It is with profound sadness that the family of Mary Alice Halushak announce her death on Sunday, October 9. Mary Alice was a beloved mother, aunt, grandmother and great grandmother, and she passed away with her three children by her side.
Mary Alice was born on March 2, 1938 in St. Peter’s Bay, P.E.I. Although she moved to Ontario at a young age, she maintained a lifelong love of the island. Mary Alice’s family–parents William and Mary Sharkey, sisters Susan and Helen, and brother Patrick–moved first to Sioux Lookout, then to Red Lake and also spent some time in Boston, Mass. before eventually settling in Thunder Bay, where they lived in a farmhouse on Wardrope Ave. Mary Alice attended St. Andrew’s and Port Arthur Technical School (Hillcrest). In her early career, she worked in administration at the Port Arthur Shipyards and the Excise Tax office on Court St.
In 1960, Mary Alice married Orest William Halushak at St. Andrew’s Church. They bought a house on Crescent Ave., and had three children together: Rozanne, David and Maureen.
Mary Alice truly found pleasure in her family and the simple things in life. She loved cooking and baking and was famous for her chocolate chip cookies and strong coffee. She was a prolific reader and animal lover. She always had a dog and cat by her side and hosted a wide variety of birds, squirrels and deer at her backyard feeder. She was happiest sitting around the dining room table during roast beef dinners; reading in her chair with her favourite dog, Sophie, at her feet; spending time at her camp at Loon Lake; puttering around her flower beds; painting beautiful watercolours; and visiting her brother Patrick’s garden on the Kam River.
In April 1988, Mary Alice lost Orest shortly before he was set to retire and begin their new chapter in life. While this was extremely hard on her, she faced this challenge head on and attended courses at Confederation College in order to re-enter the workforce after years as a stay-at-home mother. She travelled with friends and family back to P.E.I. and to Cuba, spent summers at camp with her family and devoted herself even more to supporting her children, grandchildren and her beloved golden retrievers and cats. She was also a longtime volunteer at the Thunder Bay 55+ Centre, and always said that the "girls" she worked with in the office were incredibly kind and a lot of fun.
After many happy years at her house on Hogarth St., Mary moved to Roseview Manor in 2019. Her family is grateful for the care she received there from Bailey, Colleen, Tracey, Leona, Crystal and many others.
Mary Alice is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Rozanne and Darrell Matson, son and daughter-in-law, David and Tracey Halushak, and daughter Maureen Halushak and son-in-law Jeremy Boyd. She is also survived by her five grandchildren: Daniel Matson (Gillian), Alicia Langen (Tommy), and Zachary, Mikayla and Matthew Halushak. Most recently, Mary Alice became a proud great grandmother to Laine and Finnley Langen and Rowan and Sybil Matson. She was also Auntie Alice to Patricia, Janet and Joni Sharkey, Elaine Gunn Melendez and numerous other nieces and nephews.
Mary Alice was predeceased by her parents, sisters Susan and Helen, brother Patrick and husband Orest.
A funeral mass will be on Friday, October 14 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Margaret’s Church, with Father Ciaran Donnelly officiating.
In memory of Mary Alice, donations to the Thunder Bay Humane Society or The Alzheimer Society of Thunder Bay in lieu of flowers would be appreciated.
Mary Alice will be remembered for putting everyone else's needs, including those of her pets, ahead of her own. She was an eternal optimist. Despite the challenges and setbacks of everyday life, she was forever thankful for what she had and firmly believed that things could always be worse. Mary Alice’s family is heartbroken at her loss but grateful for the many good times they have had with her.