Mary-Wynne Ashford after the Soviet Congress (1987).

Mary-Wynne Ashford, MD, PhD

17th March 1939 – 19th November 2022

Celebration of Life

This celebration seeks to bring together all aspects of Mary Wynne Ashford's extraordinary, multifaceted life. The Baha'i community, the Gettin' Higher Choir, and a First Nations drummer will honour her spirit and her love for the arts. Family members will express how she influenced the lives of three generations. Colleagues will speak about her lasting impact as a medical doctor, her lifetime love of learning, and her significant contribution through her writing, speaking and activism to the life of humanity.
Doors open at 12pm. To protect vulnerable members at the gathering, we ask that you please wear a mask. Masks and hand sanitiser will be available at the entrance to the theatre.
If you are unable to join us in person, we invite you to join us online, at this link.
5th December 2022 1pm–3pm PST

McPherson Playhouse

3 Centennial Square
V8W 1P5 BC Canada

Memories & Condolences

Share a memory or condolence → Read the memories and condolences

Mary-Wynne Ashford, MD, PhD., retired Family and Palliative Care Physician in Victoria, BC, and retired Associate Professor at the University of Victoria, was adamant that the physician’s role went far beyond their caring for individual patients. She believed that advocating for peace and the elimination of nuclear weapons was part of a doctor’s “duty of care”.

For 37 years Mary-Wynne wrote about and spoke internationally about peace and disarmament. She was Co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) from 1998-2002, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985, and President of the Canadian Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War from 1988-1990. She led two IPPNW delegations to North Korea in 1999 and 2000. Her award-winning book, Enough Blood Shed: 101 Solutions to Violence, Terror, and War, has been translated into Japanese and Korean. She won many awards including the Queen’s Medal on two occasions, the Gandhi Prize in 1997, the Award of Excellence from Doctors of BC in 2019 and, with Dr. Jonathan Down, the 2019 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention. She recognized the vital role of women as peace activists and in 2018 joined twelve hundred women from around the world to walk across the Reunification Bridge to a peace park in the DMZ between North and South Korea. In 2021 she developed and taught an online course, Global Solutions for Peace, Equality, and Sustainability sponsored by Next Gen U and IPPNW Canada. She nurtured an extensive network of international connections and her ability to form strong relationships was a hallmark feature of her character.

Born in Indian Head, Saskatchewan on March 17, 1939, the third of four children, to Jack Moar (a bush pilot, inventor, and entrepreneur) and Kitty Moar (a writer, teacher, artist and community organizer), Mary-Wynne inherited a sense of boundless energy, optimism and the belief that she had no limits. She was clever, confident, and connected with people in a deep and meaningful way. At the University of Alberta, she earned a BSc in Home Economics and a B.Ed. In 1981 she graduated from the University of Calgary as a Doctor of Medicine and in 1997 she earned her PhD in Education from Simon Fraser University.

She married the late Dr David Ashford and was the mother of three (Karen, Graham and Patrick). As a volunteer with the Calgary Zoo, she was foster mother to two baby orangutangs and a polar bear cub, capturing the activity of those years in a regular column for the Calgary Herald titled Out of My Tree. Before enrolling in medical school, she studied music theory, singing, French language, creative writing, and Shakespearean Theatre. After completing her medical training and moving to Victoria, she married Dr Russell Davidson, adding four stepchildren (Katyann, Victoria, Gillian, and Emma) to the warm circle of family. She was grandmother to ten grandchildren.

A passion for the arts infused her life. She performed in many drama and theatre productions and her involvement in the Gettin' Higher Choir and the Community Choir Leadership Training program continued until her death. She was renowned for her sewing skills, especially her hand-crafted puppets. Recently she created puppets representing famous female social activists for the University of Victoria Faculty of Education and several special therapy puppets used to assist Syrian refugee children to be able to tell their stories and settle more easily in Canada.

For decades, Mary Wynne collaborated with members of the Baháʼí Faith on issues of global peace and prosperity and the advancement of women. In 2008 she formally joined the Baháʼí Faith and was an active member of the community, serving on institutions and promoting the teachings, particularly those which elaborated on aspects of world peace and global governance.

