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Dr. Mary McLean

Dr. Mary Elizabeth McLean (Benians)

Wednesday, August 15th, 1923 - Thursday, October 22nd, 2020
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Dr. Mary Elizabeth McLean (Benians)
August 15, 1923 – October 22, 2020

Mary passed away peacefully at Belleville General Hospital on Oct 22, 2020. Beloved mother of Gerry Smits (Mary), Peter Smits (Sharon), & Joanna Hoekstra (Pete). Beloved grandmother of Ian, Robin, Callista, Sean, Robert, and Mary. Daughter of the late Hubert and Eileen Benians (nee Dodd). Older sister of Michael Benians(deceased)and Dr. Robin Benians. Pre-deceased by her husbands Rev.Ted Smits, Bill Portal-Foster, and George McLean. Mary will be greatly missed by her family and friends. Born in England, she immigrated to Canada in 1948 as a young doctor. She initially worked for the Grenfell Mission at Harrington Harbour, Quebec and later relocated to Montreal to work at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Later, she studied psychiatry at Queen's University and subsequently worked as a psychiatrist at Kingston Psychiatric Hospital, Prince Edward Heights, Belleville General Hospital, Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital, and Brockville Psychiatric Hospital and had her own private Psychiatry practice in Belleville. Mary had many hobbies, including drawing, painting, sewing, needlework, collecting antiques, travelling, and gardening. She also volunteered at various museums. The family would like to thank the staff at BGH for their exceptional care and compassion. The family would also like to thank Dr. Sara-Anne Arul, Blessed Bridges Senior Care, and the staff at Bayview Retirement Home for their kindness and dedication. Due to circumstances around Covid 19, a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Belleville General Hospital Foundation. On-line condolences can be made at:
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Private Condolence

Randy McLean

Posted at 07:01pm
I confess I remember Mary only slightly; I think because she was very
> soft spoken. But I do remember how impressed I was with her very
> detailed research notes and photographs pertaining to four properties
> in Eramosa Township, compiled in 1986, now in a file at the Museum and
> Archives; Likewise a file: "Women of Wellington County," a file of
> research undertaken 1989-1990; includes research on quilting;
> journals/diaries; directories - women landowners and businesswomen.
> I cannot easily verify it (without a trip to the Archives), but I seem
> also to remember stumbling on a ton of very good research she did on
> Pierpoint, and the Black settlement in Garafraxa Twp., just outside
> Fergus. Pages and pages of photocopies. Now in the Pierpoint family
> history file in the Reading Room at the Archives.
> Mary also volunteered a lot at the Guelph Civic Museum, and, again as
> I remember it, helped with the research for a large Black History
> display which they prepared. They may have documentation down there of
> her various contributions. I know we were saddened when she moved[?]
> to Guelph - and they got the benefit of her experience and research
> skills and interests. Courtesy of Ian Easterbrook, Fergus, Ontario

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