Obituary – Mary (Mapletoft) Huculak

Mary Huculak

Mary Margaret Mapletoft was born on Sept. 30, 1926, in Lloydminster, Sask.
Her parents, John and Martha Mapletoft, were dedicated Christians from whom Mary learned her love and adoration for Jesus Christ. Her only sibling, Edgar, was seven years older than her. She grew up and went to school in Fort Pitt and Frenchman Butte.
Mary’s family lived a full and active life both on the ranch and in their community. In Mary’s younger years, she enjoyed being part of 4H and playing hockey and baseball. Mary moved to Lamont, Alta., to begin the nursing program at the Lamont Hospital in 1946.
Mary met Adolph Huculak during the early part of her nursing program. While out on a Sunday walk, Mary spotted him practicing with his band. She shared how he had on ‘the ugliest green shirt’ she had ever seen, however, she said he “was cute” and, as they say, the rest is history. Mary and Adolph were married in Edmonton on Feb. 11, 1950, at St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church. Shortly after their wedding, they moved to Edmonton where Mary worked as an operating room nurse at the Misericordia and Charles Camsell Hospitals.
From there, they moved to Redwater where soon after their arrival, their son Brian was born, in March 1951. Always up for a challenge, Mary and Adolph decided to move to a homestead north of Kinuso on June 5, 1951. Terrace McRee plowed a road for them into the home site. Over the next few years, four more children were born: Ione, in March 1952; Marian, in October 1954; Patricia, in May 1956; and David, in November 1957.
Their life in Kinuso began with much hardship; struggling to make ends meet and raising an ever-growing family. Not long after David was born, Mary and Adolph had an opportunity to move to Joussard, where Mary returned to nursing at St. Bruno Mission. They lived in Joussard for 3.5 years before returning to Kinuso to build a home on the land they had cleared. Two more children were born, Daniel, in July 1962 and Kathryn, in June 1963.
In 1965, Mary returned to her nursing career. She worked as the Public Health Nurse for the First Nations communities of Sucker Creek, Driftpile, Swan River and Sawridge. She loved her work and drove through many blizzards and snowdrifts to fulfill her duties and obligations. She became a confidant and friend to hundreds of families over the years. In 1982, the Cree Nations honoured Mary with the title of Honourary Elder. Mary was very humbled by that recognition.
In September 1985, Mary retired from nursing. She and Adolph worked on the farm together and grew gardens rich in vegetables and berries. Mary served through endless hours of volunteer work with St. Johns Ambulance and the church community. She loved to teach classes for Baptismal preparation, First Communion, Reconciliation and Confirmation. On Oct. 7, 2013, Mary and Adolph attended their last Mass at St. Felix Catholic Church, in Kinuso, and shortly after, left their home community of over 60 years.
Mary and Adolph lived happily together in their condo at High Prairie, until Adolph’s death on July 20, 2015. The loss of Adolph had a huge impact on Mary’s life. After 65 years of marriage and nearly three years of “courting” she couldn’t imagine a life without Adolph. As always, Mary found her strength and courage from God and made the decision to move into supportive care in December 2016. Her last years were enriched by frequent visits from family and friends and many trips back to her condo for a home-cooked meal. Mary was blessed by the relationships and friendships she cultivated and built at J.B. Wood Continuing Care. Her “family” only grew and her work to serve God continued until her last breath.
Mary passed away on Nov. 17, 2022, in the J.B. Wood Continuing Care Centre, with family at her side.
She is predeceased by: her husband, Adolph; her parents, John and Martha; her brother, Edgar; her granddaughter, Stephanie; and great-great granddaughter, Alyssa.
She is survived by: her seven children, 14 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, and six great-great grandchildren. Mary will live on in all our hearts forever.
Mary’s family expresses sincere gratitude to the medical team and staff at J.B. Wood Continuing Care facility for their compassionate care and for friendships shared with Mary over the years.
Funeral service for Mary was held at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in High Prairie, on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, with Father Lawrence Odoemena officiating. Mary’s internment will be held with her family at a later date.
If friends so desire, donations can be made, in Mary’s memory, to the High Prairie Palliative Care Society or to a charity of your choice as expressions of sympathy.

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