May 28, 1931 – Aug. 25, 2009
Mary Isabel Parr-Pinkston was a bright light in this world who passed away at the Eden Care Home in Chilliwack on Aug. 25, 2009.
She was 78 when she finally lost her battle with severe COPD.
Mary Isabel was born on May 28, 1931 in London, Ontario, the fourth child of Robert James Parr and Marion Alice Walters.
She overcame many obstacles in her life — from childhood rheumatic fever and later breast cancer, to running her own retail empire in the wilds of Bella Coola, B.C. She was known as a character who did it all with a touch of humour, intelligence and grace.
Mary Parr met and married the dashing Morris (Moishe) Feinberg of Montreal, at the age of 20 while involved in the youth wing of the Canadian communist movement. Mary and Moishe ran the Pot Pourri coffee house in Montreal in the late 50s, welcoming many folk musicians to the stage including a fledgling singer-songwriter named Bob Dylan. They sold the coffee house and soon after had two 60s children, Jennifer in 1964 and Leon in 1966.
Mary worked as a bookkeeper before branching out into the early childhood education field, but her real career passion was the world of fashion and fabrics. She opened and ran Mary’s Boutique in Bella Coola with the support of Asbjorn (Hobey) Hobberstad at Thorsen Creek.
Running the little rural store emblazoned with an exquisite Gail Glass mural, and actually making a living at it, allowed her to fully explore her creative and entrepreneurial side as a savvy buyer, with a distinct flair for fashion and sports wear trends. She also enjoyed a good book, or a game of Scrabble, and was a staunch feminist going back a few generations on her matrilineal side.
Mary was pre-deceased by her parents and siblings, and last July by her doting husband, James Elmer Pinkston. James was her knight in shining armour who arrived in Bella Coola in a motor home, to whisk her off to Las Vegas when she was 69.
She knew he would come for her one day, and Mary had eight good years with him, she told anyone who enjoyed a good love story. They revelled in their cosy life at the Lynnwood Residence where they were well taken care of by staff and family.
Mary is survived by her children, Jennifer Marion Feinberg (Chris O’Brien) of Chilliwack, and Leon David Feinberg of Montreal, as well as her nieces, and nephews, and great-nieces and nephews.
A memorial wake will be held at a later date to celebrate her unique life.