Mary-Wynne never lost hope that the world would one day be nuclear weapons-free. She was one of the most inspirational and influential leaders of our time.

Mary-Wynne, at age 17, the Engineer's Queen Photo (1956).
Mary-Wynne, at age 17, the Engineer's Queen Photo (1956).
“Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford” painted with her dog Suzie, by Victoria artist Elfrida Scharagen for her series “admired - a celebration of women” (2020).
“Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford” painted with her dog Suzie, by Victoria artist Elfrida Scharagen for her series “admired - a celebration of women” (2020).
Mary-Wynne Ashford writing a speech in her home office (2005).
Mary-Wynne Ashford writing a speech in her home office (2005).

Memories & Condolences

Share a memory or condolence →
I was a classmate of Mary-Wynne at U of C Medical School. I knew she was special from the get go as I came to learn she was in her 40s starting med school, and so why not do that while you get a divorce, still be mother to children at home, direct the Med School Med Show for years, star in it, ace everything, make friends with everyone and jump into the full technicolour life she went on to live, doing so much for so many in so many different ways. When you meet someone as passionate as Mary-Wynne, who lives to serve her vision of a wonderful world, fear is irrelevant. She was truly fearless. She inspired me in so many ways. Condolences to her family for such a great loss, an unforgettable woman.
Jan McCaffrey, U of C Medicine, Class of 81 19th December 2022
Dear Familiy, Our deepest condolences on behalf of IPPNW affiliate Germany. We are sharing with you the sadness about the loss your mother and grandmother. Mary Wynne was for us a great teacher on peace and on the power of civil society and especially making us understand the role of women as strong part in the civil society which can even influence the change the minds of state leaders as we have seen it in many societal struggles and least in our struggle for the Ban Treaty. She has influenced many IPPNW members here in Germany when she spoke at our congress "culture of peace" in 2008 in Berlin on the power of civil society which she called the second superpower. https://www.kultur-des-friedens.de/kongress-2008/dokumentation/vortraege-nach-referentinnen.html
Angelika Claussen 19th December 2022
Dear family of Mary-Wynne; I am so sorry to read about Mary-Wynne’s passing and have many fond memories of working with her over the years, specifically on cable television shows at Rogers and Shaw TV. She was a force of nature, and I remember being so impressed with her gentle, strong, articulate communication – she was not a “raving activist” but a woman of deep purpose, who through education and clear communication, could bring people to understand her causes and her mighty fight against nuclear weapons. Yes, she was a strong activist, but because she communicated with class, giving people an opportunity to learn through her amazing research, she garnered far more followers than the “raving activists” ever could or would, since theirs was a message of division. Not so Mary-Wynne, who embraced human understanding and collaboration. I loved her sense of humour, which was often on display as we put together television programs. She was fully enrolled in life’s challenges, opportunities and human expression. Thank you for whatever role you had in bringing her story to the front page of the Times Colonist – when I first read her obituary, I thought her story deserved more time and exposure, and was so pleased to read the more detailed story of her remarkable life in our newspaper. I was also treated by Dr. Russell Davidson, and later learned Mary-Wynne and Russell were a unit – a tremendously engaging couple, and very dedicated professionals. My sincere condolences to all of you at Mary-Wynne’s passing – she has left our world with much to savour, and she brought us tremendous understanding about nuclear war and our precious human life. Most sincerely, Daphne Goode
Daphne Goode 18th December 2022
I was deeply saddened to receive the news of Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford's passing. Mary-Wynne was my professor teaching me how to teach Social Studies at UVIC as part of my Bachelor of Education program in the late 90s (I graduated in 2000). Her story of being a medical doctor and then getting her Masters of Education later in life inspired young me. I held her story within me telling many others how it's possible to pursue further education and make career changes at any age, using her as an example. Mary-Wynne instilled in me, and the others in my cohort, the absolute need for teachers to teach through a social justice lens. All of our planning assignments were required to be designed through that lens. She was my kind of educator! We shared the value