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Born: Dec 25, 1896

Date of Passing: Jul 23, 2007

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MARY ANNE SCOLES (nee STRAUBE) December 25, 1896 - July 23, 2007 Mary Anne Scoles, nee Straube, passed away peacefully with her sons Ted and Jack at her side, on July 23 at the Treherne Personal Care home where she has lived for the past 14 years. Mary was 110 years, 6 months, and 28 days old, and, at the time of her passing, was the oldest documented Canadian living in Canada. Her long and healthy life is credited to a miracle. Mary was born at home in Treherne, Manitoba during the early hours of Christmas 1896 to Bridget (nee Byrne) and Joseph Straube. Her mother was attended by both a doctor and a Roman Catholic priest since Bridget was dying of tuberculosis, and it was feared that she and her child might not survive the birth. Bridget died 10 days later, but Mary, a tiny two and one-half pound baby, survived. Earlier that year in August, Bridget and Joseph Straube, after learning of the pregnancy and the risk to their child, travelled by train to the miracle shrine at the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré near Quebec City (established in 1658) to pray that their child would have a long and healthy life. The Straube's prayers were answered. Mary was raised by her Aunt Kate Steadman on a farm north of Treherne until her father remarried in 1900. Her father and her new mother (as she called her) had two more daughters, Mac (Magdalene, 1901-1993), who married William Boyton-Coffey, and Nellie (Ellen, 1906-1976), who married Felix Mager. Mary's father, Joseph P. Straube was the first hardware merchant and tinsmith in Treherne, establishing the Pioneer Hardware in 1887. He sold out in 1923 to the Box Brothers, and he and his wife Margaret moved to Winnipeg where he died in 1953 at the age of 92. Mary was educated in Treherne and at St. Mary's Academy in Winnipeg. She entered nurse's training in the Misericordia Hospital, but had to give nursing up when she contracted typhoid fever. Mary married Mike Scoles of Altamont, Manitoba where they farmed until 1960. They had four sons: Joseph (Marg) of Ottawa; Jack (Joyce) and Pat (Joan), both of Vancouver; and Ted (Dianne) of Winnipeg. Mary and Mike retired to a small house at the south end of Treherne where Mike died in 1981. Mary continued living there until age 96 when she suffered a broken hip in 1993 and agreed with her doctor's recommendation that she move into the Treherne Personal Care Home. Mary had 15 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, with another great-granddaughter due in October who will be named after her. Mary loved to travel, and play cards and bingo. She made five trips to the Reno/Las Vegas area in her nineties. It was during one of those trips at 2:30 a.m. when, in the elevator on the way to her room, she was heard to mutter, I didn't come to Vegas to sleep. Our mother will be remembered by all those who visited her at our farmhouse or her little house in Treherne for her hospitality. As soon as she opened the door for a visitor, the tea kettle went on the stove. A plate of her oatmeal cookies or, in her later years, some of Treherne baker Glen Lett's cinnamon buns went on the table. We want to thank the staff at TPCH for caring for Mom over the past 14 years. And special thanks to Mom's neighbour, Margaret Moore, for all that she did for Mom through her later years. A mass to celebrate Mom's life will be held at Sacred Heart Church, Smith Street, Treherne at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 26. Prayers will be held at noon before the funeral. Interment will be beside her husband Mike in the Treherne Catholic Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Mary's grandsons: John, James, Steven (Winnipeg); Ernie, Paul (Saskatoon); and Michael, John, and Jim (Ottawa). Flowers are gratefully declined but donations in Mom's memory to either of the following would be welcomed: The Monastery of the Sisters of the Precious Blood, 2210-25th Avenue, Regina, SK, S4S 4E6 or St. Mary's Academy Bursary Fund, 550 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg, MB, R3M 0C1. If someone wishes to send condolences, Mary has her own email address: Budz Funeral Service of Holland, MB in care of the arrangements, 526-2380, 1-866-526-2606

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 25, 2007

Condolences & Memories (2 entries)

  • My eldest son Michael, adored his Grandmother Mary Scoles and spent many happy hours under her loving care during his many visits with his grandparents at Treherne Manitoba. Michael has now joined his grandmother. He passed away May 17, from a massive heart attack at age 51. He had no known symptoms of heart disease. Michael joins his brother Mark who pre deceased him and may they all meet again and enjoy the afterlife as it pertains to all of their Christian beliefs. Joe Scoles Parent. - Posted by: Joe Scoles (Son) on: Jul 03, 2012

  • Mrs Scoles was a fine lady who was very kind to me when I was a small child. I fondly remember many visits in the 1930's and 1940's with her and her Husband Mike (where they lived a few miles north of Altamont, Manitoba) and sons Joe, Jack, Pat, and Ted, all schoolmates and still friends of mine. She was true pioneer and one of the last of the early settlers in that area. She will be missed by all those innumerable friends that passed her way over the past 110 years. - Posted by: Bob Reeve (Friend) on: Jul 27, 2007

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