Mary Steel Dunn Bowles (Nee Waters) was born on 17 July 1936 in Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Scotland first born Daughter to her father Adam Waters (21) and her mother Ellen Dunn (18). She remembers living at 66 Carnwadric Rd., Glasgow, Scotland as a Child with her Siblings. Her Father immigrated, leaving July 24th, 1952, for Canada, landing at a Port in Quebec. The rest of the Family immigrated to Canada (Mary at age 16) with her Mother and Siblings (Bill, Marg, Connie and Peter) leaving Liverpool England Dec. 19, 1952 on the Ascania Ship arriving in New York Dec 30, 1952. Her first memory of the shore was the Statue of Liberty but they didn’t depart until they reached Canada. Adam had intended to immigrate on to Australia after a reprieve, but Ellen decided differently. They family started in a 2-bedroom apartment in the High Park area and eventually settled to a house on Summit Ave., Toronto, Ont.
Mary went to work, as her Highschool was complete in Scotland, she had a variety of jobs including working at a Glass Factory and Brylcreem on the assembly line. Mary met George Bowles in 1955 while walking with her Girl Friend Brenda, then double dating with his Friend Bill Peregood at a Drive In. George was smitten with this Scottish Gal and had determined he was going to marry her, while his Friend Bill still wanted a Wing man. George proposed at Christmas 1956 and got married Aug 24, 1957, in a small Family Wedding. George and Mary had a few Apts sharing with or next door to her Brother Bill and Arlene or George’s Sister Chris and Fred. They started renovating their first house on Lambton Ave., Toronto where they had 2 Children, Heather, and Clay. They often went to Drive In’s with kids in tow, camping and touring places like Kingston which were big trips back in the early 60’s. George and Mary would explore places to move out of the city of Toronto as they both wanted country living.
George and Mary purchased property in Woods Bay, building a Cottage in the mid 60’s with Mary’s Brother Bill (Arlene) Waters. She enjoyed campfires on a Sat. night or playing Liverpool Rummy with a Rum/Pepsi and family around her. Then George and Mary sold their Cottage (late 60’s) and a started new chapter building “Moon Basin Marina” (which still exists today). Mom worked the Marina by helping build Cottages and their home with George, cleaning cottages, serving Gas and small store supplies. She endured the bush with Boats, Dune Buggies and Snow Mobiles as our whole Family did. Occasionally Mom would go fishing on a quite weeknight, with her kids and was the one who caught the Trophy Fish. A 26 lb Musky, 14 Lb Pike and 10 lb Pickerel which decorated the Marina then Family walls for decades. Her favourite lure was either a Holla Bopper or #2 Mepps with a small Frog or worm.
We have many memories of Mary’s Brother Bill and Arlene Waters (and Nieces), on their Skiroule Snowmobile with his family coming to enjoy some Wintertime together. We often drove back to Toronto to visit her Parents and Siblings during Christmas, or other Family get togethers. Eventually, the financial strain during bleak winter months and an booming business, got too much for a small family. Even with George’s Brother-in-Law and Sister (Fred/Chris Colbeck) helping as Partners, George’s mental health broke down. Mary and family had to pick up the pieces as the Marina was sold. They bought the property next door and started another home, while George worked away from home. This was a lonely and hard life for both as their children had to board out in Mac Tier and Parry Sound, continuing the adventures to school. Mom still enjoyed going down river from the Moon Basin to Woods Bay to have those enjoyable campfires and card games before fall freeze up and spring thaw, with Bill and Arlene or Ed and Mary Henney.
As time went on, living beside the Marina became too difficult with the new Owners next door, for both. They sold this property and bought another lot on Shannon Rd., outside of Mac Tier. Mom started working at the Woodsman Restaurant while Dad worked at Gordan Bay Marina. Mom had fun with her Co-Workers and some Life long Friendships ensued, such as Dan Watkinson (whom stayed by Mom after all those years). Seasonal work was a financial strain, so they uprooted again. They ended up buying a small house in Burlington, that Dad renovated to a story and a half house for them. Mom worked some Part Time jobs at Canadian Tire and the Botanical Gardens in the Tea house. Mary often got discouraged with starting over and over again, never having a complete house to live in. Once George retired in 1999 he finished the house but they sold this house (Nest Egg) to move to Grand Bend in a Seniors Mobile Home Park. Mom enjoyed the social activities with other residents and Dad with dances, card games, carpet bowling and dominoes. Mary got lonely for family as it was too far away, and they sold the Mobile home. Mary moved to a Seniors Apt. in Gravenhurst on Lofty Pines Rd. in 2007. She flourished (she was always a Social Butterfly) with her new Friends and drove herself all over being Independent for the first time. George bought another house to renovate on Southwood Rd. (Mary didn’t like living that far out of town). George bought his last house on Gravenhurst Pkwy. Where he hoped both to live on different floors of this two-story house, as it was close enough to town. Mary moved in 2012 to this house, while George finished the other house. George sold and moved in 2015, but upstairs wasn’t renovated so it was too hard to live together. Mary eventually moved back to Lofty Pines Apt. in 2017 hoping to rekindle her Girl Friends time which she did make new Friends. Mary was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s lost her driver’s license in 2019 and George would come drive her around or go shopping. Her favourite take out was MacDonalds Double/Double Coffee and Swiss Chalet Soup (they knew Mary’s order by her name).
Mary became a Canadian Citizen many years ago after her Father passed as she remembered him telling her to get it done before she was old enough for her pension. She never was brave enough to fly home back to Scotland (she was afraid to fly over the Ocean) but she longed to do so and we all tried to convince her. Mary loved her Scottish Pipe Songs, but she played records and cassette tapes repeatedly with Fats Domino, Andy William’s, Tom Jones, Beatles, and many more loving her Music. She loved to dance, singing a tune as she had rhythm. She made a record for George while they were dating, and we could hear her voice back then, a strong Scottish accent as she dedicated it to him. They had their ups and downs but kept in touch living close by to each other, in Gravenhurst. She missed George more then she knew she would, which in the end they were each other’s Loves, living a full life of adventures.
Family grieving the loss of both in such a short time are;
Daughter Heather Hall (Spouse Wayne),
Son Clay Bowles (Spouse Carmen), Gr Son Cooper Bowles, Grand Son Ryan Morris (Megan), Great Grand Daughters Jayden, Leighton and Rowan,
Grand Daughter Nicole Morris, Gr Grand Daughter Summer, Gr Grand Son Dexter,
Grand Son Mason Morris (Kim)
Siblings Peter Waters and Alex Waters (Sylvia)
Predeceased by Spouse George Richard Bowles, Adam and Ellen Waters, Brother Bill (Arlene) Waters, Sisters Marg Harper (Bill), Connie Waters and her Grand Son Dustin Morris.
Love you Mom, Sister, Nana and Great Nana XO
Celebration of Life is Sat. April 29th, drop in between 1 to 4 pm, at St Paul's Church, 235 John St., Gravenhurst, ON