Mary Gertrude Wild

1924 – 2018


Born December 19th, 1924, Mary Gertrude Wild (93) died as she had lived, gently and peacefully, on Saturday, February 24th, 2018 at the QE II Hospital in Grande Prairie.  She was the first born of eight children to the family of Mathias and Frances (Zinselmeyer) Kramer who lived near Fairview, in the Friedenstahl area where many German immigrants settled in the early 1900’s. Mary’s first language was German.

A teacher by profession, Mary’s career began in the early 1940’s in a one-room schoolhouse in George Lake, AB.  By the mid-1940’s she transferred to the Peace River School Division to teach Grade One in Berwyn. It was there that she met her husband of fifty years, John Wild. They married in 1949 and were blessed with six children. Mary returned to full time teaching in 1958.  By the late 60’s she had upgraded her skills and became the music teacher for elementary grades, teaching concurrently in Berwyn, Brownvale and Grimshaw until the early 70’s.  John was a grain farmer in this Peace area, with also a mixed farm on the home site. Having been raised on a farm, Mary contributed as the gardener. They taught their children these skills while providing the best of ‘the Peace’ for their family’s nourishment. John and Mary moved to Grande Prairie in 1973 and sold their farm a few years later.

Throughout her life, Mary’s family and her faith and parish community were very important to her, as was her German-Canadian ancestry and her extended family in Canada, the US and Germany. She was a great communicator and organizer of special events – from family outings and reunions, to trips to Europe and other destinations, from the annual Octoberfest in Grande Prairie to revitalizing the Parkinson’s Support Group. She also enjoyed curling, needle crafts, Scrabble and other games. She loved to meditate, read and pray. For fifteen years, Mary made significant contributions as School Board Trustee for the GPCSD, establishing the first French-immersion School, École St. Gerard, and helping name Kateri Mission School. She was a member of the Catholic Women’s League for 70 years and helped with local charities like the Food Bank, Salvation Army and Catholic Social Services. Her legacy as teacher lives on to the third generation.

Her legacy of love, of deep listening and positive, non-judging, gentle acceptance, of thoughtful, generous, charitable ways (local and global), of accommodating necessary change, and seeing the world through music and celebration, culture and spirituality, and always with her spontaneous ‘thank you’ for any small act of kindness and care - will be forever etched in the hearts of all her family, relatives, friends, neighbours, colleagues, all who knew her at St. Joseph’s Church and at Wild Rose Manor where she received the best of care. She is deeply missed by everyone and we celebrate the endearing person she was!

The family are deeply grateful to the staff and Home Care workers of Wild Rose Manor for their exceptional care of Mary, and to Dr. Pope and the nurses that cared for her at QEII.

Mary is survived by her children:  Louise (Leo) Dechant, Maurice (Lynda), Douglas (Arlene), Charles (Jackie), Maureen (Sister of Charity), John, and her informally adopted nephew, Larry Kelly; her beloved grandchildren, Curtis (Amy) Dechant, Corie Dechant, Kenton (Bernadette) Dechant, Kirby (Silvi) Dechant, Perry (Shilo) Wild, Leslie (Jay) Fraser, Clinton (Amber) Wild, Jenny (Rocky) McAusland, Matthew (Whitney) Wild, Jolaina (Myles) Hahn, Mandy (Darryl) Wild-Thibault, Jared Wild, Josh (Chelsea) Wild, Brandon Wild and Eric Wild; her cherished twenty-five great grandchildren; her sister, Matilda Vant Erve and brotherTony (Judy) Kramer; her sisters-in-law, Teresa Kramer, Marie Kramer, Cecile Kramer, Marta Kramer, and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents, her husband John Wild and five brothers, Leo, Ben, Alphonse, Bert and John; her sisters-in-law, Viola Kelly and Christine Wharton; her brothers-in-law, Edward and Otto Wild, Gerald Kelly, Thomas Wharton, and Theodore Vant Erve. 

Prayers will be held for Mary on Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 at 7pm at Bear Creek Funeral Home (new location at 11802 99 Avenue Grande Prairie, just west of Costco and behind Winners). Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 11am at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church (10404 102 Street Grande Prairie) followed by a luncheon in the church hall. Interment in the City of Grande Prairie Cemetery will take place at 2pm (11101 84th Avenue). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Mary’s name to the Food Bank, Catholic Social Services ( or Covenant House, Vancouver (

Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780-830-7742