Sophia and Mary, Silvera Diamonds

7 February 2023

In recognition and celebration of our 60th anniversary, Silvera interviewed a variety of individuals to learn more about the remarkable people who make up and contribute to our organization – employees, residents, board members, donors, volunteers, and more. These individuals are true “Silvera Diamonds” – as strong and resilient as our organization over the past six decades. Thank you to each of you who help to make us what we are. Here’s to another 60 years!

Sophia and Mary, 90-year-old suitemates at Westview Town Suites, have a beautiful friendship that spans more than eight decades.

They first met in the dusty prairie town of Calmar, Alberta in the early 1940s when they were in elementary school. They grew up on their parents’ neighbouring farms, playing together through the difficult years of World War II. The girls parted ways after high school, but never lost track of one another.

Mary moved to Edmonton to start college and Sophia married an oilman who moved them and their three kids throughout Western Canada and the US. Mary married a diesel electrician with CP Rail and they raised two sons in Calgary. Both couples were married for more than 60 years.

Despite the distance, Sophia and Mary never lost track of one another.

“After we married, we always kept in touch by phone, letters, cards,” says Sophia. “There were not so many visits, only a few times throughout the years, but we always somehow kept in touch.”

In retirement, Sophia and her husband moved from their acreage in Trochu, Alberta to Baja, Mexico. They lived there together for eight years before he passed away in 2018.

After a few years living on her own in Mexico, Sophia decided she should move closer to family in a place with some care. “My daughter called Mary, who had lost her husband in 2014, to let her know I was moving back to Canada. And Mary said ‘Well, maybe Sophia and I should move in together!’”

And so that is what they did.

Mary had recently moved into a suite at Westview Residence West, Silvera’s independent living community next to Westview Town Suites, after temporarily living with her son during the pandemic. She determined she should live on her own again once the worst of the pandemic had passed. Sophia’s timing was perfect. The two friends moved into a two-bedroom suite last fall.

“It’s been so nice to live with Sophia,” Mary says. “We have so many good laughs together. Neither of us are alone.”

“She tells me I talk in my sleep,” laughs Sophia, to which Mary jokes that her “bionic hearing” allows her to hear Sophia in the next room.

Sophia says her favourite part of having Mary as a roommate is the companionship they share. “We really enjoy reminiscing together. We’re so fortunate to be able to do that because we’re both still sharp. It’s nice to have someone around who has common memories of childhood.”

Both Sophia and Mary’s families are also pleased they’re together and cared for at Westview.

“Our kids couldn’t be happier that the two of us are together again, making our last years the best they can be,” says Mary.

“We both have a lot going for us with our good health. We still have a lot of new discoveries ahead of us.”