Skip to content

Mary Josephine Cary, Jo, as she was commonly called, died peacefully on Sunday, December 9th, 2007 at the age of 94 years. She was a resident of Salmon Arm for 56 years.

Jo was born on October 29th, 1913 at Adonis, Alberta, near Medicine Hat. She was the second of seven children of Charles and Mabel Cole. Her parents emigrated from Michigan in 1911, when the Canadian Pacific Railway opened up large tracts of land for homesteads. The family lived and farmed in southern Alberta for several years. Jo said it was a tough life for her parents because the land was useless for farming (it later became known as the Dust Bowl of Alberta), but she and her siblings always had food to eat, clothes to wear and felt cared for.

The family moved to Carseland, Alberta where Jo finished high school. She entered Holy Cross School of Nursing in Calgary, Alberta in September 1932 and graduated in 1935 at the top of her class. She worked in Calgary for two years and in 1937 secured a full-time position with the Bassano Municipal Hospital, Bassano, Alberta. It was here that Jo met her husband-to-be, Floyd Cary, a newspaper man. They were married on July 20, 1939, and this union lasted 60 years. In the following years, they lived in Bassano, Vancouver and Revelstoke before settling in Salmon Arm in 1951.

Jo worked at Shuswap Lake General Hospital as supervisor of the maternity ward before retiring in 1972. She was a busy mother and worked tirelessly at balancing motherhood, caring for her family and enjoying her career as a nurse. Jo’s hobbies and interests were many including cooking, knitting, gardening (fruit, vegetables and flowers), canning and loved to travel with family members. In her later years she resided at Shuswap Lodge Retirement Residence and Bastion Place where she reconnected with old friends and staff until her passing.

She was predeceased by her husband Floyd, son-in-law John Pasechnik, three brothers, Bill, Dale, and LaVern Cole and sister, Erlene Spanke. She will be lovingly remembered by daughters, Norma Pasechnik, Judith (Harry) Davis and Wendy (Joe) Brunwald and son, Allan (Marilyne) Cary; grandchildren, Wendy Ann (Basil) John, Shelly Pasechnik, Richard Good, Anthony (Sheila), Angela, Dara and Damon Brunwald, Mark Cary and Megan (Tyson) Knaak; great-grandchildren, Rozlyn John, Nicholas Good and Julia Knaak; brother, Jack (Irene) Cole and sister, Francis (Stan) Kehr; sister-in-law, Mil Cole and many nieces and nephews.

A service honouring Jo’s life was held from the chapel of Bowers Funeral Home, Salmon Arm, on the afternoon of Friday, December 14th, with Jack Bowers officiating.

Tributes were shared by Marilyne Cary, Mark Cary and Angela Brunwald, with special music by Catherine Kroetch.

A reception was held at the Mountainside room at Bowers, allowing the family and friends to continue sharing personal memories of Jo. Interment followed in the family plot at Mt. Ida Cemetery with the grandchildren as pallbearers.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Shuswap Hospital Foundation for the CT Scan Campaign, Box 265, Salmon Arm, BC, V1E 4N3, or to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

Email condolences may be sent to

Funeral arrangements were in the care of

Bowers Funeral Home.

Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.