May passed away early in the morning of Wednesday June 25th, 2014 at St. Joseph’s Hospice in her 76th year. Predeceased by parents Harold Johnston and mother Bena Boardman. Beloved wife of the late Des Bradley (2008). Loved mother of Michael Bradley and Colleen Bradley, both of Sarnia. Loving grandmother of Stacey, Michael and Ashley Cechovsky who she adored. Will be greatly missed by her world family of sisters, Jean House of Staffordshire, England; Grace Cather of Adelaide, Australia; Rosie McIntyre, Betty Moorhead, Alice Mckibben; and brother Clary Boardman, all of Bangor, Northern Ireland; Also by Aunt Mary McNeilly and lifelong friend Isobel Wilsdon, both of Bangor, Northern Ireland. May was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2007. She met the challenges of the disease with grace, humour and courage. A private person, May would never burden others with her health issues and would be a voice of comfort to those few who knew. She did not let the disease defeat her or define her. The family will be forever grateful to Dr. Kim Barnett and Dr. Richard Cheong of Bluewater Health; Dr. Cyrus Hsia and his nurse, Janice, of London Health Sciences Centre, for their humanity and professionalism. Sincere thanks to Debbie Mulligan of Bayshore Home Care for her visits and care at home which May looked forward to. Would also like to thank the dedicated nurses and support staff on the 4th floor medical of Bluewater Health for their compassionate care over the last two months. Sincere thanks to the staff and volunteers of St. Joseph’s Hospice who surrounded May with care and love during her time there. A special thanks to Deanna Gibson, Spiritual Care Coordinator, for the peaceful and moving farewell ceremony when it was time to say goodbye to May at the Hospice with prayer and readings of the 23rd psalm and the Irish Blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
It is said if you are Irish that someday the world will break your heart. For those who knew and loved May our hearts are truly broken now but we hope our tears will evaporate in time with the beautiful memories of a lovely woman who personified the words beloved and kind. May was born in Northern Ireland. She and Des met as teens, working in a bakery, and they married 15 months later. Ireland’s greatest export is its people and they immigrated to the promise land of Australia in the 1950’s to find a better life. There Michael and Colleen were born and together they came to Canada and Sarnia in the late 1960’s. May was a long time, dedicated employee of Dominion Stores and A &P at Northgate where she was a staff and customer favourite with her warm smile and cheerful personality. She was a caring and compassionate woman with an outer and inner beauty that rippled through the lives of all she met because she loved people (and animals) and they loved her back. May retired to take care of Des after he suffered a massive stroke in 1999. She became his driver, advocate, support group and a champion debater, matching his Irish wit in her own gentle, loving way. Their joint determination blessed them with seven more trips to Northern Ireland before he passed away in 2008. For 55 years she was always there for him with affection and love, as he was for her. May’s love for Des was as big as the many oceans they crossed together and his passing left her heartbroken. In her last years, May’s life was simpler. Despite her health struggles she found joy in walks on the waterfront and feeding the birds, having French fries (always with extra vinegar) under the Bluewater Bridge, drives through Canatara Park and along Lake Huron, Christmas with the family (her favourite day of the year), telephone calls from Ireland, sitting in the sunshine in her garden, and watching Coronation Street with a cup of tea. At May’s request there will be no visitation or service, reflecting her private nature. The family asks those who knew and loved her to carry her memory in your hearts. Her ashes will join those of Des in the beautiful Northern Irish countryside where they fell in love and loved so much. Now they will be united there together, forever. Sympathy may be expressed through donations to St. Joseph’s Hospice. Memories and condolences may be sent online at www.smithfuneralhome.ca