It is with sadness that we the family announce the passing of Mary Lou Finlayson of Reserve Mines on Tuesday April 13, 2021. Mary Lou was a unique and larger than life woman, whose memory and influence will live on among those who knew her.
Born in Reserve Mines, she was the daughter of the late Mary (MacMullin) and Jody Livingstone, and is the last surviving member of her family.
At 19, she married Gerald “Shrimp” Finlayson with whom she would be married for 63 years until his death in 2019. They had two daughters Pam (Kenny) MacLeod, followed by Mikki (Joe) Armishaw within the first three years of their marriage. As the girls became adults and married, they would often travel and socialize with Shrimp and Mary Lou. They provided a supportive family unit throughout their lives.
Mary Lou and Shrimp were a great couple who did everything together, including attending many community events and being avid Eagles fans for a number of years. They were the life of the party, devoted and loving parents, and fun and adoring grandparents to their four grandchildren, Harris and Connor MacLeod and Emma and Ben Armishaw. They both loved Christmas, and every year they delighted hosting the whole family with superb food, over the top decorations, and refreshments served up from the bar in the basement beneath a lit sign that read ‘Finlayson’s Pub’.
Mary Lou had a great sense of humour and entertained her family, friends, and coworkers with her stories, candid opinions, and willingness to laugh at any situation and herself. She was clever, astute, had an incredible memory, and was impossible to fool. She loved a bargain and never paid full price for anything.
Mary Lou had great style and was a firm believer that life was worth getting dressed up for. When her grandchildren were little, one of their favourite games was playing ‘shoe store’ in Grammie’s bedroom by displaying her dozens of pairs of shoes. She had her trademark beehive hairdo done every week, and never left the house without makeup, nail polish, and perfume, a practice which she continued until the end. She loved her little dogs – first Peppy, then Holly, and finally Chloe – who were often perfumed and accessorized and always by her side.
She worked as a ward clerk at the Glace Bay Hospital for many years, where her affable personality, meticulous attention to detail, and sense of humour, made her popular with coworkers and patients. She created and accumulated many funny (and often irreverent) stories along the way.
She spent the last two years of her life living with her daughter Pam, and son-in-law Kenny at their home in Sydney, supported by daily visits by Mikki and City Homemakers, who provided excellent care and rich interaction and companionship. It was there that she passed away peacefully, in bed, eating ice cream and watching Wheel of Fortune with Pam and Mikki on either side.
Cremation has taken place under the direction of V.J. McGillivray Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Glace Bay.
A funeral mass celebrating her life will take place on Saturday April 17 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Parish Church, Reserve Mines with Father Dan Boudreau officiating.
Donations in Mary Lou’s memory may be made to the St. Joseph’s Parish Cemetery Fund, Reserve Mines.
Online expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at: www.vjmcgillivray.ca