that the purpose of education is make the world more just for those that suffer the most and that those with opportunity to help, must help. Her commitment to nuclear disarmament made a significant impact on me. In part because she was so incredibly clear about that being the priority issue for her to give her life's energy to. Her energy wasn't scattered trying to do it all. But also because I was naive to the ongoing threat of nuclear war, thinking it was a thing of the past. I am grateful that she shed light on the reality of the situation for me. Having just moved back to Victoria, I was hoping I might see Mary-Wynne again so I could share with her the impact she had on me and thank her for being such a light in the world. To those that were close to this magnificent woman, I am so sorry for your loss. My grief joins and supports yours. What a legacy she has left -one that would be impossible to measure. With sincere condolences, Darcy Kaltio
Darcy Kaltio 10th December 2022
Dear family of Mary Wynne, Please accept my sincerest condolences on the passing of Mary Wynne. She was such a leader and filled with passion and gentleness. May the memories of love that you shared with her live on.
Katrina Pavlovsky 6th December 2022
Thank you Mary-Wynne for your incredible life dedicated to humanity and all that we are capable of. Thank you for all of your efforts and energy toward promoting and creating a more equitable human society. You have sparked awareness in so many lives already and that will continue to ripple outward to touch more lives than you will ever know. Your example of leadership is deeply appreciated and inspirational. You knew why you were here. Few people stop long enough to question their purpose on a deeply personal level. Even when you were suffering with long-Covid, you were guiding and encouraging others to do just that. I was blessed to encounter you. Much love and deep condolences to all who knew and loved you.
Jan Milligan 5th December 2022
Thank you so much for your time and guidance. I was shocked to hear of your passing but feel grateful for the time we had together.
Cole 5th December 2022
We feel very fortunate to have gotten to know Mary-Wynne. We first met her at her house when we were taking the Community Choir Leadership Training in 2016. We got to visit with her a few times and made a deep connection with her. We so appreciate Mary-Wynne and her life's work. May she rest in peace. Sending condolences to all her friends and family.
Sharon Abreu & Michael Hurwicz 5th December 2022
Les Artistes pour la Paix and Black Rose Books had the great pleasure of her wonderful presence in Montreal in September 2019 (annexed, the logo created by Bob del Tredici for the event). Mary-Winne came to express her solidarity with our U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his efforts to get rid of nuclear weapons for a world in peace. L’Aut’Journal titled its article : Dénoncer le militarisme en chantant (26 septembre) writing : « L’événement Convergence 21 Septembre a débuté par la célèbre chanson de Yoko Ono et John Lennon créée à Montréal il y a cinquante ans :all we are saying, is give peace a chance. Elle fut interprétée par la docteure Mary-Wynne Ashford qui avec les Médecins Internationaux pour la Prévention de la Guerre Nucléaire (IPPNW) avait remporté en 1985 le Prix Nobel de la Paix. Elle vient de se voir accorder la médaille d’Excellence 2019 des Médecins de la Colombie Britannique. » Nos plus sincères condoléances, Pierre Jasmin, secrétaire général APLP
Pierre Jasmin 4th December 2022
Dear Family of Mary-Wynne, We are thinking of you all at this time of loss of a very special person. We have been so lucky to have experienced, over several decades, her intelligent, dedicated, contributions for a more peaceful world. She embodied the 3Hs approach (Horror, Hope, and Humour) in her work and Doug Roche’s reminder, “Hope is a Verb”. My husband and I were also fortunate to enjoy her and Russell’s hospitality when we visited BC.Her memory will continue to inspire.
Barbara & Richard Birkett 4th December 2022
Dr. Ashford was my doctor in the early-mid 1980s. She was just an amazing family physician and I felt so lucky to be under her care. Her natural, down-to-earth method of care was perfect for me. She was involved in the births of both my daughters. I was sorry when she stopped her medical practice but so impressed with what she went on to do. My condolences to her family.
Leslie Bateman 3rd December 2022
