October 9, 1929 – September 7, 2023
In Loving Memory ~
With heavy hearts, her family shares that Mary Hood, our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, aunt, cousin, and friend to many, passed away on Sept. 7 2023. She was 93.
Her abiding faith guided and inspired her strength, her warmth, and the immense love she shared with countless people throughout her life.
Mom was born in Blairmore, Alberta as the only cherished child of Slovak immigrants Veronica and Joseph Polacik. Her family moved to Osoyoos in her high school years to start an orchard and ground crop farm. She met our father, Frank Zak, through the local Slovak community and married him in 1950. They had five children together and settled in Nelson in 1968.
Mom was an elementary school teacher and educated generations of young people in Nelson. She loved teaching and was devoted to her students. She taught primary grades in North Vancouver and at several Nelson and area elementary schools and retired from Hume Elementary in 1994.
We would often be with her when she saw previous students and parents who always said she was a terrific teacher. Her late husband Gordon often said that walking around Nelson with mom was like walking with the Queen because everyone knew her and wanted to talk to her.
In retirement she found tremendous joy in being a grandmother and great-grandmother, and in celebrating and caring for her family. She also loved her travel adventures that included Mexico, Cuba, Hawaii, Vegas, Slovakia and other countries in Europe.
Mom loved socializing whether that was with her neighbours or her golfing partners, playing bridge or knitting. More recently she enjoyed daily walks and tending carefully to her garden. She leaves behind a rich tapestry of family and friends who will always cherish their memories of her, her beautiful smile, positive outlook, generosity, grace, and a keen sense of fashion.
Mom was devoted to her faith and an ongoing member of the Catholic Church. As of this year she served 55 years with the Catholic Women’s League.
She is predeceased by her parents, her husband Gordon Hood, her ex-husband Frank and her granddaughter Rebecca Zak.
She is survived by her children Chris (Art), Gary (Debbie), Bob, Jeff (Marilyn) and Mary Clare and her ex-husband Mauro, who has remained a close part of the family.
She is also survived by 9 grandchildren Josh (Tessa), Sarah (Jasper), Marie (Travis), John, Jesse (Jill), Danni (Asa), Zak, Mickey and Eli and her seven great- grandchildren: Asher, Arlo, Adley, Alistar, Lyra, Theo and Marshall, as well as many cousins.
We are thankful for the compassionate care provided by Trail hospital staff in her final days.
A celebration of her life and a funeral Mass will be held at 11:30 am on Friday September 15th at Cathedral of Mary Immaculate in Nelson, followed by a reception. Interment will take place at Balfour cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to School District 8 (Kootenay Lake) and note that the donation is for the Mary Hood scholarship.
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