You don’t have to read much of Mary “Pat” Stocks’ obituary to know that she was one colourful character.
The 94-year-old died in her sleep in early July after bouts of declining health, which is why the news came as little surprise to her three children and 10 grandchildren. What was surprising, however, was the woman’s obituary, which has since gone viral after being published in the Toronto Star.
Rather than the mundane “Mary is survived by her three children” etc., this one reads a little more, shall we say, comically. It begins with her family not knowing what to do with all the belongings she left behind.
“She left behind a hell of a lot of stuff to her daughter and sons who have no idea what to do with it,” the obit begins. “So if you’re looking for 2 extremely large TV’s from the 90s, a large ceramic stork (we think) umbrella/cane stand, a toaster oven (slightly used) or even a 2001 Oldsmobile with a spoiler (she loved putting the pedal to the metal), with only 71,000 kilometers and 1,000 tools that we aren’t sure what they’re used for. You should wait the appropriate amount of time and get in touch. Tomorrow would be fine.”
The piece also pokes some fun at Mary’s “master” cooking skills, born out of her husband’s love for all things burnt to a crisp. Her kids got quite the interesting lunches as a result.
“She was a master cook in the kitchen. She believed in overcooking everything until it chewed like rubber so you would never get sick because all germs would be nuked. Freezing germs also worked, so by Friday our school sandwiches were hard and chewy, but totally germ free.”
Naturally, the kids didn’t actually eat those sandwiches. They instead figured out how to trick their mom into making her think they did.
“All four of us learned to use a napkin. You would pretend to cough, spit the food into it and thus was born the Stocks diet.”
Mary wasn’t your average kitchen-dwelling, Oldsmobile-owning grandmother, though. She was a feisty woman who ran a “school of hard knocks” at home and had a penchant for “telling it like is.” Such qualities were likely born out of her multi-mile walks through blizzards to school:
“Her extensive vocabulary was more than highly proficient at knowing more curse words than most people learned in a lifetime. She liked four letter words as much as she loved her rock garden and trust us she LOVED to weed that garden with us as her helpers, when child labour was legal or so we were told.”
Mary’s age never took away from her character, though. She prepared turkey dinner for her family every Christmas until her death. She loved chatting with her grandkids and playing bridge at the Granite Club – she would even drive in three-inch heels on icy roads in the winter. So for those of you who are cringing at the thought of how Mary would react if she could somehow see her own obituary, rest assured, her family says this is exactly what their late mother would’ve wanted.
“I know you wanted everything private, but sorry, Mom, I wanted you to be recognized for what you were because you were great,” her son Sandy told the Toronto Star.
Something tells us she’s smiling right now.