I write to you, Mary-Wynne’s family, on behalf of Carlos Pazos and his wife Lettie, from Havana Cuba, and on my own behalf. Carlos and Lettie are so very sad to hear of Mary-Wynne’s passing. Because of the great difficulties of connecting with the rest of the world from Cuba, Carlos asked me to send a note of their great love for Mary-Wynne. I know Carlos would have much to say about the deep friendship they shared through their collaboration of many years with the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Mary-Wynne was the reason I met Carlos and Lettie. She was assisting him to get the cancer treatment medication he needed – I was the person who carried it for her to him. And we became great friends in Havana. I only feel sad now that I did not get to know Mary-Wynne here in Victoria, but only learned about her from Carlos, my mum (who shared the Gettin’ Higher Choir with her) and now this inspiring story of her life. The ripples, upon ripples she created… Much love to you all.
Risa Greenwood 3rd December 2022
I was in the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) BoD meeting when we learned of her passing. I don't think it is random that she held on until this semi-annual meeting, where she is so dearly loved and when we were all gathered and remembering her. The leadership and many in the meeting expressed being profoundly moved by her throughout their time in the organization. Indeed she was an inspiration to me when I joined IPPNW as a medical student in 1982, later to become the first woman co-president of IPPNW. She was a gem as a human and such prodigious worker for peace. A legacy that lives in the many organizations she contributed to throughout her long and rich life.
Tim Takaro 3rd December 2022
My thoughts and prayers go out to her family. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to meet Mary-Wynne Ashford, although we have common interests in peace and disarmament with the goal of creating a world free of nuclear weapons. However, we don't need to meet a person in person to know them and learn from them. I was inspired by Mary, who served as the Co-President of the International Doctors for the Prevention of Nuclear War, where I had the opportunity to attend a number of his activities and campaign to abolish nuclear weapons. In her leadership, Mary left a strong legacy of humanism, human rights and peace activism for all, anywhere and everywhere. She lived a life of faith, dreams and goals; a life of courage and commitment; a life of purpose, endurance and counsel. There is no doubt that her presence will be deeply missed. However, I truly believe that her accomplishments and influence can and will continue to live on through each of us. Let's keep her legacy alive.
Ghassan Shahrour, MD 3rd December 2022
Mary-Wynne & Russell (my Canadian Step Mom & Dad) Forever in my heart. X
Gary Shearman (London/Malaga) 3rd December 2022
You made a difference, Mary-Wynne. Thank you.
David Kirkpatrick 3rd December 2022
My condolences to family and friends. Although I hadn’t seen Mary-Wynne often since Med school she has had a lasting impact on me and so many others.
Joanne Mitchell 2nd December 2022
My condolences to family and friends. Although I hadn’t seen Mary-Wynne often since Med school she has had a lasting impact on me and so many others.
Joanne Mitchell 2nd December 2022
My deepest sympathy goes to all of Mary Wynne's family on her death. Although I only met her in- person once as she was receiving an award in Ottawa, I felt she had been part of my life and passion for peace and nuclear abolition for many years. Her special outreach to youth as mentor and source of inspiration particularly endeared her to me. I will continue to sing "One More Step" in honour of her. Her incredible spirit and belief that the world will become a better place will carry me into the future.
Sr. Mary-Ellen Francoeur 2nd December 2022
I'm deeply thankful for Mary-Wynne's extraordinary, creative leadership in support of a broad variety of nuclear disarmament efforts. Besides pursuing her own extensive efforts, Mary-Wynne was also a friend and support to many others in the disarmament movement. It is with a sense of great loss and great gratitude that I send good wishes to Mary-Wynne's family - knowing you will find comfort and ongoing inspiration as you remember and celebrate her life.
Ernie Regehr 2nd December 2022
I am deeply saddened to hear of Mary-Wynne’s passing. She was one of the most inspiring women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. What impressed me most is that even though she did not know me that well, I felt seen, heard and supported by her presence. I am sending a blanket of love to you Karen and to your family as you grieve.
Bridget Walshe 30th November 2022
