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Mary Eileen (Pat) Furlong

Mary Eileen (Pat) Furlong

It is hard to summarize a life, especially one that extended nearly a century. Pat Furlong (known also as Mary Eileen O'Brien) was an unconventional woman of singular verve. Deeply religious, she could be a law unto herself. The date on her birth certificate, for example, was regularly pushed back, until she was attending university at age 9! She painted houses bright yellow, wore ridiculously large hats so her children could spot her in a crowd, and thought nothing of packing up on a day's notice her eight offspring with the family German shepherd to head to the Saskatchewan wilderness. Her greatest passion was connecting and conversing with people. She changed her life often: teacher in a one-room school house, registered nurse during WWII, mother of 8 children, grandmother of 9, great-grandmother of one, with 18 nieces and 8 nephews. She was mad about politics, an educator many times over who herself held learning in high esteem, possessing two post secondary degrees, one earned when she was over 50. She was the proverbial Good Samaritan, espousing many causes and supporting many charities.

A private funeral service was held on January 10, 2014 at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, Saanichton, BC. (details can be found at A second service and burial to be held in Ottawa, Spring 2014. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to World Vision.




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