Obituary of Mary Ruth MacLellan
Mary Ruth MacLellan
Roberta/ Glace Bay
Mary Ruth (Clarke) MacLellan, age 77, of Roberta (West Bay), passed away on October 19th, 2023 in the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. Born in the town of Glace Bay, and raised in Donkin, she was the daughter of the late Norman Augustus Clarke, and Mae Esther (Brazel) Clarke.
Mary Ruth is survived by her husband Charles Howard MacLellan of 51 years; her two sons, Charles Ian Clarke MacLellan (Jamie Rose) and William Allan Nicholson MacLellan; one adopted daughter / niece, Lisa Monique May (Glenn); seven grandchildren, Liam, Carter, Aiden, Kelly, Scarlett, Connor, Keiran; and
one great grandson, Mason.
Mary was predeceased by her parents, and her only sibling, Norman
George Frederick Clarke.
Mary Ruth took her greatest joy from time spent with her grandchildren and she was a
champion/advocate for children everywhere, from anti-bullying to all aspects of child development for a healthy, strong future. When the local school board was planning to double up classes at her neighbourhood school, she helped to organize a school in the church basement, made up of volunteer teachers. Unbeknownst to the school board, of course.
A graduate of Morrison Glace Bay High School, Mary Ruth started her working life as a pharmacy clerk at the Glace Bay General Hospital. From there she would move on do secretarial work for the hospital administrator, and would eventually take a leave of absence to grow her family with her husband, Charlie. When she returned to work, she was first an outpatient clerk, and then moved into purchasing, shipping and receiving hospital supplies. She was then appointed to the board of directors with Glace Bay Community Hospital until the eventual amalgamation of the Glace Bay Hospital system, when she chose to retire.
Upon retirement, Mary Ruth became busier than ever. She joined the “Save Our Healthcare” steering committee, whose efforts were directed at halting what they felt was the erosion of health services caused by regionalization. Mary Ruth would also take up the banner of environmental activism. She joined the Joint Action Group ethics committee to try to put a human face on the plight of those affected by the Sydney Tar Ponds environmental disaster.
Eventually, when Charlie retired, they would leave Glace Bay and move to Roberta. It was here, together with their family, that they would fulfill a lifelong dream of living on the shores of the Bras D’Or Lakes.
Mary Ruth spent much of her golden years enjoying time with her children, grandchildren and extended family, especially in the summertime when their lakeside property becomes more of a campground with scores of family and friends visiting throughout July and August.
Visitation will be held Tuesday, October 24th, from 2pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm at TJ Tracey Cremation and Burial Specialists, (MacKay's Corner)370 Reserve St., Glace Bay, NS (902-849-4199). Funeral service will also be held at TJ Tracey Funeral Home on Wednesday, October 25th at 1pm with the Rev. R. Biggar of St. Luke’s United Church officiating. Interment to follow at St. Luke’s United Church Cemetery, Donkin.
Flowers are welcome, or in lieu of flowers a donation can be made to a charity of choice in Mary Ruth’s memory.
A special thank you from Mary Ruth’s family, to the staff at the Strait-Richmond Hospital, as well as to the Respiratory and CCU/ICU staff at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital.