Mary Lou "Mary Lou" Charles

April 3, 1933 - January 5, 2022


Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; Love leaves a memory no one can steal. Mary Lou Charles of Calgary, AB, passed away on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 after a brief struggle with COPD and lung cancer. She died with dignity, surrounded by her lifelong friends. In her final words, Mary Lou said it was time for her to cross the Rainbow Bridge and we know the true loves of her life, her beloved Boston Terriers, Skippy, Sparkie, Candy, Sassie and Kylie were waiting for her.


Mary Lou graduated from Central High School and went on to develop her nursing skills at the Calgary General Hospital. She then attended the University of Alberta, earning her Bachelor of Nursing degree. When she returned to Calgary, Mary Lou joined the ranks of the nursing profession and practiced her profession in the public health community.  She was a familiar face to students at Elboya School and was known by many as Nurse Charles. Mary Lou commented that aside from her dogs, her fondest memories were of times spent at the family cottage at Sylvan lake, exploring the east coast and Newfoundland and venturing south to California. However, her greatest pleasure was enjoying the many escapades and challenges that her furry friends presented. She was also an avid gardener and both the inside and outside her home reflected her interest in plants.


Mary Lou was the consummate nurse. She was the first one her many friends reached out to for guidance and advice. True to her roots, Mary Lou was brutally honest at times; quick to help out and always there for everyone. She cultivated lifelong friendships. Mary Lou was a very sharp, and well-read woman. She shared opinions on many topics and remained current about the ongoing challenges our world has been facing. Mary Lou was predeceased by her parents, Dr. Burwell Charles and her mother, Margaret Pearl.


The past several years had become very challenging for Mary Lou as she fought the ravages of living with lung disease, but she did her best to maintain her independence. The telephone became her real source of socializing and to those who knew her, trying to call her was often a challenge as the phone always seemed to be busy.


Mary Lou will be greatly missed and so fondly remembered. In respecting her wishes during this time of Covid, there will not be a formal Celebration of Life. Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed here.


Mary Lou knew that each of us in our own way would remember her and be reminded of who she was, how great a friend she was. We know how very much she will be missed. She wanted to pass this message on to her many friends and loved ones.


Irish Blessings

May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back. May the sunshine warm on your face,

The rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.


If friends so desire, memorial tributes in Mary Lou’s name may be made directly to The Calgary Humane Society, 4455 – 110th Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB  T2C 2T7, Telephone: (403)205-4455,, or to A.A.R.C.S. – Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society, 5060 – 74th Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB T2C 3C9, Telephone: (403) 250-7377,


In living memory of Mary Lou Charles, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.