Mary Jane Christensen was born on April 3, 1926 at Foam Lake, Saskatchewan to parents, Mikhail “Mike” and Axsania Bonar. She was the third youngest in a family of thirteen.
Mary grew up on the family farm and upon the completion of high school, she attended Normal School in Saskatoon and obtained her teaching certificate. She taught at a few rural schools in Saskatchewan – Fishing Lake, MacNutt and Griffin to name a few, until adventuring to Alberta to accept a position at Setting Sun near Metiskow, Alberta. It was while teaching there and boarding with Louis and Rose Kemper that she met her future husband, Irvine Christensen.
Mary and Irvine were married on November 19, 1951 and lived for a while on the farm with Irvine’s parents, Andrew and Edith, until they purchased their own farm in the Twin Lakes district northwest of Cadogan. Here they raised their three children, Cathy, Marilyn and Randy. Mary and Irvine worked very hard farming and building their cattle herd.
Mary taught at Cadogan School for a few years and also did some substitute teaching.
Mary and Irvine were involved in community activities and with Faith Lutheran Church in Cadogan. Mary spent many hours working on Prairie Echoes, the local history book of the former Hillcrest Municipality. She and Irvine were parade marshals for the Hillcrest Homecoming. Mary was a member of the Lutheran Ladies Aid group and the Cadogan Agricultural Society.
Mary was known for her garden, her cooking and baking. Hospitality at Mary and Irvine’s was terrific; there was always a delicious meal served and in the summer, guests often were given fresh vegetables to take home. Nieces and nephews enjoyed Auntie Mary and Uncle Irvine’s farm and loved to stay there for the summer.
Mary also enjoyed crocheting, handicrafts, reading and sports. She loved watching sports on TV, especially figure skating, curling and the Olympics.
Sadly, in 1987, Irvine passed away after a battle with cancer, and at the age of 61, Mary had to adjust to life on her own. She continued her involvement in the community and enjoyed weekly Seniors afternoons at the Cadogan Hall. Disking and bowling became regular activities and Mary had enjoyable experiences travelling on bus trips with the Seniors group.
Mary loved children. She enjoyed her students and had many fond memories of them. She was thrilled with her two grandchildren, Lesley and Trevor and thoroughly enjoyed every minute she spent with them. They were very special friends of hers.
Mary remained on the family farm until her loss of mobility and declining health led to a move to the Long Term Care Centre in Provost in February of 2016, where she resided until her passing on June 20, 2018.
Mary was a very loving, caring and unselfish lady. She will be lovingly remembered by her three children, Cathy (Terry), Marilyn and Randy; grandchildren, Lesley and Trevor (Breanne); great grandchildren, Eberlee and Bexton; sisters in law, Oriel Edwards, Joan Christensen, Alyse Christensen, Bessie Bonar, Katie Bonar and Lena Bonar; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Mary was predeceased by her loving husband, Irvine, all of her siblings – brothers, Mike, John, Bill Andrew, Fred, George and Al; sisters, Katie Pidlubney, Lil Fennuk, Jean Melnychuk, Alice Semenuik and Rose Rokochy; twelve brothers in law and eight sisters in law.