In celebration of Mary-Wynne We got to know Mary-Wynne and Russell on a post-congress tour after the World Congress of IPPNW in Moscow in 1987, and quickly developed a cherished and abiding friendship. Mary-Wynne was a wonderful colleague and kindred spirit in IPPNW as we gave our best working to build a global, democratic physicians movement, effective in the historic struggle to bring an end to the ultimate evil of nuclear weapons. We met at innumerable IPPNW congresses, board and council meetings; she and Russell came with some other IPPNW friends to our beloved Wilson's Promontory National Park after the Melbourne Congress of IPPNW in 1998; she stayed with us in Melbourne, came to a concert our son played lead guitar in, stayed with us on our farm. All treasured memories. For me one of the most useful ways to learn about someone is to observe how they respond to children. Mary-Wynne's warmth, willingness to listen deeply, compassion and wisdom with all people were palpable in spades. She was an inspiration for our daughter. The last time we could meet in person was in 2018, when for the first time I was able to visit her briefly in Victoria, and she and Jonathan Down organised for me to speak with year 10 high school students, at Royal Jubilee Hospital, and at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and be introduced in the BC Legislative Assembly. Recently we shared ideas and materials for her course on the United Nations and its potential. My family and I are deeply thankful for having been privileged to share in Mary-Wynne's rich, long and marvellous life, worked closely with her, and treasured her as our friend. Vale Mary-Wynne.
Tilman Ruff 30th November 2022
I had the honour of watching out for dear Russell while Mary-Wynne travelled to see family in Australia for several weeks, and got to know Mary-Wynne through his stories about their life together. He was so very proud of her accomplishments. There was no doubt they had a strong loving relationship. I was able to participate in some of Mary-Wynne's online courses these past years and thoroughly enjoyed learning with the group. She will be missed! My condolences to her family and many close friends.
Victoria Laine 30th November 2022
My deepest condolences to Mary- Wynne's Family. I first met her during my years at the U of C Med School. She was an amazingly caring individual. I was deeply saddened to hear of her passing.
Gary Leong 29th November 2022
I will not repeat all the wonderful words and memories of Mary Wynne. I agree with them all. I feel so honoured to have made the acquaintance of her. She has been model which I have tried to emulate.
Freda Knott 29th November 2022
With love and prayers for her dear soul in the next life. Sending our heartfelt condolences to dear Karen and the whole family.
Alan and Lorraine Manifold 28th November 2022
I am so very sorry to hear of Mary-Wynne's passing. I remember her as my Guide Leader. She was incredibly awesome then, and went on to become even more amazing. Her lasting message to me was that anything was possible, and I have kept that thought in mind throughout my life. Karen, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Joanne (Warke) Hansen 28th November 2022
Thank you Mary-Wynne, you were a fantastic person, and caring doctor who guided us and delivered three of our four children. Bless your heart, we will always be grateful.
Terrance Watling & Family 28th November 2022
To Karen, Graham and Patrick, Even if you do not remember me, I want to tell you that your Mom, as you well know, was a remarkable whirlwind. How she could do all she did is beyond belief. She lived the life of at least four people. To think that when I first met her, way back in our Calgary days when you guys took the school bus to school, she used to promote the Suzuki method to enrich education through music. I wonder if you are still playing the piano but if you are not, as most of my former students have done, they have insisted on having their children get involved in music. I lost track of your Mom in Victoria as we both got busier in different directions, yet I never forgot her and occasionally ran into her as she came to the conservatory for choir practice. She was admirable, charming, full of energy that transpired through her great smile and love of humanity. She gave me her book when it was first published. I read it with an attitude of respect for this incredible mind. I shall never forget you. My sincere condolences. Your Mom will be missed and remembered.
Elfi Gleusteen 28th November 2022
Mary-Wynne was a role model for me and many others. Her warmth and fierce belief in hope and humanity was inspiring and infectious. She was a beloved and regular speaker at OPEN CINEMA 2003-2016, always finding time to give her time, despite multiple other important projects and commitments. I will cherish the wisdom and warmth she shared. You will never be forgotten Mary-Wynne, your legacy lives on.
Mandy Leith 28th November 2022
Mary-Wynne was a key note speaker at our seminar entitled Creating Compassionate Community. She also signed one of her newly published books dealing with Global Peace. The audience sat riveted to their seats when she spoke. Her energy was tireless and her commitment to educating people to be vehicles of Peace is our responsibility. Her projects will live on in our hearts.
Georgine Wonnacott 28th November 2022
