On Friday, March 24, 2023 at the Perley Long-Term Care home in Ottawa, ON, Mary Harris passed away just shy of her 95th birthday. Mary Isabelle Yourex Harris was born on April 5, 1928 in Strathroy, Ontario to Isabelle Campbell Yourex and Franklin Christopher Harris.
Mary leaves to mourn her sister Margaret Dunbar of Carman, Manitoba and her nieces and nephews Mary-Jane Braun, Douglas Dunbar, Paul Dunbar, Dianne Parker, Robert Dunbar, Julianne Dunbar, Franklin Goodrick, Debbie Lehner, Jodi Goodrick, their spouses and several great nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, her sister Catherine Dagg, her nephew Tim Goodrick and niece Michelle Goodrick.
Raised in Carman, Manitoba, Mary later graduated from the Rupert’s Land Girls’ School in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Mary studied voice at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and was an honors graduate of the Faculty of Music, artist diploma course at the University of Toronto in 1955. She then began her world travels where she continued her study of opera in England and Milan, Italy. She worked as a professional singer and appeared at the Ontario Stratford Festivals and the Melody Fair in Buffalo, NY. In the mid 1960’s Mary went to Los Angeles to join a Broadway production that covered 44 U.S. cities plus Ottawa and Montreal. Following her singing career, Mary taught English as a Second Language to new immigrants at George Brown College in Toronto, a career she loved. After her retirement in 1992, Mary moved to Ottawa. Mary loved people, culture, the arts and most of all opera music. She had the voice of an angel and an amazing ability to connect with people regardless of language barriers. She had a deep love of animals and had many dogs (Toulouse, Mozart, and Zander), birds and fish over the years.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Perley Long-Term Care home and the Madonna Long-Term Care home in Ottawa for the care they provided Mary in her final years. A special thank you to her nephew Paul, wife Val, Tiffany and Farrah, niece Julie, husband Hamid, Mustapha and Amir for taking care of Mary. As well, a special thank you to Mary’s great-niece (and nurse) Farrah who took on a work assignment at the Madonna to care for Mary during the pandemic.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, April 27, 2023 at 11:00 am at the Doyle’s Funeral Home in Carman, Manitoba followed by burial at the Greenwood Cemetery, Carman. If friends so desire memorial donations may be made to the Ottawa Humane Society.