When Mary Favell passed away peacefully at Hardy View Lodge on February 7, 2014, this world lost an extraordinary and radiantly loving soul.
She was born in Pass Creek to William and Polly Derhousoff November 10, 1925, the eldest of five children. In 1940 the family moved to Grand Forks where Mary met and wed William Soroka. They had five children, and lived on military bases across Canada. In 1969, Mary returned with her two youngest sons to Grand Forks where she spent most of the rest of her life. For a while, Mary worked at the Yale Hotel, and also at the Frontier restaurant, where she was valued as an excellent cook.
Mary was predeceased by her brother, Peter Derhousoff; her son Victor Soroka; and her sister, Anne (Leonard) Barisoff.
Mary is survived by four children; Eileen Cole, Tom (Laurie) Soroka, Dave (Nora) Soroka, and Ken (Laureen) Soroka; 8 grandchildren, Deirdre, Amelia, Anya, Peter, Stepan, October, Orion, and Tyler; 9 great-grandchildren, Sabrina, Michael, Katrina, Hannah, Andrew, Megan, Grayson, Reagan and Raini; and 3 great-great-grandchildren, Payton, Logan, and Rylee. She is also survived by a brother John (Lucy) Derhousoff of Castlegar and a sister Olga (Ron) Mix of Grand Forks.
Mary is also fondly remembered by a much larger circle of family and others who basked in her quiet devotion, her selfless generosity, her gentle but penetrating insights, her poetic expressiveness, and her brilliant sense of humor. Mary’s life was lived completely for her family, who enjoyed her wonderful cooking in her tiny welcoming house, snuggled under the afghans and wool quilts she made, and wore out many slippers which she crocheted for everyone. Mary loved to watch hockey with her family, and to send huge bags of sandwiches for river floaters to enjoy on the Granby and Kettle.
This beautiful, humble woman led a simple life of work and service, read classic English literature and popular mysteries, loved quiet walks to public libraries, and sang melodically while ironing clothes. She claimed that the swimming waters at GF City Park were “heavenly”, and had an almost musical laugh that echoes forever in our hearts.
A service was held for Mary at the Grand Forks Funeral Home on February 15, and burial followed at the Doukhobor Cemetery.