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Mary Hetherington

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Mary Theresa Hetherington

October 23, 1929 - July 31, 2010


In Passing
Mary Hetherington
October 16, 1923 – July 31, 2010

Mary Theresa Hetherington passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 31 in the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail in the presence of family. Born in Shutty Bench near Kaslo 87 years ago as the second of six children born to her Slovakian immigrant parents, Stephen Bendis and Theresia (Michalec) Bendis, she left a legacy of perseverance, quiet commitment and tireless effort dedicated to her family.

Following graduation from high school, Mary worked at Overwaitea in Kaslo as well as the old King George Hotel. She moved to Nelson where she worked for Hood’s Bakery before finally meeting her future husband Tom following World War II. They were married in Kelliher, Saskatchewan in September 1950 and together opened and operated the Musicland Café and the Musicland Theatre in Kaslo.

With husband Tom having greater ambitions, the Starlight Drive-In on the North Shore was built in 1952, and following several years of maintaining a summer residence in the area while operating the drive-in from Kaslo, the entire family relocated to 6-Mile on the North Shore in 1956. During the ensuing 22 years, Mary managed the Snack Bar at the theatre and could be found during the day popping popcorn, making hamburger patties and portioning french fries, while preparing for the nightly ritual of greeting the many patrons who frequented the theatre. She also filled the role of Head Housekeeper at the Villa Motel during the 1980’s where her capacity for putting in long hours was almost legendary.

She loved spending time in her garden, often maintaining more than one during her working years when the theatre was known as the Starlight Drive-In Theatre & Gardens. Her culinary skills were particularly noteworthy, even generating comment from guests and visitors decades later.

Mary was predeceased by her husband Tom in 2008, older sister Anne Madill of Victoria in 2005, and younger brother Stephen of Kaslo in 1988. She is survived by her son Lloyd of Nelson, daughter Linda (Terry Noble) and granddaughter Cabri of Calgary, sisters Sophia (Armando) Allegretto of Burnaby and Margaret (Finlay) Levick of Trail, brother Joseph of Kaslo, as well as many nieces and nephews.

She was laid to rest at the Kaslo Cemetery in a private graveside service on Thursday, August 12 with Father Matthieu Gombo of the Cathedral of Mary Immaculate in Nelson acting as Celebrant. Arrangements were courtesy of Thompson Funeral Service Ltd.

In memory of Mary, and in lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to make a donation may do so to the Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation for the CT scanner at 3 View Street, Nelson, BC V1L 2V1.


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From: Thompson Funeral Service Staff

Thompson Funeral Service Staff send our condolences to family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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Private service arrangements have been made.

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