With overwhelming appreciation for her life, we announce the passing of Mary Jo Field, most recently of Croydon, Ontario. After a spirited battle against pancreatic cancer she passed at home surrounded by loving family. Mary Jo was always one to master whatever she threw her arms around. She grew up in Burlington, the natural leader of six siblings, where from an early age she developed an enviable combination of firmness and fairness. Graduating from Queen’s University with a B. NSc. she started in nursing but soon jumped at the opportunity to live and work in the Middle East in the 1970s. She worked as a nurse for the Peace Corps in the Sultanate of Oman for two years. Banking positions with Citibank in Riyadh and Chemical Bank in Oman then led to a change in career. In progressively senior banking posts over the following 20 years she exhibited her penchant for helping, managing and mentoring others, ultimately retiring as Vice President from Scotiabank. Retirement was one more avenue for her to give. As a keen labourer she worked on Habitat for Humanity builds in Europe, Asia and South America. Gardening, cooking and good food were true passions. Through her dedication to good food and from her fabulous, extensive gardens she supported local charities, including the GrassRoots Growers organization. Each spring saw the planting and nurturing of over 600 tomato seedlings for friends and plant sales. The title of “Tomato Queen” was well earned. The season always finished with a Saints Preserve Us weekend and a years-worth of relishes, pickles and preserves.
She easily became involved in supporting the Syrian refugee family in Napanee. Mary Jo was never happier than when she was told by them that she was not a volunteer, she was their sister. Mary Jo was the consummate hostess; knew everyone’s food allergies and preferences and catered to them. She was a gourmet cook with a distain for recipes and a No Help Wanted sign in the kitchen. She was a mother and mentor to her two wonderful children Michael and Emily; and extended that role to her daughter-in-law Tanya and grandchildren Sam and Alix. She loved them all deeply. Together for over 50 years, her husband David could have had no better partner for life’s adventures – selling up in Canada in the early ‘70’s and moving to an un-heard of country in the Middle East, driving from Oman to Norway over three months as a family, a shared passion for antiques, restoring a number of century homes and digging in dirt.
She will be missed. She loved and was loved.
There was a private family memorial and there will be a celebration of a life in Mary Jo’s gardens in Croydon on Sunday June 10th from 1 to 4pm.
In memory of a wonderful, giving life and in lieu of flowers; please donate to your cancer charity of choice.
Canadian Cancer Society
496 Days Rd., Kingston ON K7M 5R4