The loss of Mary-Wynne is profoundly sad news. We have lost a very dear friend and colleague, an inspiration to all who knew her. Mary-Wynne’s dedication to humanity was a gift to us all, and the world is a better place for her having been here. IPPNW was blessed to have benefitted from her energy and wisdom. I had the pleasure of visting Mary-Wynne and Russell briefly some years ago; beautiful memories. Heartfelt condolences to all Mary-Wynne's nearest and dearest people from MAPW Australia
Sue Wareham 28th November 2022
I would imagine that you are inundated with condolences and memories of Dr. Ashford. I, too, send my sincerest sympathies to her family. My interaction with Dr. Ashford was as my physician for about two years until she left practice to work on her PhD. It was most definitely my loss. She was the most sympathetic and empathetic physician I have known. I genuinely missed her care. I followed her subsequent pursuits whenever they popped up in the media. Obviously, my loss was the world's gain, and we mourn the passing of a truly caring individual.
Michelle Connolly 28th November 2022
Mary-Wynne had many gifts, too many to recount, but the one I admired the most was her ability to connect directly with each person, regardless of their role or circumstances or status. That steady gaze. We were all equal. She could be stern and unmoving when she needed to be, but naturalness and laughter & loving encouragement were her signature traits. She didn't break down barriers so much as she disarmed them, overcoming them with love & humour. They melted more than fell. No one got hurt in the process. That was her strength. Disarmament of course was her life's work. Her courses on Global Governance these last few years were a natural outcome of that, reflecting the Baha'i teaching to work for a unified world. Those teachings and working on those fabulous courses drew us tightly together and cemented our bond, and for that I will be forever grateful.
Sheila Flood 27th November 2022
May she rest in Peace! She will be remembered as a remarkable person with intelligence and beauty, integrity and diligence, and warmth and strength! Although I did not meet her in person, she will be remembered as a lovely lady who welcomed me back into the IPPNW that she believed in so passionately and presented me with her amazing book and exchanged many emails of wit and wisdom with me. My heartfelt condolences to her family In their great loss!
Henry R Shibata MD MSc 27th November 2022
I first (virtually) met Mary-Wynne in 2020 as someone who was just becoming familiar with IPPNW Canada. I felt her presence as the North Star that guided our peace work and the direction of our organization through very shaky times. And it didn't matter if you were 16 or 60, Mary-Wynne was always ready to share her wisdom and was a life-long student herself. She touched so many people and made sure young people were meaningfully included, wherever she was involved. I send my deepest condolences to Mary-Wynne's family. I miss her too. I feel empowered to know that her legacy lives on in the memories we shared and the goal we set out to accomplish: a peaceful future for the global human family.
Avinash 27th November 2022
A wonderful woman and strong supporter of the Peace movement!! She recently gave a presentation at the Greater Victoria Peace School event at the Pavilion at Gorge Park. She is now at peace and in the healing Light of Spirit!!
Carol Pickup 26th November 2022
My thoughts and prayers go out to her family. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to meet Mary-Wynne Ashford, though we have common interests in peace and disarmament with the goal of creating a world free of nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, we don’t need to personally meet someone to know them and learn from them. I was inspired by Mary, who served as the Co-President of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, in which I had the opportunity to attend a number of its activities and campaign to abolish nuclear weapons. In her leadership, Mary left a strong legacy of humanism, human rights, and peace activism for all, everywhere and anywhere. She lived a life of faith, dreams, and goals; a life of courage and commitment; a life of purpose, stamina, and advocacy. There is no doubt that her presence will be deeply missed. However, I truly believe that her accomplishments and impact can and will continue to live on through every one of us. Let us keep her legacy alive. Ghassan Shahrour, MD
Ghassan Shahrour, MD 26th November 2022
