Vernon Funeral Home


Mrs. Mary Evelyn Gourlay

11 September, 192819 April, 2021

Mary Evelyn Gourlay (née Ternoway) on April 19, 2021

Born in 1928, the only girl to Helen and Bill Ternoway, Mary Gourlay was given the gift of life, and she fought to keep it. Despite a life-threatening illness in her late teens, Mary thrived. She embraced life and adventure: driving around in her convertible and taking adventurous trips with friends.

In 1959 she traded in her convertible for a station wagon, married her husband Jim and instantly became a loving mother to his four children. Mary and Jim expanded the family by having two more children. Over the years they were blessed with ten grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

Over the 47 years Mary and Jim were together they lived in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec eventually retiring to live on a sailboat. But they settled for the longest time in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in Vernon, where Mary remained after Jim's passing in 2006.

A true Ukrainian, Mary was known for her ability to love and be loved. Warm and welcoming. Fun, and funny – a delightful, inspiring and remarkable woman.

We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Mary during her 92 years, among them: go to the beach and eat calamari at Alexander's Pub, play with dogs and accept any hugs you can human or otherwise, hold out your hand to help others, be strong but also be vulnerable.

Mary's next adventure takes her to a wonderful place where she will be socializing, laughing, and reading to her heart’s content. And where music, laughter and love are guaranteed as she is reunited with the family and friends, she has not seen in a long time including her husband, parents and her brothers, John (Violet) and Albert (Jacquie), as well as her sister-in-law, Mary Jane Gourlay.

Lovingly remembered by daughters Anne (André) Gourlay-Langlois, Janet Gourlay-Vallance, Elizabeth Gourlay, Margaret (Laurel) Gourlay; sons James (Becky) Gourlay, David (Leslie) Gourlay. Loving aunt to Ron Ternoway, Diane Dika and Joanne Shmyr.

Donations in lieu flowers may be made to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation, of which Mary was a long-time member of the Auxiliary. Alternately, given Mary's love for animals, donations may be made to the B.C. SPCA.

The family would like to send a special thank you to the staff of Canterbury Place. Their friendship and care enhanced Mary’s final years allowing her to live happily until her very sudden death.

A celebration of life will be announced at a later date when Covid-19 restrictions allow.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Mrs. Mary Evelyn Gourlay

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bruce MacLean

27 April 2021

Dear Anne
We are so sorry to read of your mother's passing. We remember how much you looked forward to your visits with her out west and your stories about both your parents. She certainly lived a full life and will be dearly missed. Someone like your mother leaves an indelible mark that will be with you forever and will we hope be a source of comfort and strength.
Our sincere condolences,
Bruce, Janet, Samantha and Emily

Betty Brousse

26 April 2021

Anne, I think I have known your Mom for over forty years! Believe I first met your Mom and Dad when they were living in Montreal.
What a wonderful lady she was, you were so fortunate to have her in your life.
Always enjoyed hearing what your parents were up to.
You will miss her, my sincere condolences.