Mary Evelyn JANES (nee CRINGAN)
Died peacefully on Jan 29, 2021 after a short illness. She will be dearly missed by Jim, John, Anne, Sue, Laura, and her 8 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
Mary was born on July 17, 1929 into the talented and musical Cringan family. Her paternal grandfather, Alexander T. Cringan emigrated from Scotland to Toronto in 1886, after graduating from the Tonic Sol Fa College in London, England. A.T. Cringan was appointed the Superintendent of Music for the Toronto Public Schools in 1887, where he quickly established an outstanding record of enthusiastic music instruction which demonstrated the superior value of the Tonic SolFa System along with Curwen Hand Signs, rather than the Staff Notation System which prevailed at that time.
When A.T. Cringan emigrated from Carluke, Scotland to Toronto, he brought two young children, one of whom was John Waugh Cringan, Mary’s future father. John Cringan played viola in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in his youth, where he met Mary’s mother, Evelyn May Craig. John and Evelyn married in 1921, and had three boys Bob, Craig and Alex, then Mary, and then a final son Arthur in 1931. Mary attended Whitney School as a child, and later St Clements School, where she made lifelong friends.
When Mary was a teenager her parents bought a stately log cottage on Lake of Bays in Muskoka, which quickly became a place of many happy holidays for the family and their friends who joined them at the cottage. After the death of her parents, Mary and her brother Arthur inherited the Lake of Bays cottage, where Jim & John and Arthur’s family spent happy summers.
Before her marriage to Burton Purvis in 1955, Mary worked as a kindergarten teacher at Northlea Public School, where she used her talents as a pianist. In 1956 her first son Jim was born, followed by John in 1958. As her boys grew older she returned to supply teaching, then transitioned to office work at the College of Nurses in Toronto.
In 1981 she married Floyd Janes, and together they bought a farm near Yarker, Ontario, where her husband practiced law, she commuted into Kingston to work at the Ministry of Transportation, and together they raised chickens, pigs and cows. Mary retired in Kingston in 1994, later returning to Toronto to be closer to family. She lived with her son John and his wife Laura for four years, and often joined Jim & Anne at the Church of the Resurrection in East York.
After contracting Type 1 diabetes as a child, Mary began receiving insulin in Feb 1938 at Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto, where she made valentines for the other children who were patients there. As a young woman she learned to count the carbohydrates in her food, to calculate insulin dosages, and to sterilize the needles that she needed to inject into herself every day. In 1988 Mary was awarded the Joslin medal for having been on insulin for 50 years, and her picture was published in the Kingston Whig-Standard. In 2013 Mt Sinai hospital hosted a celebration to honour Mary for 75 years on insulin, followed by a party of family & friends 5 years later at the occasion of her 80th anniversary. Upon her death she was probably the longest surviving diabetic in Canada, having been on insulin for an incredible 83 years.
As an adult Mary enjoyed getting together with friends, playing bridge and scrabble, travelling, swimming, skating, dancing, singing in choirs, and playing the piano. In later life she volunteered for the Canadian Diabetic Society, and loved to spend time with grandchildren (and in due course, her great-grandchildren). All of her life, up until a week before her death, she enjoyed going for walks.
Mary was greatly beloved by her friends and family, and kept in touch with lifelong friends, many of whom have warm memories of school escapades or fun times at the Lake of Bays cottage.
During the last 16 years of Mary’s life, her home was Room 522 at the Revera Annex Retirement Residence, where her cheerful demeanor and warm smiles were always appreciated. Our special thanks go out to Narma, Lorna, Tina, Ian, Norine, Daisy, and all of the care team at the Annex for their help as Mary’s health weakened. We are also grateful for the support of Dr Bruce Perkins and Barbara Cleave, RN, of the Leadership Centre for Diabetes at Mt. Sinai Hospital.
An online memorial service will be held at a date to be determined. Donations in memory of Mary may be made to Diabetes Canada.