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Born: Jul 23, 1936
Date of Passing: May 17, 2020Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory
Mary was born in Winkler, Manitoba on July 23, 1936, to Heinrich and Sara Kasper. Her parents had come to Canada in 1926 and settled on a farm in the Manitou, Manitoba area. Here she enjoyed a happy childhood and received her schooling from Grade One to Grade 12.
She accepted Christ as her Saviour in her youth and was baptized upon confession of faith and joined the Manitou M.B. Church.
Music has been Mary's love from her early years. Her girlfriend took piano lessons and one day Mary went with her, it was close to school. She liked what she heard and told the teacher she was coming next week for a lesson after school. When she came home, she told her parents. Yes, next week she started piano lessons. When the pianist in the Manitou congregation moved away, she took over at the age of eight. At 10 years of age she played at her first wedding.
She continued her lessons. When she reached Grade 10 the teacher in Manitou did not teach these grades. This then started a whole new life for the family. Mary found a teacher in Winnipeg who was willing to take her every second week, which meant 200 miles of travelling every second week. She was able to gain her teaching diploma from the University of Manitoba in 1960 in piano.
Then once the family moved to Winnipeg in 1960, she continued her studies and in 1968 received her teaching diploma from the University of Toronto in piano. While in the city, she worked for Dr. Passales an oral surgeon for four years and during her lunch break she took organ lessons and she also took singing lessons.
Gradually she started teaching piano. Over the years she had many students. A city counsellor was also a student.
In the NKMB she sang in the choir and gradually became the church pianist and organist. Later on, she also led the German Choir that went once a month to Donwood Personal Care Home to sing for the morning service. Gradually she retired from teaching students
She was also able to travel with her sisters and in 1989 went to Russia to visit Dad's sister. In 1996 she and her sister Elizabeth were able to take a tour to Israel with Fehr Way Tours.
In March of 2016 Mary moved into Donwood Manor. Here she received kind and loving care from the staff until she passed away on May 17, 2020.
Private family service held at Glen Eden Memorial Gardens.
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 23, 2020
Condolences & Memories (3 entries)
Miss Kasper was my favourite piano teacher in Winnipeg! She was firm, but fair. As she probably knew I had talent (she made me skip Royal Conservatory grades) and was rebellious back then, refusing to practice, she would scold me and rap my knuckles gently, lol. I would try to cheat and trick her, pretending I did practice but she knew better! Many years later, I returned to piano upon losing my beloved father. It proved my salvation and provided a respite. I thought of Miss Kasper and let those memories mentor me. I said to myself, 'When I get to Winnipeg, I'd love to go to visit her, maybe even play for her". I believe Bach was her favourite composer, then Beethoven. Thinking of her recently led me to her obituary. Thank you Miss Kaper. You truly did inspire me back then, although I was too immature to let you know it. RIP - Posted by: Barbara Jane Sowak (former music student, piano, via Royal Conservatory of Toronto) on: Dec 13, 2020
Neighbour of the Kaspers for many years. Sorry for your loss, especially at a time when many acts of comfort are restricted. - Posted by: David Shimizu (Neighbour) on: Jun 15, 2020
Mary worked for my Dad(Dr. James Passalis). Dad thought the world of Mary. She was smart, kind, hardworking & very talented. Both my Mom & I really liked Miss Kasper. We were all sad to see her leave but music was a full time job. Thank you Mary for making the world a kinder place filled with music. Diane Bieber(Passalis) - Posted by: Diane Bieber (Passalis) (Friend) on: May 24, 2020
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