Mary Engelmann

 
 
 

Obituary

Mary Engelmann died Wednesday, August 23, 2017. She was 90 years old. Mary Gertrude Wylie was born in 1927 in Bath, New York, USA, the eldest daughter of a minister and a schoolteacher. She grew up in Clinton, NY and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Park College outside of Kansas City MO. She pursued and received a master’s certificate in Social Work from the University of Buffalo, New York and began full-time work as a social worker for Allegheny County near the Pennsylvania border. She married Frederick Charles Engelmann in 1953 and they settled in Alfred, New York where their three boys were born. Mary moved with her family to Calgary, Alberta in 1962 and then to Edmonton in 1965. She was employed part-time in Calgary and Edmonton in various social work capacities before becoming the first Executive Director of the Society for the Retired and Semi-retired (now SAGE) in 1970, undertaking a new full-time specialty in the field of gerontology. Mary was soon recruited by the Alberta government to become the first Executive Director of the Senior Citizens Bureau for the province. As a senior public servant she launched a major expansion of programs for the elderly, generating creative ideas for access to services that have been adopted throughout Canada and beyond. Her leadership in Alberta was instrumental in developing the field of gerontology in Canada; she served as president of the Alberta Association of Gerontology (AAG), taught university courses, and served on numerous committees and boards, tirelessly promoting seniors’ issues both before and after her retirement in 1992.

She was the recipient of several accolades for a lifetime of service, including the first Award of Excellence from the AAG in 1992, as well as awards from the Rotary Club, SAGE, the YWCA, and the City of Edmonton. Long-time member and former clerk of the Edmonton Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), she was also active late in life in her local United Church.

Mary loved murder mysteries, dining out, travel, and music; she was an avid piano player, resuming classical lessons in her eighties. She enjoyed occasions, conversations, and especially laughter with friends and family, and is survived by her sons John, Peter, and Stephen Engelmann, daughters-in-law Margaux Béland and Sophia Mihic, and grandchildren Sébastien, Alexandre, and Mia.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, September 9 at Garneau United Church, 11148 84 Avenue, Edmonton.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that any contributions in Mary’s memory go to the Mary Engelmann Wellness Program at Ashbourne (11148 84 Ave. NW, Edmonton, AB T6G 0V8), or to the Fred and Mary Engelmann Graduate Travel Scholarship in Political Science, University of Alberta Office of Advancement, 3rd Floor Enterprise Square, 3-501, 10230 Jasper Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 4P6.

In Loving Memory of
Mary Engelmann
 
 
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 Print Funeral Details
Funeral Service:
Memorial Service
Saturday, September 9, 2017
2:00 PM
Garneau United Church
11148 84 Avenue, Edmonton
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