Cover photo for Mary Jean Borovijs (Mcdermid)'s Obituary
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Mary Jean Borovijs (Mcdermid)

Mary Jean Borovijs (McDermid)

Jeannie passed away peacefully the morning of January 6, 2020 with family at her bedside. Born on January 24, 1957 and raised in the Ottawa Valley, she moved to Toronto to work at Sick Kids’ Hospital. She loved her short career, first as a secretary, then accountant, and was also a volunteer cook at Houselink for a number of years. She was fiercely proud of her son Tyler, a graduate of University of Toronto and OISE, and his career as a math and science educator.

Survived by loving son Tyler Borovijs (Kelly Miller), sisters Claire Poirier (Camil), Harriet Hodgins (John), sister-in-law June. Predeceased by parents Alec and Lulu McDermid; brothers Bob (Alice), Campbell (Beatrice) and Douglas; former spouse Yancy Borovijs. Fondly remembered by nieces and nephews Nancy, Bob, David, Brian, Alexander, Douglas, Laura, Cora Lee, Anne, Darlene, Nancy, Campbell, Linda, Ted, Jacqueline, Marc; and by cousins Russell, Elda, Gary, Lloyd, Lynn, Ken, Richard, Karen, Denise, Terry, Alan, Jeff, Tim, Ron, Don and Euretta.

Jeannie loved life and its simple pleasures – a cup of Tim’s (three milks, no sugar), a long walk, listening to music, sharing wine with friends, and socializing. Her face would light up with pleasure when family or friends came to visit.

Jeannie faced major health challenges with raw courage, perseverance and dry wit. A tough character who brooked no fools, she was generous, game for adventure and full of life.

As a carrier of Lupus and Hughes syndrome (antiphospholipid syndrome, or APS), the effects of dozens of strokes gradually reduced her ability to enjoy her favourite activities. Jeannie’s world became smaller as her physical restrictions and speech impediments grew. It was gratifying to know her spirits were lifted by the company of family who stayed by her side through her final week of care in hospital and hospice.

The family thanks staff and volunteers at The O’Neill Centre for Jeannie’s long-term care. Heartfeult thanks also to staff at Toronto Western Hospital and Kensington Hospice for recent care and support, and to Dr. Melissa Li for enabling our transfer to Hospice for our family to say their final goodbyes.

A memorial for Jeannie will be held in the Ottawa Valley in summer 2020. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Kensington Hospice or Lupus Canada. Condolences to the family may be offered through “Don’t weep at my grave, for I am not there. I’ve a date with a butterfly to dance in the air. I’m singing in the sunshine, wild and free; playing tag with the wind while I’m waiting for thee.” (Sharon A. Bryington).

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