Mary-Wynne - I miss you. I met you when I was a medical student and you were Co-president of IPPNW. Although our shared professions led us together, it has been our work for peace, our passion for music and storytelling and a warm personal friendship that maintained the connection. We followed each other for 20 years and you have never ceased to be a great inspiration in my life. I am so grateful for the many good hours I spent with you, Russell, your clever dogs and loving family and friends in Victoria. We have seen the world together and fought for it to become a better, safer and more compassionate place. I cannot possibly express in words what an essential inspiration and light you have been in my life and to the lives of thousands of young doctors and peace activists. You have shown us a path in life. You have tought us to listen to our hearts and believe in the hearts of others. May you forever Rest In Peace.
Caecilie Buhmann 26th November 2022
I'm very sorry to hear of Aunt Mary-Wynne's passing. She was always lovely, inspiring, a ray of sunshine.
Ken Dixon 26th November 2022
My heart is broken! Mary-Wynne was truly an extraordinary woman, an inspiring mentor and a wonderful friend! I feel blessed to have known her and to have learned from her. The world has lost a dreamer and great humanitarian!
Katrin van der Leeden 25th November 2022
I only knew Dr Ashford as my mom's Palliative Care Doctor. She cared for my mom for close to two years and she is one of the most compassionate individuals I have ever, ever met. My mom passed 19 years ago next month and I have never forgotten what Mary-Wynne did for my mom and giving her an amazing quality of life over those final days. The world lost an amazing woman! My condolences to her family and thank you for allowing your mom to serve others the way she did.
Pete Lewis 25th November 2022
I had the pleasure of being a student in one of Dr. Ashford's classes at UVIC. I remember her well because she had just received her PHD and was so proud to share with us,that at 50+ she achieved her dream. Now I am in my 50's and have achieved a dream of mine! I never forgot that message.
Debra Meadows 25th November 2022
Mary-Wynn was beautiful inside and out. She was full of life and enthusiasm. She was kind and service oriented. I was so lucky to have one to one conversations with her for two years for she used to pick me up and we used to go together to the getting higher choir. She loved peace and believed in humanity. One day she told me if something happens to me, remember that I love you. I will cherish her love in my heart for ever. My deepest condolences to her loved ones. Till we meet again my precious friend.
Nooshafarin Saberi 25th November 2022
I am deeply saddened that the world has lost such a beautiful guiding light and send my deepest condolences to Mary-Wynne’s family and to all those who knew her well. Having myself known Mary-Wynne for many years, one thing that always struck me was her voice, which always imparted a sense of calm, despite the serious issue of the abolition of nuclear weapons. In this integral activism that she was was so deeply involved in, she rubbed shoulders with important political figures and celebrities alike. I always remember her playful laugh as she spoke of taking the hand of debonair actor Michael Douglas as he assisted her off the stage during one of the ‘No Nukes’ events she was speaking at. On visits to their house on Prospect Lake, it was always a sweet experience to chat with Mary-Wynne’s partner Russell and I was subsequently honoured to have the opportunity to play guitar for them during their wedding. Working on a new video series in 2020 for Spotlight TV, entitled In Our Midst – People & Organizations Making Positive Change, it was a no-brainer for me to ask Mary-Wynne if she would be one of my first featured guests. During the interview, it became clearly apparent to me once again what a great inspiration she had been to me and to so many others who seek to bring about a degree of peace and understanding in the world.
Phil N Rossner 25th November 2022
Mary-Wynne remains one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met. At a formative time, she was one of my brightest inspirations, teaching me a balance between peace and activism. Her dedication to IPPNW and her continued faith in humanity was something I greatly admired. As a palliative care physician, she was incredible, with unlimited kindness, and grace. Extremely saddened to hear about her passing. She will forever be missed. My love to her family and her dogs. ❤️
Mariko Miller 25th November 2022
I worked for Mary Wynne for a year in the late 1970s as a nanny for her 3 lovely children, Karen, Graham and Patrick. I thoroughly enjoyed working and living with the family. Mary Wynne introduced me to many people and helped me to join in with the family's activities. I will always remember her for her friendship and help in making my year in Calgary so enjoyable. RIP Mary Wynne. Condolences to her family and friends.
Sue Allsopp 25th November 2022
