August 9, 1942 – January 18, 2021
It is with deep sadness that the family of Mary-Ann Katherin Tabor (Chomitsa) announces her passing on January 18, 2021 at Southbridge Roseview.
Mary-Ann was the strong, independent first born to Harry and Nellie Chomitsa. She was born in St. Boniface, MB on August 9, 1942. When she was still very young, her family moved to Dryden, ON. This is where she and her two sisters, Linda and Elaine, grew up and completed high school. From early on in her life, Mary-Ann learned the value of hard work, both at home and at school. It was that deeply engrained work ethic that guided her through life. She set a stellar example for all those who paid attention. She was not a vocal or outwardly expressive person, but she had her values and always lived by them.
After she finished high school, Mary-Ann left her family home, and set out to make a life for herself. She moved to Winnipeg and worked for a while. After that, she went to airline school. This schooling brought her to Minneapolis where she worked for Western Airlines. This was a happy and fun time in her life. She often told her daughters stories of the friends and the good times that she had while living and working there. It was during this time that she met the love of her life, while on a trip to Thunder Bay. She and Wil Tabor had been set up on a blind date. Mary-Ann had come up for her sister Linda’s graduation from nursing school. The two hit it off and were engaged six months later. They wed on May 25, 1968 in Minneapolis. The couple ended up moving back to Thunder Bay, which was Wil’s hometown. This is where they started and raised their family. Throughout their marriage Mary-Ann was Wil’s constant source of support. He was the outgoing gregarious one, and she was the behind-the-scenes partner who made sure everything ran smoothly.
Mary-Ann was proud of and deeply loved her daughters, Cheryl and Kelly. She brought them up by instilling in them the same strong work ethic and drive to succeed in all that they set out to do in life. She led by example in everything she did, especially her work in the home. Not only was the family home probably the cleanest house around, but it always had something great cooking or baking in the kitchen. She was an amazing cook. She could make anything. Not only did her food taste great, it was also presented beautifully. Special occasions often felt like they had been catered by a 5-star establishment. Extended family and friends enjoyed coming over for delicious meals and desserts. Everything she made was always a hit. This is one thing that, even to this day, her daughters are reminded of by childhood friends and past co-workers. Both of her daughters also love to cook and bake, and now carry on the tradition in both of their homes with their families.
Some of Mary-Ann’s other past-times were sewing, doing petit point, making beautiful Christmas ornaments, gardening, and bowling. She was also an avid sports fan and listened to all sorts of sporting events while keeping herself busy in the home. When possible, she cheered for any team from Toronto. Her favourite team was the Blue Jays. She and Wil made every effort to get to their games if it coincided with their travels.
Mary-Ann worked full-time for almost 30 years for Bank of Montreal. She loved her job, and her co-workers. She also often had clients stop her when she was out in public, just to say “hi” and to see how she was doing. She was definitely well-liked and respected. Her banking career ended when she finally decided to retire, after a series of physical challenges made it almost impossible to continue the daily work routine.
Her family was so happy when she decided to retire, because then she could finally get some well-deserved rest…WRONG! At home, you would still never catch her sitting for more than an hour at a time. Her family was often telling her to take a break, or to get some rest. She would have none of it, and just kept doing everything in “super-mom” fashion. Until she was no longer able, Mary-Ann kept very busy…so much so, that it eventually forced her out of her home and into assisted living. Her body was letting her down. She had 5 major surgeries over the span of ten years. This is enough to take a toll on anyone. Her mobility was on a downward spiral. She got to the point where even assisted living was not enough. A year and a half ago, Mary-Ann moved into Southbridge Roseview. This is where her journey ended after a long battle with the after-effects of COVID-19 and other complications. She fought so hard, and amazed all of the staff who had the pleasure of working with her. She was a joy to be around. Both at Chartwell and at Roseview she was given many affectionate nicknames like “Giggles”, “Blue Eyes”, and “Smiley” by some of the staff. She was always smiling. Her daughter Cheryl would tell her that she was the best audience any fledgling comedian could hope for…It was very easy to make her laugh.
Both of her daughters made sure that she knew how much she was loved and cherished during her final months/days. Their admiration only grew stronger for their wonderful mother, while they witnessed her courage and strength in every challenge that she faced with pure grace. Mary-Ann will be sadly missed by all who knew her.
Mary-Ann is survived by her daughters Cheryl (Paul) and Kelly (George), as well as her beloved granddaughter, Autumn. She is also survived by both of her sisters, Linda Tabor (nee Chomitsa) and Elaine Chomitsa. There is also brother-in-law, Albert Walz, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews.
She was pre-deceased by both of her parents, Harry and Nellie Chomitsa, her husband Wil Tabor, brothers-in-law Tom Tabor, Jim Magarrell, sisters-in-law, Gayle Walz, Roberta Magarrell and Carol York, nephew Thomas Jeffrey Magarrell, and great-nephew Christopher Hill.
Both Cheryl and Kelly would like to take this opportunity to thank the hard-working staff of Southbridge Roseview who worked tirelessly to provide excellent care to our mother. We appreciate each and every one of you!
Due to the current gathering restrictions, a private funeral service for the late Mrs. Mary-Ann Tabor will be held on Friday, January 29, 2021 in the WESTFORT CHAPEL, 420 West Gore Street at James, officiated by Rev. Rob Smith. Interment will follow in Mountainview Cemetery. A video recording of the service will be available on the Everest of Thunder Bay website beginning on Saturday.
Should friends so desire, donations made in memory of Mary-Ann to the Arthritis Society or Alzheimer Society would be greatly appreciated.