October 29, 1926 – February 19, 2021
On October 29, 1926 in Elgin Manitoba, Mary became the second child born to Dora Ross. After a third child arrived, Dora realized as a single mother, she couldn’t offer these three children the life they deserved, so after receiving prayerful confirmation, Dora lovingly agreed to give her children better opportunities in life. An ad in the Lethbridge Herald listed her three children as available for adoption, 1 yr. old Hughie( later named Earl Herbert), 3 yr. old Mary and 8 yr. old Lillian. Sisters, Hazel McLean and Laura Bullock, saw the ad and got excited to each adopt one of the girls. Hazel got Mary and Laura got Lillian. So big sisters adopted little sisters, and Mary and Lillian were blessed to maintain loving association as cousins. Mary considered her adoption into the McLean home to be the greatest miracle of her life. It was in the happy McLean home that she learned to love family, music and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It was while serving as a Corporal in the RCAF in the WWII battles at Normandy, that Gerald Watson received revelation that he should marry Mary Doreen McLean when he returned home after the war. Ger followed that inspiration and made Mary his bride for time and all eternity in the Cardston Alberta temple on May 26, 1946.
They resided in a tiny home in Raymond until Ger provided her with a new grander castle in Lethbridge where they lived happily for the rest of their 57 years together and raised five children.
Early on in their marriage, after Ger had apprenticed as a plumber and graduated at the top of his class that he was hired by the province as a provincial plumbing inspector over Red Deer south to the USA border. This demanded much of his time to be spent on the road, and left Mary often alone to bravely raise five spunky and spirited children. She tackled this duty with love and nobility.
Always an active and faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, serving and loving others was her heart song. She dedicatedly served in the Ward and Stake Primary leadership for over 20 years. She and Ger fulfilled an 18 month call to serve in the England, London mission during 1987-88. Together they served in the Lethbridge Bishops Storehouse and were assigned to set up and operate the new cannery. They loved to garden and received permission to change a large grassed area into a huge garden where people could access fresh produce and fruit from the numerous fruit trees they planted around the garden and entire property. In true Watson style they loved to garden and always had a well manicured yard that showcased many flowers and a large vegetable garden which included a small greenhouse.
Both Mary and Ger loved to watch the birds that would come to the backyard and visit the many birdfeeders and birdhouses that were placed therein. Mary had a book on birds which she kept in the kitchen so she could quickly reference it when an unfamiliar one would show up. She also told of the blue jays that would often peck at the kitchen window when the feeder located there was empty.
Mary loved music and sang in church choirs as well as various Lethbridge Community Choirs for an extended period of time. When getting together she and her sisters would break into songs that they knew and loved, one of the most favorites was “The Watermelon Song” as taught to them by their father.
Mary was a hard worker with a fun disposition. She brightened the room wherever she went and kept a walking pace that few could keep up with till her dying day. But mostly, she loved her Savior, Jesus Christ, and repeatedly told us children of her gratitude that she was adopted into a home that taught her the gospel.
After Ger passed away on her birthday nearly 20 years ago, Mary has been longing for him to return and say his funny line to her, “Honk honk, If yer in, ya ride!!” For well over a year, Mary has heartfully expressed to all, in every conversation, that she just wants to go home.
It is with hearts full of gratitude and peace that on Friday, February 19, 2021, the call to come home finally arrived. She peacefully slipped away with family by her side.
She blessed the lives of so many, most especially her late husband, Gerald Lee Watson, and her five children: Collin (Jill) of Cochrane, Brad (Louise) of Edmonton, Kerry (Jacqueline)of Lethbridge, Patricia Laronde (Daniel) of Seattle, and Daryn (Sheri) of Swan Hills. She will also be missed by 21 grandchildren and 42 great-grandchildren.
Because of COVID 19 restrictions a Graveside service, for family only, will be held at the Temple Hill cemetery, Raymond on Thursday, February 25 at 11 a.m.