Mary Lea Carnegie

February 14th, 2021

Mary Lea MacKenzie Bazeley Carnegie


Mary Lea Carnegie, age 74, of Airdrie, AB, passed away peacefully surrounded by  a circle of love on Sunday, February 14, 2021; after a month long stay at Rocky View Hospital, on unit 83, and a short battle with bladder cancer.

Born on July 30, 1946 at Mount Sinai Hospital, in Toronto, ON, the only child born to Harold MacKenzie (Springhill, NS) and Lea Elodie (Frappier) (Montreal, PQ). One of Mary’s favorite stories to tell was, on the day of her birth a Rabbi came into the nursery to give blessings to all the new babies born to families of the Jewish faith, when he saw little baby MacKenzie was the only Christian baby born that day, he gave her the honorary name of baby Mackiewicz and included her in the blessings.  This honour was something Mary Lea held dear to her heart her whole life!  

When Mary Lea was six years old her parents made the decision to move back to Montreal, PQ, as they were given the opportunity to manage an apartment building owned by her uncle Ernie Frappier.  Sadly Mary’s father Harold passed away in 1958 when she was the young age of twelve.  Mary spent her teen years living in Verdun, PQ, with her mother, stepfather, Victor Armstrong, and stepsister, Joan. After graduation from Verdun Public High School, Mary found her first job at Bell Telephone, later moving on to The Reddy Memorial Hospital as first a lab technician and then ECG technician.

In 1973 Mary Lea married David Seymour Bazeley (Montreal, Que) at Verdun United Church. Married life brought travel to England, Scotland, Barbados-Nasa, New York, Vermont, and the Maritime Provinces.  In 1975 Mary welcomed her only child, Leanne Margaret Bazeley. As a young mum, and while continuing to work at the Reddy Memorial Hospital, Mary dedicated much of her free time working as a personal secretary to David helping  him attain a  Bachelor of Education from McGill University, and mother-in-law, Margaret Swanson Bazeley, typing  papers for Margaret’s Psychiatric Nursing Educators certificate, also from McGill. Mary was always there being the backbone of her loved ones success! 

In 1979, along with 250 thousand other Anglophones, Mary, David & Leanne, left their beloved home in Montreal, and headed west to Calgary, AB, seeking opportunity in a politically stable province.  After purchasing their home in Bonavista, Mary and David borrowed a grain truck from an Uncle in Penhold , AB, and drove all the way back to Montreal where they packed up their home then drove all the way back across Canada to start their new life.     

The early 80’s found Mary working as a nursing assistant at Southwood Nursing Home (now hospice), and in her spare time volunteered many hours to the Bonavista Downs community board, Brownies, Lake Bonavista Elementary School, and the community boards involved in building the Family Leisure Centre(now Trico Centre.)  Mary always had an artistic flair and enjoyed learning new things; she tried everything from cake decorating to paper tole, golf lessons to racquet ball, and even shrunken apple head dolls!

It was in the early 80’s that Mary & David decided expand their family by becoming foster parents.  Some of whom Mary still has contact with today.  Mary’s home had an open door policy, always welcoming the neighbourhood kids with snacks and sandwiches, and there was always an extra seat at the table for anyone wishing to share the traditional Sunday roast beef and Yorkshire pudding dinner.  Wanting her kids to have as many experiences as possible, Mary was always planning some great adventure of learning, food experimenting or family vacations, with the kid’s friends always welcome to come along!  

In 1987 started Mary on a new career path where she became a teacher’s assistant at Kingsland French Immersion School.  Now a self-proclaimed “Albertan,” Mary was so proud that her city, Calgary, hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics and was able to enjoy the opening ceremonies, skiing, figure skating and hockey events.  Sadly Mary and Leanne lost David to pneumonia, also at the Rocky View Hospital, on March 10, 1989. This left a huge hole in Mary’s heart and it took some adjustment to become a young widowed single mum.

When opportunity knocked, Mary answered, first accepting a position as Library Assistant at Sam Livingston Elementary School and then finding love again with Jim Carnegie (Barrhead, AB.)  Mary and Jim were married August 13, 1994, at the Carriage House in Calgary, AB. It was an exciting time for Mary, as marrying Jim brought an instant family!  Becoming a stepmom to George and Mary Carnegie (Edmonton) and Pollyanna Peters (deceased, Ardrossan), grandma to Steven Carnegie (Edmonton), Jessie, Cody, and Fox Peters (Edmonton), and sister to Doris & Roy Bain (Barrhead), Charlie & Claris Carnegie (Barrhead), Francis & August Boman (Camrose), George & Nora Carnegie (Alex, AB); and aunty to many Carnegie nieces and nephews.  

