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MARY COLLINS (HIGHFIELD) Mary Collins passed away at Tri Lake Hospital in Killarney, MB, Friday, October 17, 2014. Mary had celebrated her 104th birthday this last June at Bayside Personal Care Home, Killarney, with treasured family and friends. The beloved wife of Grant Wesley Collins, who predeceased her in 2011, they had celebrated their 73rd anniversary. Mary was born on June 22, 1910, in Sheffield, England to Polly and Percy Highfield, and at the age of three months immigrated to Canada, settling in Foxwarren, MB where she enjoyed her early years growing up with her younger sisters, Barbara, Marjorie, and Eileen. Her father was an accomplished and much respected violinist, music teacher and band leader. Her mother was a seamstress and also very musical and music was always the main focus in their home which greatly influenced her as she accomplished her Grade 11 in piano. In 1929 Mary obtained her teaching certificate and taught in one room school houses at Campbell's School District (rural) in Douglas, MB (1930 to 1932) and at Londesboro School District, southeast of Pilot Mound (1932 to 1938). At this time she met and married her soulmate Grant. After raising their family, she returned to teaching in Pilot Mound for 13 years, in Winnipeg for three years, and in Boissevain for another three years, before retiring to Killarney in 1962 after 27 years of teaching. Also, during these years, she taught many music lessons, conducted church choirs in Pilot Mound and Killarney, also participated in many musicals, festivals, concerts, choirs and truly enjoyed reminiscing all the time spent with her students and friends in these many musical endeavours. After Grant's retirement they travelled a great deal, exploring Thailand, New Zealand, the Bahamas, Hawaii, and other parts of the United States. As both their sons lived on the west coast, they moved to Abbotsford in 1984 for seven years, but the prairies beckoned them back, and in 1991 they returned to Killarney. During this time Mary wrote her memoirs "Time Will Tell" a biography we all cherish with her thoughts, life experiences and many memories. In 2005 they moved to River Heights Terrace in Brandon where they resided for five years, then to Westview Lodge in Boissevain, on to Bayside Personal Care Home in Killarney in January, 2011. Mary is fondly remembered by her four children, Carolanne, Dale, Gary and Connie, 13 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. Mary was always so interested in her family and their day to day activities, and always welcomed the many phone calls and visits she received from family and friends. Such a gracious, loving, kind person she will be so missed by us all. Mary was predeceased by her parents Percy and Polly, husband Grant, sisters Barbara, Marjorie and Eileen. A celebration of Mary's life will be held in the United Church in Pilot Mound, November 1, 2014, 2:00 p.m. Interment will take place at the Greenwood Cemetery in Pilot Mound, MB. Donations in memory of Mary may be made to the Pilot Mound United Church. Messages of condolence may be made online at Wheatland Funeral Service (204) 825-2848

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Oct 25, 2014

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