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Mae Sherwood, a valued colleague in Biological Sciences for many years, as Chair’s Secretary, passed on Sunday, January 31, 2022, just eight days short of her 91st birthday.
The centre of the Sherwood/De Santa clan, Mae was a loving, wise, and generous person. Her love for her family was unconditional—and they will miss her deeply.
Born in Winnipeg in 1931 to Jewish/Ukrainian immigrants, Mae Greenberg was the eldest in a family of four children. Early on, she showed a talent for administration and organization that led to a 50-year career as a secretary/administrator.
She met Alden Sherwood, the love of her life, in the early 1950’s, and they married in September of 1953. They were happily married for over 61 years until Alden passed away in 2014. They have two children. Daughter Susan and her husband Dino De Santa now split time between Comox and Forni de Sopra in Italy. Son David and his wife Robin are retired in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Susan and Dino’s daughter Jessica is Alden and Mae’s only, and much loved, grandchild.
For much of their married lives, Mae and Alden worked in close proximity, including many years at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., where Mae was an office professional and Alden on the faculty of the Chemistry Department. They often drove to and from work together, ate lunch together, and went to fitness classes together. The only occasional friction was when Mae’s union was on strike and Alden had to cross the picket line!
Alden’s dream was to retire to an ocean-front property in B.C. Despite Mae’s reservations (she was, after all, a city girl), and in partnership with long-time friends Ralph and Mary Nursall, they bought property near Whaletown on Cortes Island. They built a home and retired to the Island in the mid 1990’s.
Mae shouldn’t have worried. She quickly grew to love Cortes and became involved in many local activities—including organizing and promoting classical music concerts with visiting musicians (who often stayed at their home), assisting and organizing at many festivals and special days (remember the pie and salad booths?) and becoming involved in community and seniors’ groups (she was a cutthroat carpet bowler).
The Sherwood home on Cortes was also the epicentre for holiday celebrations, with family visiting from afar and many happy and hilarious dinners and visits with friends.
Following Alden’s passing in 2014, Mae tried to stay in the Cortes home but health issues eventually forced her to move to the Berwick Retirement Home in Campbell River, where her friends and family often visited.