As a newlywed couple up for an adventure, Mary & Jim took a leap of faith, and bought The Roxy Theatre in Barrhead, AB. After months of blood, sweat and tears they fully renovated the old theatre and converted the two apartments on the top floor into one suite. Hollywood was not the only happiness brought to the community; The Roxy hosted weddings, comedians, and concerts such as Canadian, Gary Fjellgaard. They ran The Roxy from 1995 to 2015, and Mary could always be found at the front door taking tickets and running the concession, and serving the best popcorn in Alberta topped with REAL butter!

Up for the next adventure, when retirement called, Mary and Jim moved across Canada to Amherst, Nova Scotia, and spent winters at their home in Lakeland, Florida.  Mary was elated for her chance to reconnect with her paternal side, The MacKenzie Clan, from Springhill, NS. She also loved exploring to find culinary delights; feasting on a lobster suppers from PEI, chowder from Tatamagouche, fish & chips from Parrsboro, scallops from Digby, and the pie from “ The Big Stop.”  Mary truly adored the food, people and culture of Nova Scotia!

In 2019, with lingering health concerns, Mary knew it was time to return home to Alberta where she and Jim were welcomed with open arms into the home of her daughter and family Leanne, Ron, Kyle & MacKenzie Bruneau (Airdrie, AB).  After four months Mary & Jim moved into their condo, but enjoyed being a just few blocks away from the Bruneaus.  Prior to Covid, Leanne named Wednesdays “Carnie-day;” on this day Mary would spend hours poking around Walmart while Leanne & Jim waited patiently in the car.  Hours later Mary would return claiming “that darn cashier was so slow- how about I take you for lunch!”

While the family only had Mary back in Alberta for a year and three quarters, many happy memories were made.  Seeing Mary light up with pride and joy when Kyle & MacKenzie, would wrap their big strong arms around their little grandma at Sunday supper filled the heart.  Celebrating Christmas 2019 with a visit from George, Mary and Steven was a delight. And the funniest of all, Mary being asked to leave the second hand store in Salmon Arm this past summer, as she went over the 20 minute allotted time to shop.  

 Mary leaves behind some very special people that will forever be cherished.  Her hunny, Jim Carnegie; Donna Corbett, who was like a sister; Karen Tessier, who’s loyalty will never be forgotten; cousin, Jim Wark who got Mary & Jim safely to medical appointments while living in Nova Scotia, the family will be forever thankful, and of course Mary’s favourite, Ron, the best son-in-law in the world!  Finally to Mary’s girls from the Downs, she would always say eat your brussel sprouts and remember how much you were loved!

At the end, if a death could be beautiful, hers was, together with Kyle, MacKenzie and Leanne the pain disappeared, as she was surrounded by a circle of love.

Mary’s Celebration of Life was held on February 20th, 2021, at The Roxy Theatre in Barrhead, AB. The family would like to thank the new owners, Elisabeth and Jeff, for the use of The Roxy Theatre, the popcorn, and viewing of “The Mary Movie,” it was a perfect & unique farewell! We would also like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the AMAZING nursing staff on unit 83 at the Rocky View Hospital, Chey, Lisa, Amini, Mebrihit, Kaitlyn, Seema, Lovely, Teegan, Deepa, Tiki, Mary, Frey, Crystal, Paula, Kim and Ashley (hope we got everyone), as well as Lois from Transitional Services, your loving care and compassion transends!

The Mary Movie (PowerPoint) will be available on YouTube this week, contact Leanne Bazeley Bruneau for the link. We request any donations go to The Rocky View Hospital.


Please accept our most sincere condolences, Leanne and family. Sending big hugs your way

Very sorry to hear of Mary’s death. Being related to David through Margaret, I recall the good old days in Montreal before I came to university in the UK. All condolences to Leanne and the family.

What a full and fabulous life she had! She is/ was and always will be a woman to be admired and respected! Among many lessons, the funniest is whenever I see brussel sprouts (and fine linen napkins, of course!) I smile and think of her and always will. I still hide the sprouts in my napkin (and yes, Mary, I know you knew, but you let us off the hook anyway!) Mary taught us girls many lessons that will never be forgotten. Rest easy. Tons of love to the Bazeley, Carnegie, Bruneau families xo

I wish I would have known your mom as you depicted her as such a fun, loving person who also loved great cuisine and shopping too.

Sad to hear of Mary’s passing. She and Jim were great hosts at the Roxy, and I could always count on Mary to accept my “ribbings ” when we went to a movie. Would have attended her celebration of life if I had known. Our condolences to Jim and all the family.

Mary and Jim were my mom and dad when I needed advice. From watching movies and going for bunch and many late nights of domino's fellowship and many laughs. Mary helped me with my wedding plans.... If there was ever a problem Mary was there to help us out ..... YOU WILL BE MISSED YOU AND JIM HOLD A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY WORLD I LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK

In the short time I got to know Mary, she loved being with family, cooking, tasting new foods and sharing stories. My condolences to Leanne and the family. Mary, go in peace!!

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