Valley Lives - Mary Boyd

The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the May 08, 2013 issue. Reprinted with permission.

Hockey grandma cheered from sidelines, even in sickness

by Trevor Greenway

No matter how sick she was, Mary Boyd always managed to make it out to watch her three grandsons play hockey.

Even when she was fighting through the last weeks of her cancer treatment, the mother of three, grandmother of eight, and friend of many could still be found at area rinks, watching her boys from the stands.

Valley Lives
SHE LIVED FOR HER GRANDCHILDREN: From left to right: Spencer Langton, Cameron Langton, Kyle Morrison, Mary and John Boyd, Cassidy Boyd, Tiffany Morrison, Ava Boyd, Brooklyn Boyd and Emily Morrison. Photo courtesy Christina Nicholson.

"She lived for her grandchildren," said daughter Christina Nicholson, remembering her mom's final weeks. "She would rest up all week, just so she could get out and watch the boys play hockey."

Boyd died of cancer on April 21, leaving behind her husband John, her kids Christina, Debbie and Paul, and their eight kids, whom she loved. She was 66-years-old.

Growing up in the Hills with Boyd for a mom was as good as it gets, according to Nicholson. She said her mom was always there for her, her two siblings and their friends. Whether she was hosting sleepovers at their Wakefield home or having barbecues at the family cottage on Lac Sinclair, Boyd was always smiling.

It was the little things that made her such an important figure in the Hills - things like making sure her kids' friends always had rides home after a night of skiing or boating, or volunteering at the hospital, even when she was ill.

"We spent a lot of time together. She was my best friend," said Nicholson, adding that she loved shopping with her mom, especially at Delilah in Chelsea.

Growing up, she was known for her cooking; homemade Chinese food - chicken balls - were "to die for," and her spaghetti sauce and chocolate cake were famous, according to Nicholson.


Valley Lives
Boyd was always smiling on the golf course or when watching her grandsons play hockey. Photo courtesy Christina Nicholson.

When she wasn't taking care of her family or working fulltime at National Defence, Boyd could be found whacking balls and putting 20-footers at the Edelweiss golf course - all while she fought a four-and-a-half year battle with cancer. She just couldn't stay away.

"She was a real trooper," said Edelweiss Golf Club owner Mike Tommy, who said he and others at the club miss seeing Boyd on the links. He added that he never once heard her complain about a bad game of golf.

"Our family is going to miss her."

Anyone who saw the many cars lined up along Riverside Drive for her funeral last week knows just how many lives she touched.

Boyd was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2009, and doctors gave her just six months to live.

Four years later, Boyd was still swinging a club and watching hockey games.

It's a testament to her will to fight and to live, which was centred on her husband, her children and her grandchildren, according to Geraldine 'Dean' Langton, Boyd's in-law.

The two spent almost everyday together, sometimes sipping tea or minding their shared grandchildren, or once when they laughed all the way home from the city, where Boyd bought a fur vest made from raccoon roadkill.

"There was no doorbell with us. She knew where the kettle was," said Langton.

"I just miss her being there. I miss her presence, but she's out there."

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