Mary Katherine Cormier
Much beloved and respected Saint John artist Mary Cormier passed away peacefully on July 12, 2022 at the Dartmouth General Hospital in Nova Scotia with her son Blair and his partner Kathy at her side.
Born Mary Katherine MacKenzie (1929), she grew up on the government experimental farm in Fredericton NB where her father John was the Assistant Superintendent. Mary’s mother, Josephine, was ahead of her time, feeding her children with so many vegetables they were known as the ‘Mackenzie Rabbits.’ Mary graduated from UNB Fredericton with a Bachelor of Arts in 1950, and taught school for several years.
In 1954 she married Dr. Leo A. Cormier (1923-1994), a Dentist, and together they raised five children in Saint John, New Brunswick. Under the firm guidance of their father, and the guiding love of their mother, the children thrived.
As her children gained their independence, Mary launched into her career as an artist. She began taking workshops and classes in earnest. Nationally acclaimed artist Fred Ross noticed Mary’s penchant for Saint John architecture at an early stage and encouraged her to focus on it. She soon became known for her beautiful watercolor paintings of Saint John landscapes and architecture which displayed her ability to capture the city’s unique character. Mary’s depictions ranged from stately older homes to fishing shacks and took on their own personality under her practiced brushstroke. Always giving back, Mary became a leading member on the Saint John Art Scene. She was president of the Saint John Art Club for several years, and a founding member of ‘Studio Five’, an Artist co-operative Gallery on Canterbury Street. Her artwork is held in the permanent collections at the University of New Brunswick, the City of Saint John, and the New Brunswick Museum. Mary was an inspiration to her daughter Margot Cormier Splane who also became an award-winning artist.
Ten years after her husband Leo passed, Mary and Bob Reeves rekindled their friendship. Interestingly enough Bob was responsible for first introducing Mary and Leo many decades earlier. Mother of Blair (Kathy), David (Lynn), Eric (Clare), Margot (Bruce) and Philip (Joan), she was predeceased by her husband Leo and her grandson Andrew. She is survived by her sister Jean Glass (John) in New Jersey. Mary was a devoted grandmother to Cathy, Caitlin, Annie, Alex, Max, James, Justine, Nick, Sammy and Teddy. Mary Cormier will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by her immediate family, grandchildren, relatives, and friends. Mary was loving, supportive, generous, dedicated, and a lot of fun. She travelled extensively throughout the world and was an avid reader. It was a potent combination, and a tough act to follow. We will love you forever Mom!
A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Bernard’s Roman Catholic Church in Moncton (43 Botsford St) New Brunswick on September 16, 2022, at 11:00 AM, and a 'Celebration of Life' will follow the service. A representative collection of Mary’s artworks is available on the Facebook site: Mary Cormier Saint John Artist – My Perspective.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or to the charity of the donor's choice. Thank you to the care professionals at the Dartmouth General Hospital 5E. Your care and compassion in Mom’s final days will forever be remembered and appreciated. To the staff and professionals at the Chateau de Champlain in Saint John and the Berkeley Dartmouth. We appreciate you all watching out for Mom when we couldn’t be there.