Mary Alberta (Edey) Olinger

Mary Alberta (Edey) Olinger


Mary was predeceased by her husband John

August Olinger on July 16, 1998 and son, Peter on September 13, 2011, passed away peacefully at Cottonwoods Care home

in Kelowna, BC on Saturday, September 28, 2013. She leaves behind the rest of her family Helena Goodwin in Westbridge, BC, Phil (Wendy) in Kelowna, BC., and the late Peter’s wife, Linda. There are nine grandchildren; Justin Harris (Brigitte), Trevor and Kelley; Patricia (Ole Smink), Danielle Lynn and Alexis (Steffon Walby), Krista (Ralph Feenstra), Lee (Lindsey Smith) and Neil along with eight great grandchildren Brendan, Corbin and Aaron; Reanna; Braxton and Carter; Lilian and Drevin.

Mary Alberta Olinger was born in Carmangay, Alberta on June 6, 1918. She was predeceased by one older sister, Margaret (Sidney Preston) and three older brothers Gordon (Mabel), Charles Alexander (Margaret May Jean Johns), and John (known as Jack,  whose spouse was Alice Karl). Mary had three younger sisters, Eileen (Ralph Pringle), Jean (Sister Jean from Providence Motherhouse in Kingston, Ontario) and Loretta May who died very young. She is outlived by her younger brother Raymond (Thursa).

Her father, Alexander Edey, immigrated from Peebles, Peebleshire, Scotland in 1904 then returned to Scotland and married his childhood sweetheart, Margaret Ann Murphy, who was born in Frizington, Cumbria, England of Irish parents and she emigrated from England in 1910.  Alex Edey returned to Canada and became a farmer.As a young girl, Mary loved to ride horses and, as a

young woman, she worked as a waitress until meeting her husband, John in Dawson Creek, BC. They were married in Grand Prairie, Alberta in 1940. Together they had sawmills in Revelstoke and at the end of the rail-grade at Dawson Creek where Mary, dressed as a man, hauled timbers for the construction of the original Alaska Highway.From there they went to Edmonton and tried their hand at building houses, then moved to Kelowna and had a motel. On August 15, 1949, they bought the Don McLean Lumber Ltd. mill at Carmi and lived in Carmi until they sold the timber rights to Boundary Timber. During that same time they owned and operated Rutland Sawmill.  As well as this was the time they began adding to the family with the first of three adoptions, being Peter.  Helena was adopted not too long after that, then quite a gap until they adopted one more treasure, Philip!!

They moved back to Kelowna while they were running Carmi and Rutland sawmills. When they shut the mills down they ran various companies including the Rutland Door Factory which is now Mara Lumber. John was able to retire quite young and they spent the next years raising grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

John and Mary loved children! Mary was also very active through the years, volunteering with the Kelowna General Hospital and was very involved with her church and the Catholic Women’s League for Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Kelowna, BC. Mary will long be remembered for driving her brown Rolls Royce with license plates of MARY O, throughout town dropping off or picking up her grandchildren and great grandchildren!! One remarkable, loving and devoted lady has gone to her final resting place to watch over and guide all her loved ones that she has left behind. Rest in peace. We love you, Mom! 

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, 2268 Pandosy St., Kelowna, BC V1Y 1T2 in Mary Olinger’s name or online at

Prayers will be recited on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm followed by Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 10:30 am both at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 839 Sutherland Ave., Kelowna, BC.  Interment to follow in Immaculate Conception Cemetery on Casorso Road


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