October 15, 1927 – June 5, 2021
MARIA WILSON, née Maria John Laskaris, was born in Belleville, Ontario on October 15, 1927. She was the second child of Katherine and John Laskaris, and was predeceased by her older brother Peter and younger sister Emily. Maria’s first language was Greek, and she learned English when she began public school at age four. Maria played the piano and received her Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT) Performers and Pedagogy Degree. This was a major achievement for a Greek girl from a poor family. Maria’s parents owned and ran the Sparta Candy Kitchen in Belleville. It was here that Maria met the late Robert Wilson when he stopped into the diner. They married in 1952 and lived in Toronto, where they had four children. Before having children, Maria worked as a legal secretary. Later in life she taught classical piano in her home to neighbourhood children, and she authored several books. She was generous of spirit, had a creative, quick mind and a colourful personality. In her early married life she enjoyed playing bingo. She was so quick that she could manage playing 60 or 70 bingo cards at a time. It was from her bingo winnings that she purchased a used piano upright for her children, and her daughter Catherine went on to become a concert pianist. Maria had many gifts, most of which were not realized due to her personal circumstances. Maria spent the last four years of her life at Cummer Lodge, where she died on June 5, 2021. She loved great classical, jazz and popular musical styles and she often played piano for the residents. Long-time family friend Norman Hathaway and Catherine were with Maria throughout her years at Cummer Lodge, often playing concerts with their group Ensemble Vivant for the residents. This was a great joy for Maria that was sadly taken away from her during the pandemic. She is survived by her four children, Catherine, Andrew, John and Cynthia, and two grandsons, Scott Wilson and Gregory Wilson. A charity of Maria’s choosing is Euterpe Corporation, whose mandate is to bring highest calibre evidence-based live and virtual music performance/education programs to those who might not otherwise be exposed to these life-enhancing opportunities and resulting multiple benefits afforded. Please visit www.musicforhealthcanada.org Alternatively, please send donations to Cummer Lodge, whose care of Maria was exemplary.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
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