Mr. Speaker, she was a loving mother, grandmother, wife, but, most important, Mary Gillard was a beloved educator.
Mary passed away earlier this summer on her 95th birthday, but the impact she had on her community will be her long-lasting legacy.
Over the course of an outstanding 65-year teaching career, which lasted until she was 82, she inspired generations of Albertans. Mary believed that every one of her students had a unique gift. She taught them work ethics and the importance of community, but, most important, that respect must be earned. She was right.
A mentor and an educator, Mary was honoured multiple times for her teaching and her community support. She was given the Silver Falcon Award for outstanding service to the community and youth, the Integrity Award, presented by the Okotoks Rotary, and the school division gave her the outstanding teaching award when she was 87.
Mary shaped the hearts and minds of so many in our community, grandparents, parents, sons and daughters, including my own. For generations of Okotokians, Mary was a guiding light in the classroom and the community.
Together, we honour the life and legacy of this outstanding, inspiring woman.