Mary was born March 4, 1928 in Provost, the second youngest child of Anton & Anna (Holmen) Fossen. She grew up on the Fossen homestead west of Cadogan with four brothers, Clifford, Art, Bennie, Jimmy, as well as two sisters, Clara Lakevold & Irene Lind.
Mary attended a one room school & had many fond memories of it. She later attended school in Provost where she graduated in 1947. When her school years were over, she worked at Annie McLauchlin’s Ladies Wear in Provost. She met the love of her life, Peter Mailer at a school picnic and was married November 21, 1948. They resided on the Mailer Ranch in the Blackhill District west of Cadogan. To this marriage six boys were born, James (1949), Bruce (1950), David (1952), Bryon (1953), Karle (1955) & Lloyd (1961). With her new family, life was busy, cooking, cleaning, laundry, baking, lunches, gardening, canning, but she always commented it was the best years of her life. As the years went by, improvements like power to the ranch and a new house in 1964 were welcome additions to her busy life.
Tragedy struck in the summer of 1969 when their son David died in a drowning accident. Zest for life was never the same.
She loved sports! Mary was an avid curler and softball player and coach with the local Cadogan teams. She was instrumental in the Prairie Echos History book and her love of history also included publishing Fossen, Holmen, and Mailer history books that have been enjoyed by all that have them.
In 1979 Peter & Mary retired and moved to an acreage in the Cranbrook B.C. area.
Now she had the time to pursue many of her passions such as pastel painting, quilting (many of the grandchildren and great-grand children were recipients), growing flowers and gardening. A Get-A-Way van was purchased and family camping trips became another pleasure for her.
After 11 years in Cranbrook, Camrose would be the next destination as it was becoming harder to visit with family in the winter when there was a mountain range in between. Many good friends were made there and with the passion for gardening and flowers, she achieved many red ribbons at the local fair.
After 60 years of companionship, sadly the loss of Peter in 2008 had Mary on the move again. This time to Hillcrest Lodge in Provost to be closer to family. More new friends were made, many photo albums completed, as well as challenging games of tile rummy. Again her heart would be broken with the loss of her oldest son James in July of 2011. She resided there until May of 2020. Due to failing health she was moved to Provost Long Term Care. The last year was hard with so many Covid restrictions so music was one of the pleasures Mary still enjoyed. Karle’s visits would see them enjoying music together as he played the many gospel songs, and viewed episodes of Don Messer Shows that she loved. On January 5, 2022, with her son by her side, she quietly slipped away at the age of 93.
She is lovingly remembered by her family:
Son, JAMES’S FAMILY: Wife Sandra Mailer. His children Brenda (Matt) Hilchie (Alex and Eric), Sheree (Wade) Yakelashek (Troy and Brooklynn). Their mother Joyce (Murray) Mailer.
Son, BRUCE: his children, Melanie MacLeod, Andrea (Clay) Gunner (Charlie, Harlow, Stetson), Brandon Mailer.
Son, BRYON (Denise) their children, Tammy (John), (Sara (Justin), Rebecca (Brad), Lonnie (Shaelynn), Jayce), Barb, (Kayla, Jessa, Joey, Victoria), Sandra, (Kristen, Austen, Paige, Tyler), Nicole (Jay) (Tyan, Brandt, Jackson), Janine Boisvert (Mya and Alivia); great great grandchildren, Julia, Olivia, Avery, Elise, Hunter, Paisley, Oliver and Alicia.
Son, KARLE (Maxine) their children, Lee Mailer (Isaac & Janik), Craig (Tracie) Mailer (Bailey & Jesse), Blair (Shannon) Mailer (Vaughn), Lyndsey Schultz (Alexis & Cody).
Sister-in-laws Carol Fossen, Florence Fossen, Verna Mailer & Shirley Mailer.
She was predeceased by her husband Peter (2008), son David (1969), son James(2011), Grandson Todd(2018), Great-granddaughter Sierra(2001), all her siblings, Clifford (Pansy) Fossen, Clara (Osborne) Lakevold, Art (Gladys) Fossen, Irene(Bert) Lind, Bennie Fossen, James (Eva) Fossen. In-laws, Janet & Ray Cameron, Carol & Scott Steele, Edith & Walter Johnson, Dave Mailer, Bill & Violet Mailer, Bryce Mailer, and Robyn & Harvey Goodwyn.
A memorial service for Mary will be held on Friday, June 10, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at the Cadogan Ag. Society Hall in Cadogan, Alberta with Pastor Paul McCormick officiating. Interment to follow at the North Cadogan Cemetery.