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McCullough, Mary "May"

McCULLOUGH, Mary (May) -

September 30 1920 - November 13, 2019

May was born almost a century ago in Donegal, Ireland, eldest daughter of 13 children to Robert and Annie Long. An avid student and mathematics whiz, she became a respected bookkeeper for Austin's in Derry and it was there that she met a handsome student minister, Robert, whom she married in 1947 while he was on missionary service in Trinidad. In 1951 her only child was born and shortly after that the family returned to Ireland. Robert's work in the Protestant church brought them to Canada where they began their years in the United Church. May's faith and intelligence matched Robert's and she worked alongside him in the unpaid role of minister's wife in Drayton, Kitchener, Toronto and Leamington. May's contribution to congregations in leadership, visitation and frequent donation of fabulous baked goods is long remembered. While May embraced life in Canada she always referred to Ireland as home and missed her huge family connection there. In retirement she and Robert moved to Guelph to enjoy time spent travelling and with family and ongoing volunteerism. She indulged her love of reading challenging material such as Darwin's Origin of Species and works from all major religions. Widowed for over 20 years she exhibited her independent spirit and her courage and remained active and well informed on world affairs until age started to take its toll in her late nineties.

She will be greatly missed by daughter Margaret Vaivods (Bonnie), grandchildren Kathleen (Mike) and Connor (Danielle), great grandchildren Andrianna and Barrett as well as family in Ireland.

The family expresses sincere thanks to the staff at The Ellington Retirement Home and to the amazing PSW's and medical staff at Riverside Glen.

A service to celebrate May's life will be held on Monday, December 9, 2019 at 11:30 in the Hallman Room at Dublin Street United Church, Guelph.

Refreshments to follow. Donations to a charity of your choice in May's name would be appreciated. Arrangements entrusted to the WALL-CUSTANCE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 519-822-0051 or

A tree will be planted in memory of Mary (May) McCullough in the Wall-Custance Memorial Forest, University of Guelph Arboretum. Dedication service, Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 2:30 pm.

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