Mary Schira

Obituary of Mary Emilie Schira

SCHIRA – Mary Emilie

October 8, 1924 – December 1, 2021

Mary and her parents Amalia and Steven Matula moved from Vecs, Hungary to Canada in 1926.  They farmed west of Leask, Saskatchewan.

As the eldest child, Mary was given several responsibilities, some daunting and scary for a little girl. She told of how she, at 6 years old, walked alone through a pasture to her first day of school.  An unfriendly bull with a chain in its nose snorted and pawed nearby. Her heart in her throat, Mary’s little legs pushed past the brute. Fortunately, she was unharmed. Courage and coping skills began early and would be needed throughout her life.   

A nature girl, Mary liked birds, flowers, landscaping, water.  She reminisced walking barefoot, standing on a moss bog and jumping up and down to make the creek water ripple.

Mary graduated from Leask High School in 1942. Then she attended Saskatoon Teacher’s College. Her  first teaching job was at Temisvar Country School.  She later taught at Resolute, Rothmere and Spiritwood Elementary and High Schools.

In 1946, Mary married John Schira of Spiritwood. Farm work, raising eight children, intermittent teaching jobs all required strong and loyal devotion on  Mary`s part. Her practical skills were put to necessary use - sewing, knitting, barbering, gardening, canning and cooking.  Family loved her soups, meat stews, fresh baked buns and bismarks after school.  

Mary had a zest for life and learning, saying “The sky is the limit”.  She enjoyed art and writing.  She was co-editor for the Spiritwood Scribes Writing Club and published stories and poems in their Anthology books.  As her children grew older, Mary worked as the Spiritwood librarian and as reporter for the Spiritwood Herald.

Mary’s manner was gentle but firm.  Times could be tough, but she kept a sense of humour.   She’d use quirky expressions to discipline her children like “Hold your horses”, “Go lay an egg”, “Go chase yourself”.  People of every age enjoyed conversations with Mary.  She was easy to talk to.

The Schira home, before and after John’s passing (1988), was open to all.   Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter were especially celebrated with family and relations gathering, playing cards and games and eating. Mary’s pancake breakfasts and Sunday socializing went on for decades.      

Mary and John inspired their children with a love for music.  They encouraged playing instruments, singing, dancing and whistling.  Mary taught her children that gifts given from God are to be shared.  

Mary’s quiet genuine Christian faith was exemplary. She was humble. She spoke with kindness, care, wisdom and brilliance.  Mary could see what wasn’t good, but chose to only say good things about others. 

As to how one can cope in today`s world, Mary lovingly exhorted: “It all comes down to living THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.”  Mary’s love, in her manner and tone, is a legacy itself.  Family, former students, neighbours and relations loved and respected her.  

Mary’s funeral service was celebrated on Saturday, December 4, 2021, her father Steven’s birthday. Mary will be lovingly remembered  by HER CHILDREN AND 34 GRANDCHILDREN:

DANIEL  Prince Albert, SK - Brian (Kari), Chris, Marty, Roxanne (Claude) Martine

SYLVIA  Prince Albert, SK - Serena (Darcy) Andres, Tanya (Jeremy) Wright, Jodi Snider, Vicki Snider

EMILIE  Saskatoon, SK - Andrew (Tina) Dubourt, Naomi (Steven) Redl, Elisabeth (Mark) Angus

DENNIS  North Battleford, SK - Danielle (Rob) Marrin, Holly (Gilbert) Zonneveld, Derek (Sherry) Janzen

CHARLES (Claire)  Spiritwood, SK - Clayton (Lindy), Warren (Tasha), Darcy (Erin), Dallas, Dana (David) Lockhart

ROSALIE (Ed) Scott  Winnipeg, MB - Carmen Scott (Mike McMurray), Riley,  Craig (Claire), Shaun, Lindsay

RONALD (Carol) Saskatoon, SK - Travis, Amanda (Luc) Thibodeau, Craig (Kelly), Landon (Brittany)

GISELLE (Don) Booth  Spiritwood, SK - Jeremy, Curtis (Janai), Kevin (Jill)


  • Her sister Magdeline St. Arnaud of P.A. Sask.
  • Numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives


Husband, John Schira;  Parents, Steven and Amalia (Yezovitsky) Matula;  Infant brother, John Matula; Parents-in-law, Sebastian and Suzanne (Servo) Schira; Siblings-in-law, Anne (Sid) Worth, Steve (Mary) Schira, Elizabeth (Steve) Klics, Ferd St. Arnaud; Granddaughter-in-law Alyson Schira; Great grandson Jayden Wright.

In lieu of tributes, memorial donations may be made in memory of Mary to the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Spiritwood for funeral mass intentions. Family and friends wishing to send online condolences are welcome to visit Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Beau “Lac” Funeral Home & Crematorium, Mark Muir, Funeral Director, Spiritwood, SK. 306-883-3500.




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Funeral Service

1:00 pm
Saturday, December 4, 2021
Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church
204 2 St West
Spiritwood, Saskatchewan, Canada
306-713 9230


Spiritwood Cemetery
SK - 378
Spiritwood, Saskatchewan, Canada
(306) 883-2161
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