Mary-Wynne has left the world a better place and has been a positive voice for change. Her impact on the broader public may never be fully understood or measurable but, she has left an indelible mark. The impact that both Mary-Wynne and Russell had on my life has been life-changing. I recall with fond memory having dinners at the house on Rockland and discussing all manner of topics. Without a doubt their extensive life experience and guidance helped me view the world through a new lens and from different perspectives. Thanks to Mary-Wynne for so many things. For guiding and helping me to go to post-secondary education as a mature student and for being a solid role model for empathy, persistence and showing that anything's possible. I am thankful that my family and I were able to see Mary-Wynne one last time in Calgary this year where we discussed all manner of topics – epigenetics, the changing face of Calgary and the recent projects that she was working on among others. After dropping Mary-Wynne off after our short visit I remarked that it was too short of a visit. Too short, indeed, now that she is no longer with us.
Chris Best 24th November 2022
We first met Mary-Wynne about 25 years ago at a gathering at Gloria Snively's home (thank you Gloria) and from that meeting we went on to film MW several times in projects she and we were doing; and to have many, many dinners and lunches together with her - and the wonderful Russell. Her incredible brain, astounding memory, creative skills, organizing ability - and most of all for me, her warmth and great sense of humour, will always, always, be an inspiration. She had so much more she wanted to do. What a loss. We are missing her terribly.
Heather MacAndrew 24th November 2022
Mary-Wynn’s, was part of my life for years. Dr Russel Davidson her husband was a friend and our family doctor. He delivered my three children. Nearly 40 years ago, we went to Paris together, and had a wonderful time showing her Paris and its restaurants. We had dinner at Maxim’s, quite something at the time. She will be missed and i am so sorry we have lost such a tremendous human being RIP
Dominique Chapheau 24th November 2022
My deepest condolences to Mary-Wynne's family. She will be remembered for her deep commitment, original thought and great sense of humour. The world has lost a tireless peace activist, educator, strategist, and speaker; who spoke of difficult topics, and was understood. Her theory that audiences who sang after nuclear weapons lectures could emotionally process frightening messaging, was proven time and again under her guidance. Whether writing, speaking, teaching, lecturing (or things she loved like sewing, singing, cooking), she had a singular style that made lasting impressions. Mary-Wynne was unique, talented, intrepid, spirited and passionate. Very sad the world is now bereft of such a strong woman and friend.
Christa Brenan 24th November 2022
I first met Mary-Wynne when she was doing a practicum (I think its called that) in Dr.Russell Davidson's practice. Russell was an artist and we spent time in life drawing classes. I visited them after they married, in their home and there was much laughter and jokes shared amoung the three of us. later I had the honour of painting Mary-Wynne's portrait. Again the prep, the posing, the modeling was laughter filled.She left such an enduring impression wherever she went.
Elfrida Schragen 24th November 2022
Dearest Mary-Wynne, Your warmth and loving care and genuine interest, will always be a wonderful memory of how you walked each day and left love in your footprints. Thank you for being such a brilliant star dear Mary-Wynne ! Sincere condolences to Mary-Wynne’s family. With love and prayers for you all, Karen Lenz
Karen Lenz 23rd November 2022
I first met Mary-Wynne in the 1980s when we served on a committee of formidable women to plan a conference, “Women Negotiating Alternatives For Peace.” She was fairly new to peace work at the time, but she certainly “ran with the ball” for the rest of her life. Our paths crossed in many efforts for peace over the years, especially when we shepherded our mentor, Murray Thomson, when he came to the island. And too, we had a mutual interest in the aspiration of a nuclear weapon-free Korean Peninsula. She and I both loved to sing with others and she participated in Denman Sings with Dennis Donnelly. I was overjoyed to walk into the Denman Community Hall to find Mary-Wynne having migrated from Victoria for a week of singing. Most recently, I stayed at Mary-Wynne’s cozy home when I was in Victoria to facilitate a peace meeting. She was always full of such good humour and optimism. She was smart and inventive in her peace work with an expansive and compassionate heart. Imagine –“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one.” Thank you Mary-Wynne. ❤️
Patti Willis 23rd November 2022
Mary-Wynne blended wisdom, love and courage, so beautifully. May we be guided by her pursuit of peace and her resistance to war.
Kathy Kelly 23rd November 2022