Eleanor 'Mary' Truax ... a life that made a difference

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“Prisoners of hope inhabited the tuberculosis sanatoriums,

They were intelligent, artistic and determined, too” ...

[Diane Sims, author of A Life Consumed]

Eleanor “Mary” Truax, resident of Southampton Care Centre passed away Wednesday May 9th, just shy of another Mother’s Day.

Very recently she received a prestigious award from the Ontario Long Term Care Association. The following is the Southampton Care Centre’s submission for the award application for Mary:

"Mary Truax certainly deserved recognition for her lifetime achievements. She triumphed by way of faith, song and community service.

The first child of George and Eleanor Moore, she was born in Niagara-on-the-Lake on July 28, 1919, during a time of the urban scourge known as Tuberculosis. Mary had a difficult childhood spending between the ages of five and seven in a sanitarium with TB. She recalls relying on faith and song when she was lonely.

While Mary was isolated from her family, her baby brother Bert was born, and tragically her mother died from kidney disease. Her father remarried after Mary’s return and later she was big sister to two more brothers.

Teenage years for Mary were less tumultuous. She found joy singing in the church choir and won Kiwanis Music Festival awards. Her voice carried a sweet resilience, joyful, triumphant.

Her family’s relocation to Walkerton sparked a romance and later marriage to Elridge “Busty” Truax whom she came to know through church. Raising her daughters Eleanor and Mary Beth, Mary immersed herself in her family, faith and community.

In the 1950’s, her daughters expressed interest in figure skating. Mary, discovering that no such group existed, served as the founding president of the Walkerton Figure Skating club. She also served as the president of the Women’s Division of the Walkerton Curling Club, a sport that she and her husband enjoyed. In an effort to ensure the needs of both these groups were fulfilled, Mary headed up the Recreation Committee of Town Council.

Mary extended her volunteer efforts to the community. Active as a hospital volunteer for nearly three decades, she became the first president of the Bruce County Hospital Auxiliary. In the early 1990’s she received a lifetime membership for her many years of service with Meals on Wheels. Mary’s daughter recalls fondly, “My mom was a wonderful role model instilling in us a sense of community. I remember, one Christmas when mom went to pick up the meals on wheels delivery. Exasperated that there were none because it was a holiday, mom took the trays home and delivered to the community the dinner that she had prepared for her own family.”

Mary shared her love of music and faith performing in local musical productions and singing in the church choir for over 50 years. A need for organization at St Paul’s United Church resulted in Mary’s establishment and presidency of the United Church Women.

Declining health lessened the necessity of Mary to be, as her daughter Eleanor says “ the President of Everything”, as others have filled the vacancies she once proudly fulfilled. But it was Mary’s resolve that laid the foundation for her successors, her faith and sense of responsibility that shaped the community in which she lived, and her voice that brought hope and joy to all that listened.

Thank you Mary for the opportunity to know you."


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Friday, May 11, 2012