When her sons were mostly grown, she finished her UBC education and spent many happy years teaching young children in the Coquitlam School District, retiring in 1979.
She then moved to Tofino where she built a small cabin on her beloved Chesterman Beach. Merry became active in many community events, most particularly in her support of the Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre, where she acted in a number of dramatic roles, on one memorable occasion successfully trying her hand at directing, mentoring the next generation, and contributing to the theatre in many other ways over the years. Her many friends could see her walking her beach each day, spying on birds, befriending all dogs, and retiring for coffee to the Common Loaf, or inviting friends to her cabin for sherry and shortbread. Her forty years in Tofino were the highlight of a life well lived.
Her final days were spent at Haro Park Centre in Vancouver, where the fine staff provided excellent care, comfort, activity and continued dignity. Her family cannot thank them adequately.
Mary Bewick was predeceased by her parents, her sister Louise Gowans, brothers Bill and Wilfred Bewick, and by her former husband Bruce Yorke. She is survived by her sons David Yorke (Pat Sexsmith), Paul Yorke (Ingrid Kolsteren) and Michael Yorke (Janice Harris), by her caring niece Helen Gowans, by six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, and by many other family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, please feel free to donate to Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre in her memory – online at tofinotheatre.com.
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