Obituary of Mary-Jo Pereira
We mourn the loss of Mary-Jo Pereira, a beloved wife, mother, vavo, sister, and friend, who passed away on November 28, 2023, at the age of 64. Mary-Jo's life was a passionate tapestry of love, faith, and joy that influenced everyone around her.
Mary-Jo was born on June 17, 1959, in Pico da Pedra, and her journey from the Azores to Strathroy, Ontario, marked the beginning of a life filled with devotion and determination. Eager to start a life of meaning, she married young and ventured boldly into an early career in the medical field when she approached a doctor at his home to ask for a job. Impressed by her confidence, she got the job, achieving her goal with the same resolve that would come to define her life's successes.
In 1993, Mary-Jo's path took a new turn as she graduated from Teacher's College a Western University, embarking on a rewarding career as an elementary school teacher. Renowned for her love of theatrics and outgoing personality, she was particularly loved for her Halloween transformation into "Witchy-poo," a character cherished by her students & coworkers. She was deeply involved in extracurricular programs, particularly around the Christmas season, leaving a lasting impact on her students and colleagues.
Mary-Jo's faith played a pivotal role in her life. She grew up in her faith under the guidance of Sister Margaret Rose & Sister Rita, who were like family, and later became a spiritual mentor herself, guiding & influencing others towards Catholicism & spirituality.
Her love for travel and her desire for adventure was infectious. From family trips to Niagara Falls in an overpacked van, to European spiritual pilgrimages to Fatima and the Vatican, to road trips to Cape Breton, Mary-Jo sought after & embraced the world with open arms & an open heart.
Mary-Jo was predeceased by her parents Laurencia and John Da Ponte, and granddaughter Mary. She leaves behind a legacy of love and family tradition in her husband Joe, her children Mandy (Kirk), Liz (Brad), and Mark (Brittany), her adored grandchildren Haley, Leigha-Beth, Sofiyah, and Elliana, and her brothers John, Charlie, and Joe. Her memory will live on in the countless lives she touched with her vibrant spirit, unwavering faith & devotion to family & friends.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, November 30th, from 5-8 pm at Denning's of Strathroy. A Mass of Christian Buial will be held on Friday, December 1, 2023 at 11:00a.m. In lieu of flowers, financial donations to Canadian Blood Services or Ronald McDonald House are appreciated, reflecting Mary-Jo's charitable spirit. In lieu of financial donations, donating blood would be appreciated as a tribute to her memory.
As we bid farewell to Mary-Jo, we remember a life lived with boundless love, laughter, family tradition, and a deep, enduring faith that inspired us all.